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Gasquet too good for Vliegen

September 24, 2007 21:10 IST

Top seed Richard Gasquet made quick work of Belgium's Kristof Vliegen before rain intervened and forced play to be abandoned on the opening day of the ATP Kingfisher Mumbai Open tennis tournament on Monday.

The Frenchman, coming back after an injury lay-off, slammed eight aces and dropped only nine points on his serve to crush Vliegen 6-1, 6-2 in 52 minutes at the Cricket Club of India.

"It is never easy coming back from injury. And I have lost to him earlier so I didn't know what to expect," said Gasquet after the match.

The Belgian had beaten Gasuqet twice in three previous meetings, putting him out of the French Open in the fourth round this year.

Gasquet found the faster, hard courts in Mumbai to his liking and dominated play from both flanks.

Germany's Bjorn Phau beat South African Wesley Moodie, in the only other first round match that was completed on Monday.

Phau overcame a second set hiccup to win 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in a tough opener.

Wildcard entrant Nicolas Kiefer was a break up, leading third seed Paul-Henri Mathieu 4-3 while Frenchman Fabrice Santoro was 6-1 up against compatriot Roger-Vasselin Edouard when the showers, which had thankfully ceased in the afternoon, resumed.

Veteran Italian Davide Sanguinetti and India's Naveep Singh advanced to the main draw of the event with contrasting wins.

Top seed Sanguinetti, 35, whipped 23-year-old Indian Rohan Gajjar in a classic mismatch.

Navdeep Singh beat a cramping Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4) in an enthralling final qualifying round.

Bhambri, who had taken treatment on court twice in the third set, squandered two match points when he was serving for the match at 6-5.

Navdeep stretched the set into a tie-break before using the momentum to win it 7-4.

A slight ray of hope though appeared in the gloom for Bhambri as Israel's Dudi Sela pulled out of the main draw. The organizers said that his place in the draw would be taken by a lucky loser at the end of the qualifying round.

Deepti Patwardhan