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Spanish stars advance in Barcelona

April 23, 2003 at 3:59 PM   |   Comments

BARCELONA, Spain, April 23 (UPI) -- Three Spanish claycourt aces reached the third round of the Seat Godo Open Wednesday with top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero leading the way.

The 22-year-old Ferrero, who won last week's Monte Carlo event, dispatched Argentine Franco Squillari, 6-4, 6-3.

Second seed Carlos Moya had to work a bit harder for his win as he overcame Romanian Adrian Voinea 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 and two-time French Open finalist and eighth seed Alex Corretja denied the uspet hopes of 16-year-old Rafael Nadal, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

The youngster won the first set on his eighth set point, but eventually bowed to the experience of the 29-year-old Corretja.

"It was not easy for me, playing at home with nothing to win and a lot to lose," said Corretja, a first-round loser at his last two tournaments. "Everyone was expecting him to do well again after he beat Albert (Costa) last week in Monte Carlo.

"But I didn't get rattled after losing the first set, I stuck to my plan, which was to play high to his backhand and hit flat to his forehand. I reacted well and played a good match."

Moya lost in the final to Andre Agassi in Miami and was ousted by eventual finalist Guillermo Coria of Argentina in the Monte Carlo semis.

"My form feels good and I'm really keen to win something after coming so close in the past few weeks," said the 26-year-old Moya, who won the his second career Masters Series title in Cincinnati last August. "I'm glad I was able to fight back early. That gives me confidence for the later rounds."

Moya recovered from 1-4 down against World No. 86 Voinea.

Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who won his second career title of this season in Estoril earlier this month, upset Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian, the sixth seed, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) and next faces another Argentine, Jose Acasuso, who ousted France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 6-2.

Seventh seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil won his fourth consecutive match against Spaniard Felix Mantilla, collecting a 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 victory. Kuerten rallied from a 2-5 deficit.

The second set was easier for Kuerten, who was beaten last week in the Monte Carlo second round by Magnus Norman of Sweden. He took a 5-2 lead, missed on a match point, but cleaned up in the ninth game as Mantilla netted a forehand.

"He started out in good form," said Kureten. "I was a bit off and was slow to reach my best level. But my confidence grew and my game got better. It was a nice sunny day and a great crowd."

Moroccan ninth seed Younes El Aynaoui stopped Spain's Albert Portas 6-4, 6-4, while 12th seed Tommy Robredo beat fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-5.

Italian qualifier Filippo Volandri continued an unexpected run of form as he beat Spain's Galo Blanco 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 just five days after reaching the quarterfinals at Monte Carlo.

Slovak Dominik Hrbaty advanced when Monte Carlo finalist Guillermo Coria of Argentina retired trailing 4-3 with an abdominal strain.

© 2003 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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