January 2, 2001
1032 IST

slide shows
search rediff

 Earn From

 Click Here to get
 guaranteed 6%*
 returns on your

 India Abroad
Weekly Newspaper

  In-depth news

  Community Focus

  16 Page Magazine
For 4 free issues
Click here!

 Complete Coverage

 Tata Open 2002

 Search the Internet
 Cricket, Hockey, Tennis,

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Bhupathi falls to Vanek

On the first day of the New Year, the Tata Open 2002 saw the top seed advance while three other seeds, including the defending Champion, bowed out of the tournament.

Top seed and No. 1 Argentine Guillermo Canas produced some powerful strokes and exhibited tremendous agility to easily overcome George Bastl (SUI) 6-4 6-2. The match started out on an even keel, and both men held serve, until Bastl double faulted to concede the first set to the top seed.

From there, Canas never looked back, and rolled over the Swiss player in the second set to reach the second round. "It was the first time I was the top seed in the tournament, and this was my first match after nearly two months, so I was a bit nervous in the beginning," said Canas. "I played really well, and I felt confident as the match went on, and I was able to beat him. I just want to continue to play my game, and I feel confident," he added.

In the only upset of the tournament so far, fifth-seeded Max "The Beast" Mirnyi (BLR) was slain by Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan in straight sets 6-3 6-3.

The young Thai No. 1, who recently won the Asian Championships as well as a wild card into the Australian Open, jumped on Mirnyi's second serves with aggression, and was able to overpower Mirnyi to score an impressive win. "I wanted to concentrate on my own service game, and try to break his serve at least once. I broke him twice in the first set. The second set was tough, but it worked," said Srichaphan.

"I struggled a bit with my first serves today, and I felt a bit heavy. And he was playing my second serve very well," said Mirnyi. "I was feeling physically fit, but he played better than I did. I wanted to win here, but I will move on to Sydney and prepare for the Australian Open," he added.

Third seed Fabrice Santoro (FRA) took care of business against Dutchman Peter Wessels in straight sets 7-6(6) 6-3, while the other Dutchman in the draw, Dennis van Scheppingen came from one set down to beat the seventh seed and defending champion Michal Tabara (CZE) 4-6 6-3 6-4, who unfortunately sprained his ankle in the first set, but carried on playing in pain.

Earlier in the day, eighth seed Kristian Pless (DEN) went down tamely to Noam Okun (ISR) 2-6 4-6, while qualifier Ivo Karlovic (CRO) beat 1999 Champion Byron Black (ZIM), who had also qualified into the main draw.

In the battle of the Italians, Stefano Galvani beat country-mate Federico Luzzi 6-1 6-3, while Karol Kucera (SVK) dropped the second set to Juan Balcells (ESP), but fought back to win the match 6-4 3-6 7-5. In the late night match, the powerful Irakli Labadze (GEO) pounded qualifier Thomas Dupre 6-4 7-6(0) to move into the second round, where he will run into third seed Santoro.

With second round singles play starting tomorrow, second seed Thomas Johansson (SWE) takes on Olivier Rochus (BEL), sixth-seed Dominik Hrbaty (SVK) takes on Alex Calatrava (ESP), fourth-seed Andrei Pavel (ROM) will take on Stefano Galvani (ITA), and last year's finalist Andrei Stoliarov (RUS) will take on Paradorn Srichaphan (THA).

In doubles action, the second-seeded pair of Byron Black (ZIM)-Fabrice Santoro (FRA) will take on the Czech pair of Jaroslav Levinski-David Skoch in a second round encounter. Another Czech pair, third-seeded Frantisek Cermak and Petr Luxa take on Jeff Coetzee (RSA) and Sander Groen (NED) while fourth seeded Czechs Ota Fukarek and Tomas Cibulec go against Aussies Tim Crichton and Jordan Kerr.

Two wild-card entry teams clash on center court as Prakash Amritraj (USA) and Mustafa Ghouse (IND) take on Srinath Prahlad (IND) and Ajay Ramaswami (IND).

The Tata Open 2002 - Complete Coverage

Mail Sports Editor