Brazilian clay court maestro Gustavo Kuerten was in no mood to waste time when the French Open began at Roland Garros, Monday.
Kuerten, the fifth seed, breezed into the second round of the men's event with a quickfire 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 win over Sweden's unseeded Andreas Vinciguerra.
Kuerten, the champion in Paris in 1997 and the Hamburg Masters Series winner earlier this month, is at his best on clay and completely outplayed Vinciguerra - taking just 73min to breeze into the last 64.
"I think I've started really well here - playing like I have been the last few months," Kuerten said. "Once I got a lead, I relaxed and played my best shots. I wasn't making any errors."
Kuerten next plays Argentine qualifier Marcelo Charpentier, who won a marathon against Morocco's Karim Alami 6-7 (1/7), 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
The brilliant Brazilian was joined in the second round by 13th-seeded Briton Tim Henman, who won a grinding affair against chronic American loser Vince Spadea 7-5, 7-5, 6-4. Spadea contributed to his own demise by serving 10 double faults.
Henman, seldom comfortable on clay, was persistent enough to hand Spadea his 19th straight defeat - a streak that stretches back to late last year.
Nicolas Lapentti, the 11th seed from Ecuador, also was a straight sets winner in downing Julien Boutter of France 6-4, 6-2, 6-0, but eighth-seeded German Nicolas Kiefer fell at the first hurdle.
American Jan-Michael Gambill, who usually struggles in the Grand Slam events, beat Kiefer 6-3, 7-5, 6-1.
Experienced South African Wayne Ferreira advanced with a 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Germany's Rainer Schuttler, while French hope Sebastien Grosjean downed Australian Richard Fromberg 6-4, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
American Michael Chang, the men's singles winner in Paris in 1989 and runner-up in 1995 but now regarded as something of a faded force, also advanced with a 6-1, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 triumph over Romanian Adrian Voinea.
American Pete Sampras also starts his bid for his first title at Roland Garros later Monday. Seeded second, Sampras, aiming for a record 13th Grand Slam title, has a tough assignment in Mark Philippoussis, but is 7-2 all-time against the hard-serving Australian.
TAUZIAT BEATS BOOGERT
Seventh seeded French Nathalie Tauziat began her 17th French Open appearance with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Netherlands' Kristie Boogert.
Australian rising star Jelena Dokic rallied from a break down in the final set to beat Tina Pisnik of Slovenia 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.
Third seeded American Monica Seles puts her remarkable French Open record on the line later Monday against Croatia's Silvija Talaja. She is 46-5 at Roland Garros, winning consecutive titles from 1990-92 and finishing runner-up in 1998 and America's Meghann Shaughnessy ousted women's 12th seed French Julie Halard-Decugis, 7-5, 6-4 - (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)