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Three seeds advance in Tata Open

Dec. 31, 2001 at 1:08 PM   |   Comments

CHENNAI, India, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- No. 2 Thomas Johansson of Sweden led three seeds into the second round of the Tata Open hardcourt tennis tournament on Monday.

Johansson posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ivo Heuberger of Switzerland. Having played 71 matches last season, he finished the year as the No. 1 player from Sweden with his second career top 20 year-end ranking.

Johansson recorded back-to-back singles titles in Halle and Nottingham and closed the season by advancing to the quarterfinals in Moscow, Stockholm and the Tennis Masters Series event in Paris.

Fourth seed Andrei Pavel of Romania and No. 6 Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia opened with straight-sets victories.

Hrbaty topped Axel Pretzsch of Germany, 6-1, 6-4. He won his third career title in Auckland last January and went on to reach the quarterfinals at the Australian Open. The 23-year-old Slovak also finished 2001 strong, reaching the semifinals at Tashkent and Moscow.

Pavel eased past Juan Antonio Marin of Costa Rica, 6-3, 6-2. He posted the biggest win of his career in 2001, defeating Patrick Rafter in the final of the Tennis Masters Series tournament in Montreal in July.

In unseeded action, Alex Calatrava of Spain rallied past Ota Fukarek, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, Russia's Andrei Stoliarov routed India's Leander Paes, 6-3, 6-1, and Olivier Rochus of Belgium beat Martin Lee of Britain, 6-4, 6-3.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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