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Rediff.com  » Sports » Kuerten wins first match for 18 months

Kuerten wins first match for 18 months

February 14, 2007 14:43 IST

Former French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten won his first match for 18 months when he defeated seventh seed Filippo Volandri of Italy at the Brazil Open on Tuesday.

Kuerten, unseeded, needed 47 minutes to polish off the match 6-3, 6-1 at the Costa da Sauipe tournament in a resort on the North-Eastern coast.

The Brazilian's last tour win was against Paul Goldstein at the US Open in August, 2005. Since then, he has undergone hip surgery and been plagued by muscular problems.

Kuerten, 30, returned to action in November but lost his first four matches.

"It was easier than I expected," said Kuerten, whose opponent had a minor shoulder injury.

"For the first time, I had a physical advantage and I had to make the most of it."

Kuerten won the French Open in 1997, 2000 and 2001.

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