Haas, Safin advance

Tommy Haas took another step toward regaining his early season form.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Los Angeles:Tommy Haas took another step toward regaining his early season form with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Wayne Arthurs in the first round of the Countrywide Classic on Tuesday. Haas, who won this event in 2004, captured a pair of titles in the first two months of this year, then injured his right wrist in April. He was sidelined for 10 days and lost his next three matches. He has won nine of 13 matches since reaching the semifinals at Halle, Germany. "Sometimes it is tough to regain your top form, but not every day is the same,'' Haas said. "I played a good match. I felt very solid on both wings. I had a good first-serve percentage. I was playing solid and not making too many loose mistakes.'' The German broke for a 3-1 lead in the opening set and did so again to go up 5-4 in the second. He never faced a break point in the 58-minute match on the UCLA campus. Two-time Grand Slam champion and former number 1 Marat Safin, who's also trying to regroup after an injury, moved into the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 win over American Mardy Fish. Safin missed the second half of last year with a left knee injury and has reached just one semifinal this year. The Russian hasn't made it past the second round in a tournament since then. Safin will face number 3 seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the second round. (AP)

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