Britain's Greg Rusedski celebrated the beginning of the grass court season with a straight sets victory over former champion Wayne Ferreira at the $800,000 Queen's ATP tournament, Monday in London.
The number nine seed came from behind in the first set to win 7-5, 6-4, and was joined in the second round by Goran Ivanisevic, who claimed a rare victory at the expense of 1998 finalist Laurence Tieleman of Italy. A break in the 11th game of each set earned the Croat a 7-5, 7-5 win.
Rusedski, who declared that he may have been a little hasty in stating after losing at the French Open said that he would never play again on clay and relished being back on his favorite surface. But he struggled at first to overcome 1992 champion Ferreira. The South African led 5-3 in the opening set, before Rusedski rallied. Rusedski then took the second set and the match by breaking Ferreira at 5-4.
"I couldn't ask for more than coming out and getting a victory in two sets," said Rusedski, who in his black socks and shoes looked more like a player in the European Football Championships.
"He's one of the better grass court players in the world, and it's very nice to come out and win. Your first match on the grass is always tough, especially after the spell I had in the clay court season."
ROSSET RETIRES WITH SINUSITIS
15th seed Marc Rosset of Switzerland retired with sinusitis against Haiti's Ronald Agenor when down 6-3, 2-0, and 16th seeded Australian Andrew Ilie fell to Andre Sa of Brazil. But there were straight set wins for 10th seeded American Todd Martin, 13th seeded Frenchman Fabrice Santoro and 14th seed Sebastien Grosjean of France. Romanian Andrei Pavel conceded the first set to Dutch qualifier Raemon Sluiter on a tiebreak, but won in three sets.
American Vince Spadea chalked up his 20th straight defeat when he was beaten 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 by fellow American Justin Gimelstob. That equals the record set by another American, Gary Donnolly, in 1986-7 - (AFP)
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