Ex-Illini Ram serves notice
LOS ANGELES — Former Illini Rajeev Ram defeated Chile's Paul Capdeville 6-3, 6-1 on Wednesday in the second round of the Farmers Classic at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
The 28-year-old American lost nine points on serve and had 10 aces. Ram dominated the 64-minute match with that serve, winning 85 percent of his first-serve points (22-26) and 69 percent on his second serve (11-16).
Ram set up a third-round match against third-seeded Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, Mayer had a 6-0, 4-0 lead when Italy's Flavio Cipolla retired because of a neck injury.
"I just tried to get as many balls in (play) as I could," said Ram, who beat former junior doubles partner Brian Baker in the first round. "I also served well.
"It's important to win consecutive matches. That's what the top guys do. This was an important step for me. I'm trying to compete hard and not make too many errors. I don't want to beat myself out there."
Ram of Carmel, Ind., won the singles and doubles titles in Newport, R.I., in 2009, beating two-time Farmers Classic titlist Sam Querrey in the singles final, and made the semifinals there this year.
He reached a career-high 78th in the ATP Tour rankings that year. He's 117th this week and was the last player to get direct acceptance into the 28-man field.