Gasquet, Phau advance; rain forces postponement of other mnatches

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Mumbai, Sep 24 (UNI) Top seed Richard Gasquet and Bjorn Phau of Germany beat the rain to enter the second round of the 416,00 US Dollars Kingfisher Open Tennis tournament at the CCI hard courts here today.

Three other first round matches had to be called off due to rains with wild carder Nicolas Kiefer of Germany leading third seed Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 4-3 and 30-15 in the first set.

Fifth seed Fabrice Santoro of France had taken a comprehensive lead against his opponent Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France leading 6-1, 2-0 before rain forced the players inside.

Seventh seed Julien Benneteau of France had lost the first set to Rainer Schuettler of Germany 5-7 before the interruption.

Earlier, playing the first match on centre court Richard Gasquet needed just 58 minutes to make short work of Kristof Vliegen of Belgium winning 6-1, 6-2 to enter the second round.

Joining the top seed in the second round was Bjorn Phau of Germany who beat the challenge of South Africa's Wesley Moodie in a tough three setter 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Gasquet seemed to be a man in a hurry as he broke the Belgian in the fourth game and then again in the sixth game to pocket the first set 6-1 in just 23 minutes.

The top seeded Frenchman who had been troubled by Vliegen in the past and had admitted yesterday that this would be one of the toughest first round matches he has faced, showed no such signs on court as he demolished the Belgian with his backhand working to perfection.

The second set saw both players holding serve till 2-2, before Gasquet made his move breaking Vliegen in the fifth and seventh games before holding his serve to wrap up the match 6-2 in the second in a match lasting just a tad below the hour mark.

Gasquet served eight aces in comparison to Vliegen's 2 to stamp his authority over the match.

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