Clijsters, Nalbandian advance to second round

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Kim Clijsters, conqueror of both Williams sisters two months ago, surged into the Australian Open's second round with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over American Samantha

Clijsters, Nalbandian advance to second round

Melbourne:

Kim Clijsters, conqueror of both Williams sisters two months ago, surged into the Australian Open's second round with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over American Samantha Reeves on Tuesday.Clijsters needed just 62 minutes to win with her heavy groundstrokes, ending when Reeves hit a serve return into the net.After a season in which Serena Williams beat elder sister Venus in the championship matches at the French and US Opens and Wimbledon, Clijsters beat Venus in the semifinals and Serena in the final at the WTA Tour Championships in November.The number of likely challengers to the sisters was reduced Monday when Jennifer Capriati, the 2001 and 2002 Australian winner, became the first women's defending champion to lose in the first round here in the Open era.Other resultsIn other women's matches, No 10 Chanda Rubin overcame Hungarian Melinda Czink 6-4, 7-5; Mary Pierce, winner of the 1995 Australian Open and 2000 French, beat Austria's Patricia Wartusch 6-1, 6-4, and American Amy Frazier, playing in her 56th Grand Slam tournament, needed only 43 minutes to oust Spain's Conchita Martinez Granados.On the men's side, No 6 Roger Federer had a 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-3 win over Brazilian Flavio Saretta and Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian moved quickly into the second round when France's Jerome Golmard quit after three sets with a back injury.Nalbandian led 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 before the withdrawal by Golmard, who also hurt his back in a tournament in India at the end of last year. "I felt really good in the second and third sets,'' said Nalbandian, who had only three unforced errors in the third.He advanced 35 places in the rankings last year, to No 12, after reaching the Wimbledon final in his first professional grass court tournament. Lleyton Hewitt beat him easily for the trophy, however. "Before Wimbledon, nobody knew me. After, everybody watches me," said the 21-year-old Argentinian, who is seeded 10th here.No 13 Fernando Gonzalez, who moved up 117 places in the rankings last year, advanced with a 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over France's Julien Varlet.Capriati, the third-seeded woman, lost 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 on Monday to 90th-ranked Marlene Weingartner of Germany. Capriati's ouster came on a day when Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport won, as did three-time winner Andre Agassi. (AP)



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