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Robredo cruises in New Zealand first round

Jan. 8, 2007 at 3:18 PM

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Top-seeded Tommy Robredo dropped just three games in grabbing a first-round victory in the Heineken Open tennis tournament in New Zealand.

Robredo, from Spain, needed just little more than an hour to post the 6-2, 6-1 romp over countryman Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.

Defending champion and No. 4 seeded Jarkko Nieminen, from Finland, was ousted in Monday's first-round play. Belgian Olivier Rochus beat Nieminen, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.

No. 3 seeded Spaniard needed three sets but advanced with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over Argentine Gaston Gaudio. Other winners Monday were Spaniard Alberto Martin, German Philipp Kohlschreiber, Frenchman Florent Serra, Belgian Kristof Vliegen and Italian Daniele Bracciali.

The $416,000 Heineken Open is a final tune-up before the Australian Open, which begins next Monday. The tournament continues through the week, wrapping up with a title match Sunday for which the winner will receive a check for $68,850.

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