Kafelnikov wins first round match

Dec. 31, 2001 at 1:44 PM

DOHA, Qatar, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Top-seeded Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat his former doubles partner Daniel Vacek for the sixth straight time Monday in the first round of the $1 million Qatar Open.

Kafelnikov defeated Vacek of the Czech Republic, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, improving to 15-4 all-time in head-to-head matchups. The two have won three Grand Slam doubles titles and numerous smaller events.

The 27-year-old Kafelnikov reached the quarterfinals here last year to start a season in which he captured two titles and finished ranked No. 4 in the world.

Vacek came back from injuries in 2001, compiling a 2-7 record. He fell to 1-4 lifetime in Doha.

No. 8 Felix Mantilla of Spain, the only other seeded player in action Monday, thrashed Italian qualifier Cristiano Carrati, 6-1, 6-1. Mantilla claimed his lone title last year in Sicily and was a finalist at Estoril.

Also, Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic dispatched Galo Blanco, 6-2, 6-2; Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden overcame Jan Vacek of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3; and Oleg Ogorodov of Bulgaria routed wild card Nasser Al-Khulaifi of Qatar, 6-1, 6-2.

Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui outplayed Frenchman Cedric Pioline, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4; Nikolay Davydenko won the battle of young Russians against Mikhail Youzhny, 6-4, 6-2, and Armenia's Sargis Sargsian rolled past Argentina's Franco Squillari, 6-0, 6-3.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Electronics certification company makes hoverboard burst into flames
Eli Manning explains pout after Denver Broncos' Super Bowl score
Duke's Grayson Allen trips Louisville player
Nicola Griffin to appear in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue at 56
Larry Sanders considering NBA comeback