Seeds book third round berths in Kingfisher Airlines Open

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Mumbai, Sept 27 (UNI) All the seeded players booked their berths in the third round of the 416,000 dollar Kingfisher Airline Open tennis tournament at the CCI hard courts here today.

J Nieminen, Fabrice Santoro and S Koubek, the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds respectively scored over their rivals in the second round.

J Nieminen proved too strong for qualifier T Matsui of Japan winning in straight sets at 6-0, 6-4, while the fifth seed Santoro had to quell a strong challenge from countrymate Nicolas Devilder of France, scoring a come from behind three set victory over him at 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Koubek also was forced to go the distance in his match against Bjorn Phau of Germany, losing the opening set at 4-6 but he came back strongly to win the next two at 6-3, 7-5 to book his third round berth.

Meanwhile, wildcarder N Kiefer of France, who at one point was ranked as high as number four in the world before being saddled by injuries swept past Y Lu of Taipei at 6-3, 6-3 to move into the third round.

The eighth seed Olivier Rochus of Belgian was another seed to enter the third round when he beat Ivan Navarro of Spain at 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Navarro in the morning had ended the Indian challenge by beating lucky loser Purav Raja in straight sets at 6-4, 6-1 in a match carried over from yesterday.

Earlier, in the morning, former world number 1 and second seed here, Lleyton Hewitt cruised into the second round defeating Taipei qualifier Ti Chen 6-3, 6-3.

Results: Singles second round: S Koubek (Aut) bt Bjorn Phau (Ger) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; J Nieminen (Cze) bt T Matsui (Jpn) 6-0, 6-4; Fabrice Santoro (Fra) bt Nicolas Devilder (Fra) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; N Kiefer (Fra) bt Y Lu (Tpe) 6-3, 6-3, Olivier Rochus (Bel) bt. Ivan Navarro (Esp) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Singles first round: L Hewitt (Aus) beat Ti Chen (Tpe) 6-3, 6-3; Ivan Navarro (Spn) beat Purav Raja (Ind) 6-4, 6-1; Boris Pashanksi (Ser) beat Sergio Roitman (Arg) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.


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