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Rusedski, Murray go through

June 07, 2005 11:55 IST

Greg Rusedski and Andrew Murray kept the British flag flying high at the Stella Artois Championships on Monday after reaching the second round with impressive victories.

Rusedski outgunned ATP debutant and fellow Briton Joshua Goodall 6-3, 6-4, while junior U.S. Open champion Murray recorded his first win on the men's circuit with a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Spaniard Santiago Ventura.

"It's quite important to win your first one and it was obviously quite a big match for me," Murray said after overcoming a player ranked 247 places above him.

"The most important thing is you get big points here and there's a good chance for me to bring my ranking up in the next few weeks."

British number two Rusedski, who failed to kick start his grasscourt season last week by surprisingly falling at the first hurdle in the Surbiton Challenger, got his booming serve into gear to edge out wildcard Goodall.

Despite playing his first ATP match and being ranked 286 places below the British number two, Goodall refused to be overawed and even managed to earn a break point.

But with experience on his side, the 31-year-old Rusedski unleashed one of his fierce deliveries to cancel out the danger before securing victory with an ace.

"I won a match here this year which is positive as I didn't do that last year," said Rusedski.

Looking ahead to his preparations for this month's Wimbledon, he added: "I'm not going to put the pressure on myself. I'm just going to go out there and enjoy myself.

"I'm going to swing away, I'm going to play loose, if it goes well, great."

Rusedski's and Murray's victories guarantee at least three Britons in the last 32 of the event as world number nine Tim Henman has a bye into the second round.

Alan Mackin failed in his bid to increase the British count when he was ousted 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 by Russia's Igor Andreev.

Rusedski's first-round conqueror 12 months ago, South Korea's Lee Hyung-taik barely managed to muster any form of challenge this year and was whipped 6-2, 6-0 by Belgian Xavier Malisse.

With the top eight seeds getting a bye, including twice champion Andy Roddick and 2002 Wimbledon winner Lleyton Hewitt, 11th seed Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand was the highest ranked player in action on day one of the grasscourt championships.

However, Paradorn's stay was brief as he was hammered 6-3 6-4 by American Kevin Kim.
Pritha Sarkar
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