Sun, Mar 24, 2002 - Page 15 News List

Hingis gives Taiwan's Lee tennis lesson

STILL LEARNING The country's best woman player was beaten 6-1, 6-0, by the `Swiss Miss' at the Nasdaq-100 Open. In the men's draw Andy Roddick was defeated by Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina

STAFF WRITER , DPA AND AP, KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

Janet Lee returns serve to Martina Hingis during their second-round match at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, on Friday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Janet Lee of Taiwan was shown no mercy by two-time Crandon Park winner Martina Hingis at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Florida.

The 21-year-old Swiss, who held world number 1 for a total of 209 weeks, didn't wallow in self-pity after a bitter defeat in Indian Wells last week.

Instead, she took out her tennis aggressions Friday on Lee, the world's 108th-ranked player and beat her 6-1, 6-0.

"I just go in and try to focus," said the five-time Grand Slam winner. "And because it's hot, I try to save energy."

In the men's tournament, Andy Roddick tried wearing his cap backward, then forward, then backward again. He muttered, shook his head and looked to the sky for help. And when he hit a rare forehand winner, he raised his arms in mock triumph.

Chela triumphs

At the finish it was Juan Ignacio Chela doing the celebrating. The gangly Argentine leaped and punched the air after beating Roddick 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 Friday in the Nasdaq-100 Open.

Chela, whose ranking has been rising since he returned last summer from a three-month suspension for using a banned steroid, moved into the third round. Roddick headed home to Boca Raton, a long ride up I-95 in rush-hour traffic.

``This year I hadn't really had one of those days where I just didn't really play well and didn't show up,'' Roddick said. ``It was just one of those days. It's disappointing, but it happens sometimes, I guess.''

Roddick, 19, had hoped to make another big splash in his backyard. Last year he arrived at Key Biscayne ranked No. 119 and upset Pete Sampras in the third round.

This year the ranking (12th), seeding (10th) and expectations were much higher for Roddick.

But following a first-round bye, he struggled with his timing against Chela, sprayed 37 unforced errors and reached break point only twice.

``The court just seemed really small today,'' Roddick said with a rueful smile. ``Nothing was really clean the whole day.''

Eighth-seeded Serena Williams also won her opening match, but not without drawing jeers from the crowd.

With American Lilia Osterloh serving two points from winning the first set at 5-4, 30-30, a light rain prompted Williams to ask chair umpire Anne Lasserre-Ullrich about halting play.

Osterloh wanted to continue, but Lasserre-Ullrich stopped the match for five minutes. Fans booed, and when play resumed and Williams won the next two points to even the set, they booed again.

``It was a little slick. Especially on the lines it was slick,'' Williams said. ``I just looked and asked the umpire what she thought.''

Gamesmanship by Williams? Osterloh didn't think so.

`Umpire's call'

``It was the umpire's call,'' she said. Williams won 7-5, 6-1.

Defending champion Andre Agassi, seeded ninth, won a match suspended twice because of rain, beating Greg Rusedski 6-3, 6-1. No. 3 Yevgeny Kafelnikov and No. 7 Sebastien Grosjean also won.

Five singles matches were suspended until yesterday and seven others never started, including defending champion Venus Williams' opening match against Eva Dyrberg.

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