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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 20:31 GMT 21:31 UK
Ahl and Parmar taste victory
Arvind Parmar
Parmar kept his nerve to win five-set thriller
Arvind Parmar and Lucie Ahl gave the home crowd something to cheer about on day two of Wimbledon - but in contrasting ways.

Parmar needed five sets to overcome Brazilian Andre Sa while Ahl dropped just three games as she powered past Austria's Barbara Schwartz.

But the news was not so good for fellow Brits Jamie Delgado, Barry Cowan, Sam Smith and Karen Cross, who all made first-round exits.

Parmar, the British number three, came back from two sets to one down to beat Sa, ranked 83rd in the world.


The 22-year-old from Hertfordshire lost the first set on a tie-break but battled back strongly to eventually triumph 6-7 (2/7) 6-3 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Parmar, who reached the second round here last year before losing to Greg Rusedski, has been in fine form recently and was a slight favourite for the tie despite a world ranking of 137.

Lucie Ahl
Ahl dropped just three games
He took a set off Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras in the Stella Artois Championships and reached the quarter-finals of the Nottingham Open earlier this month.

But he needed to fight hard against his Brazilian opponent.

The turning point coming in the fourth set with Sa serving at 2-3 down, Parmar producing a brilliant running forehand winner down the line to gain the crucial break.

Another break closed out the set and Sa was beginning to look resigned to his fate as Parmar broke again to surge into a 3-0 lead in the decider.


Cheered on by a small band of Brazilian supporters Sa made a fight of it and forced a break point as the Briton served for the match, but Parmar held his nerve to serve out for the match.

Ahl made it through to round two of the women's singles by beating Schwartz 6-0 6-3.

British number three Delgado lost his match 6-3 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 to the seeded Pat Rafter on Court Three.

Delgado could not have made a worse start after Rafter broke his first game and then sailed into a 3-0 lead, which then gave him the platform to go on and win the opener.

From then on, all the traffic was one way.

Smith wilted against Black
The 25-year-old Cowan went out to a 6-3 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 defeat at the hands of American Justin Gimelstob.

The burly Briton resumed his match two sets down and 5-5 on Tuesday, but came through to win the third on a tie-break to reduce the deficit.

But his fightback was shortlived as the American comfortably eased his way into the second round by winning the fourth set 6-3.

Former British women's number one Sam Smith lost 6-2 6-2 to Zimbabwe's Cara Black.


The 28-year-old from Essex failed to reproduce the great form she showed in reaching the fourth round of the tournament in 1998.

An injury to her ankle a year ago meant that Smith needed two operations which kept her out of the game for eight months.

And Smith certainly looked rusty as Black, sister of ATP players Byron and Wayne, cruised through to the second round after taking advantage of the Briton's many unforced errors.

British number three Cross added to the growing list of early home casualties when she was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Spain's Magui Serna.

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