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Clijsters wins first round match

March 25, 2005 11:44 IST

Belgian Kim Clijsters continued her resurgent comeback from injury by ripping past German qualifier Sandra Kloesel at the Nasdaq-100 Open on Thursday.

Clijsters, who won the Pacific Life Open last week in only her second tournament after missing most of the 2004 season with a wrist injury, eased to a 6-0, 6-1 win in her first round match.

"It wasn't easy out there because conditions were very different to last week, so I'm very happy to have a short match," said Clijsters.

It took Kloesel 43 minutes to win a game but by then she was 6-0, 5-0 down and it proved to be little more than a consolation.

Clijsters, who next plays 24th-seeded American Amy Frazier, has now won 10 of the 11 matches she has played since returning to competition in Antwerp last month. Her sole defeat of the season came to Venus Williams in the Antwerp quarter-finals.

"I tried to stay positive when I was injured and kept my body fit," said Clijsters. "Today the score was easy

but I still feel that there is work to do."

In the men's draw, American Mardy Fish was made to fight for his second round berth by Thomas Zib. Fish, who is based in Florida, eventually beat the Czech 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 and will now play Germany's Tommy Haas, seeded 16.

Fish's 15-year-old compatriot Donald Young's hopes of scoring a debut ATP Tour victory ended in disappointment when he was defeated 6-4, 7-5 by Frenchman Jean-Rene Lisnard.

World number one Roger Federer will take on Olivier Rochus in round two after the fleet-footed Belgian outran Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic. At 6ft 10 Karlovic stands a foot and five inches taller than his opponent but that didn't stop Rochus winning 5-7, 7-6, 7-6.

"Today I beat a guy who's much taller than me and almost twice as big," said Rochus, with a smile. "So, you know, the size is not really important. Even if you're small, you have all the quality and you can for sure be in the top 10 or the top five in the world. You still play at a very high level."

Eleanor Preston
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