Hewitt leads top five seeds

May 13, 2003 at 8:07 PM
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HAMBURG, Germany, May 13 (UPI) -- Lleyton Hewitt faced a tougher first-round match than expected at the $2.83 million Hamburg Masters on Tuesday, but successfully continued his preparations for the French Open.

The top-seeded Australian outlasted German wild card Markus Hantschk, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, at this claycourt event.

The other top five seeds - Carlos Moya of Spain, Roger Federer of Switzerland, Andy Roddick of the United States and Albert Costa of Spain - also moved into the second round.

The world No. 1, Hewitt has been tested previously by Hantschk. In the second round of the 2000 French Open, Hewitt rallied twice to escape with a win. Hewitt awaits a tough second-round meeting with France's Arnaud Clement.

The second-seeded Moya continued his strong claycourt season with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over qualifier Scott Draper of Australia. Moya improved to 22-3 on clay in 2003 and set up a second-round encounter with another qualifier, fellow countryman Rafael Nadal.

In a rematch of their semifinal clash here a year ago, No. 3 Federer rolled to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Max Mirnyi of Belarus. Federer also won in straight sets against Mirnyi at the Rothenbaum en route to the 2002 Hamburg title. But the 25-year-old from Minsk had taken their previous two meetings in the round of 16 at the 2002 U.S. Open and the semifinals of the 2003 Rotterdam event.

Federer improved to 4-2 lifetime against Mirnyi and advanced to meet Armenian qualifier Sargis Sargsian, who rallied past Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4.

Roddick, the fourth seed, reached the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia. Roddick, who made the third round in his Hamburg debut last year, next faces Argentina's Agustin Calleri.

The fifth-seeded Costa won his third straight meet with local favorite Nicolas Kiefer, 6-4, 6-4. The 1998 Hamburg titlist, Costa faces a second-round encounter with Belgian Olivier Rochus.

Czech Jiri Novak was the highest seed to fall on Tuesday. Russian Mikhail Youzhny eliminated the sixth seed, 6-1, 6-4. Youzhny's second-round foe is Slovakian lucky loser Karol Beck, who outlasted harding-serving Australian Wayne Arthurs, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

In another upset Tuesday, Belgium's Xavier Malisse knocked off two-time French Open runner-up and 13th seed Alex Corretja, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-3. Malisse's next opponent is Australia's Mark Philippoussis, who defeated Dutchman Raemon Sluiter, 6-4, 7-5.

No. 8 David Nalbandian of Argentina, No. 9 RainerSchuettler of Germany and No. 10 Sebastien Grosjean of France each posted straight-sets wins in the first round.

Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, the 15th seed, French qualifier Anthony Dupuis and Spaniard Felix Mantilla also earned first-round wins.

This French Open tune-up awards the winner $462,313.

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