El Aynaoui through, Costa crashes out in Doha

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Defending champion Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco progressed to the third round of the 2003 Qatar Exxon Mobil Open on Wednesday. French Open Champion and second s

El Aynaoui through, Costa crashes out in Doha

Doha: Defending champion Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco progressed to the third round of the 2003 Qatar Exxon Mobil Open on Wednesday.Number three seed El Aynaoui struggled past compatriot Hicham Arazi in straight sets 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in the Qatar capital Doha.In other action, French Open Champion and second seed Albert Costa crashed out of the US$1 million season-opener. The Spaniard was beaten in three sets (3-6 7-6 7-5) by unseeded Swede Andreas Vinciguerra.The Qatar Exxon Mobil Open is the first of 65 events on the 2003 ATP calendar.Defending champion Younes El Aynaoui met fellow Moroccan Hicham Arazi for a place in the third round of the US$ 1 million tournament in Doha, Qatar.The big-hitting El Aynaoui made his intentions clear immediately. The 31-year-old from Rabat broke Arazi's serve in the first game to assert his early superiority.El Aynaoui, however, failed to find top gear and was only marginally better than his lacklustre compatriot. Apart from a clever cross-court drop shot early in the match, Arazi himself showed little in the way of enterprise in the first set.El Aynaoui eventually took an error-strewn opening set 6-4 as both men struggled to hold serve and find any kind of rhythm.In the second set the 29-year-old Arazi found his game.The man from Casablanca started with a beautifully judged lob shot as he threatened to derail his compatriot's title defence. The Arazi serve also came together, briefly, as he raced out to a 3-0 second set lead in double-quick time. However, El Aynaoui found his own serve and volley game and dragged himself back into the second set.The right-hander sent down a huge overhead winner for 6-6 and sent the second set to a tie-break.Arazi was then blown away in the tie-break as El Aynaoui sent down three aces. A firm cross-court forehand putting the defending champion through to the third round of the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open.Earlier, number two seed Albert Costa appeared to be on course to make light work of Sweden's Andreas Vinciguerra. The Spaniard cruised the first set 6-3.But the French Open Champion then lost his way. The 21 year-old Vinciguerra sneaked the second set 7-6 and held his nerve to set up an unlikely victory, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5. (AP)

Topics : Tennis
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