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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Agassi marches on
Men's round-up

Andre Agassi

Second seed Andre Agassi overcame the stubborn resistance of British wild card Jamie Delgado to reach the second round of the men's singles at Wimbledon.

The world number one, seeking his second Wimbledon title 11 years after the first, was a 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-4 winner on Centre Court.

Agassi took the first set in just over half-an-hour and needed barely 20 minutes to blast through the second, securing it with an ace.

Delgado, ranked 458th in the world, looked down and out, especially when needing then treatment for his back.

But he managed to raise his game to snatch the third set, clinching it with a delicate lob.

Agassi, 33, never looked in danger of losing despite that setback and a break in the fifth game of the fourth was enough to see him move into the second round.

Third seed Juan Carlos Ferrero raced into the second round with a 6-2 6-1 6-3 rout of Frenchman Jean-Rene Lisnard.

The Spaniard, who won his first Grand Slam at last month's French Open, took just one hour and 21 minutes to move safely through.

Martin Verkerk, the man Ferrero beat at Roland Garros to claim his first major title, could not repeat last month's clay heroics on the grass of Wimbledon.

The Dutch 21st seed, who surprised everyone by reaching the French Open final, found his big serve to no avail as he lost to Sweden's Robin Soderling 6-3 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-1.

There was better fortune for another Dutchman, Ramon Sluiter. He knocked out 20th seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov in a marathon five-setter, winning 7-5 3-6 2-6 6-2 6-3.

Fourteenth seed and 2002 semi-finalist Xavier Malisse crashed out of this year's Wimbledon in straight sets.

The Belgian was beaten 6-4 6-3 6-2 by unseeded Frenchman Cyril Saulnier, who is ranked 124 in the world.

Malisse, who has endured a miserable run of form since bursting through to the last four a year ago, looked totally out of sorts in an error-strewn performance.

David Nalbandian, who beat Malisse in last year's semi-finals only to succumb to Lleyton Hewitt in the final, is safely into round two.

The Argentine sixth seed beat another former unseeded semi-finalist Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus 7-5 6-4 6-2.

After Roland Garros I was too relaxed, I went back to Argentina and did not concentrate
Guillermo Coria

"I'm feeling great, I feel like I'm ready to do something great again," said the 22-year-old Nalbandian.

"I feel my game is all coming together nicely. I am finding my range on the big points and taking my chances. I think I am playing very well."

Number seven seed Guillermo Coria went out at the opening hurdle.

The Argentine clay-courter, who beat Andre Agassi to reach the semi-finals of last month's French Open, went down 7-5 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 to Belgian Olivier Rochus.

Coria admitted that he had not prepared himself properly for the demands of grass.

"I knew that it would be like that as I only had three days preparation," said the 21-year-old.

"After Roland Garros I was too relaxed, I went back to Argentina and did not concentrate, but now I have to focus on the next tournaments."

Also out is 28th seed Wayne Ferreira, who lost in straight sets to Karol Kucera of Slovakia.

The experienced South African, who is one of the ATP Tour's longest-serving players, was suffering with flu and was beaten 6-1 6-2 6-4.

Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Mark Philippoussis reached round two beating Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina in four sets.

The Australian, who is unseeded because of extended injury problems over the last few seasons, won 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-2.

James Blake, seeded 26, booked his place in round two with a straightforward 6-3 6-1 6-1 over Todd Larkham of Australia.

Fifteenth seed Arnaud Clement had a real struggle to see off the challenge of American Robbie Ginepri.

In a marathon match, the Frenchman finally prevailed 6-3 4-6 7-6(7/2) 6-7(3/7) 10-8.

Eleventh seed Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic dropped the first set but fought back for a 3-6 7-6 (7/1) 6-1 6-1 win over Peruvian Luis Horna.

Radek Stepanek, seeded 35, beat Slovak Michael Mertinak 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 6-4 to reach round two.

Two matches remain unfinished in the men's draw, one of which is the tie between French 13th seed Sebastien Grosjean and Swede Thomas Enqvist.

Grosjean led 4-6 6-3 6-4 when poor light stopped play on Tuesday evening.



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