TENNIS: Bates loses cool in loss to lucky loser

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The Independent Online
Jeremy Bates made his exit from the Dubai Open yesterday, unable to find an answer to the power of the German "lucky loser'' Carsten Arriens. Bates lost 6-3, 6-4 to a player who was beaten in the qualifying rounds but gained entry to the tourname nt after the withdrawal of the Australian Mark Woodforde.

Arriens, 25, from Munich, allowed Bates just three points on his serve in the first set and did not face a break point until the Englishman kept himself in the match when Arriens served for victory at 5-2 in the second.

Bates did himself no favours by becoming irritated with the umpire Rudy Berger as early as the third point of the match when Berger overruled a call, giving Arriens an ace. The umpire then refused to ask the crowd to be quiet during play.

"I made so many errors and had no confidence when hitting the ball. I was pushing it instead of hitting it," Bates said. "It was a horrible match for me but Arriens played well."

The German Karsten Braasch was one point from victory over the Spaniard Francisco Clavet then had to retire at one set apiece because of acute dehydration and stomach cramps in their first-round match. After taking the first set on a tie-break, Braasch began drinking cold water in an effort to solve the dehydration but that gave him stomach cramps.

Braasch held match point at 5-4 in the second set. He hit what he thought was an ace but it was overruled by the umpire. The German then lost the game and, after surrendering the set 7-5, he was forced to retire.

The former world No 1, Steffi Graf, of Germany, is expected to make her comeback next week at the women's Paris Open after three months out through injury, the organisers said yesterday.

Officials had said they were confident that Graf, who was forced to rest because of back pain and a calf injury, would play in the event due to start next Tuesday. "Graf has been scheduled to play in the Open for a long time and we have not received any information hinting that she would not," a spokeswoman, Linda Barrett, said.