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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 13:07 GMT
Kafelnikov back on track
Yevgeny Kafelnikov attacks a forehand
Kafelnikov lost only two games on his way to victory
Tuesday's ATP round-up


World Indoor Tournament

Yevgeny Kafelnikov celebrated his 29th birthday in style on Tuesday by thrashing Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-2 6-0 in the first round.

Kafelnikov has been in poor form recently and was criticised for his lacklustre effort during Russia's 3-2 Davis Cup first-round victory over the Czech Republic earlier this month.

He made his feelings on that subject clear after beating Lopez.

"No matter what I have done for the country, they are never thankful for what I do," said Kafelnikov.

"I don't pay much attention to Russian papers because they always find a way of criticising me even after all these years."

Perhaps my best days are over but there's still energy left in me

Yevgeny Kafelnikov

But the former world number one was back to his best as he romped past the hapless Lopez.

The world number 50 had no answer to Kafelnikov's artistry as he was handed his fifth first-round exit of the year.

In the following match on centre court, Tim Henman made a disappointing return to the circuit after three months out through injury, losing 6-4 6-2 to Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic.

But there was better news for top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero.

The Spaniard finally ended his Rotterdam first-round jinx with a battling 7-6 7-6 win over big-serving Australian Wayne Arthurs.

Local favourite Richard Krajicek also made a winning return when he squeezed past Spain's Tommy Robredo 7-6 6-7 6-2.

Twice a winner in Rotterdam in 1995 and 1997, but playing at the Ahoy Arena for the first time since 1999, Krajicek was stretched to the limit before breaking twice in the final set.

Fellow Dutchman Raemon Sluiter also progressed with a 3-6 6-4 7-6 victory over compatriot Martin Verkerk.


Buenos Aires Open

Top seed Carlos Moya had little trouble getting past Spanish compatriot David Ferrer in the Buenos Aires Open.

Moya eased to a 6-3 6-3 victory, but Marcelo Rios had to withdraw just hours before he was due to play Gustavo Kuerten in an eagerly awaited match.

Third seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile also made it through to the second round with a hard-fought 7-6 6-3 victory over Spaniard David Sanchez.

Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti, seeded seven, negotiated the first round with a straight sets win over Italian Andrea Gaudenzi.

Spain's Felix Mantilla and Argentine Agustin Calleri also progressed with victories over Spaniard Albert Portas and Chile's Nicolas Massu respectively.


St Jude Classic

American Taylor Dent ousted two-time champion Mark Philippoussis of Australia after a marathon first-set tie break.

Dent won it 17-15 to take the opening set before running through the second set 6-1.

Top seeds Andy Roddick and Paradorn Srichaphan had little trouble in their matches.

All the action from the ATP Tour this week

w/e 23 Feb 2003

TENNIS STATISTICS
See also:

16 Feb 03 | Tennis
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