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September 19, 2000
Easy for Seles, Kuerten
French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil and American Monica Seles got the Olympic tennis tournament off to a lightning fast start Monday.
The third-seeded Seles came within one game of registering the first official Olympic whitewash since Suzanne Lenglen at the 1920 games in Antwerp, overwhelming Katalin Marosi-Aracama of Hungary 6-0 6-1 in the opening match on centre court.
Kuerten, the second men's seed, lost one more game than Seles but was more efficient by 10 minutes in dispatching wild card Christophe Pognon of Benin 6-1 6-1 in a startling 38 minutes.
Mis-matches were the order of the day under brilliant sunshine at the tennis centre.
Rainer Schuttler of Germany rushed past American Todd Martin, a semifinalist at the US Open, 6-2 6-0, to set up a second-round match against Kuerten.
Martin looked helpless against the German's blistering passing shots from both wings, but the American may have been less than his best. He had his left wrist strapped by a trainer during the match.
Dominique van Roost of Belgium continued the day's theme by rushing past Adriana Gersi of the Czech Republic 6-1 6-1, while Miriam Oremans of the Netherlands defeated Argentina's Florencia Labat 6-2 6-4.
Pat Rafter gave Australia a winning start with a comfortable victory over American Vincea Spadea. Rafter, the tournament's 13th seed, took 70 minutes to eliminate Spadea 6-4 6-3.
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