Johansson rebounds at AAPT Championship

Jan. 5, 2004 at 12:17 PM
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ADELAIDE, Australia, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Swede Thomas Johansson made a successful return with a 6-1, 6-3 rout of Belgian Christophe Rochus Monday in the first round of the $380,000 AAPT Championship.

The surprise 2002 Australian Open winner, Johansson looked sharp in his first appearance since undergoing surgery last February to repair damaged tissue above his knee. He will play either France's Arnaud Clement or Victor Hanescu of Romania in the next round.

Johansson, 28, is hoping to recapture the form that won him seven singles titles. He will have a protected entry ranking of No. 23 at the start of 2004.

Three Americans were in action Monday and two advanced to the second round. Second seed Vincent Spadea beat Austrian Jurgen Melzer, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, and fifth-seeded Taylor Dent cruised past Luis Horna of Peru, 6-2, 6-3. Dent overcame wrist, groin and hamstring injuries to win three titles last year.

Brian Vahaly lost to Slovakian Karol Beck, 6-2, 6-3.

The other seeded players had a harder time, but still moved into the next round. No. 6 Jarkko Nieminen of Finland overcame Wesley Moodie of South Africa, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, and No. 7 Alberto Martin of Spain outlasted Croatian Mario Ancic, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-3).

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