Fri, Jul 25, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Rusedski gets knocked out in second round


Defending champion Greg Rusedski was ousted in the second round of the RCA Championships without losing his serve once.

Unseeded Australian Scott Draper defeated 10th-seeded Rusedski 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) in a match delayed about 20 minutes by rain in the second set Wednesday. It was the first victory for Draper in nine matches with Rusedski.

"I really felt like I had nothing to lose today. I've always felt that I've matched up with Greg but never been out and really cracking. He always served so well and returning hasn't always been my strength," said Draper, who was 4-9 in single matches this year when the tournament began.

Rusedski was playing only his 12th match of the year after missing the final two months of last season following surgery on his left foot.

"Scotty just played better today, and I just didn't take the chances I needed to," said Rusedski, who was playing his first match since losing to Andy Roddick in the second round at Wimbledon last month.

Rusedski lost two break points when he was up 40-15 in the crucial sixth game of the second set.

"Before the [rain] break I should have been up a break. At 30-40 I had one forehand approach, and I got rattled," he said of the shot he hit into the net.

Earlier, Yevgeny Kafelnikov began his preparation for the US Open by overcoming Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia-Montenegro, 7-5, 6-3.

Kafelnikov was 27th in the final ATP rankings last year -- his lowest finish since 1993 -- and thought seriously about retiring following varicose vein surgery in December.

But he decided to keep playing and insists he is not concerned that his streak of nine consecutive years with at least one singles title is in jeopardy.

Kafelnikov is currently ranked 28th in the ATP Champions Race with a 22-17 mark and has reached the finals of only one event this year. Kafelnikov said that when he helped Russia win its first Davis Cup last year he accomplished his final goal in tennis.

"I'm trying as hard as I did in the past. Hopefully, the results will come," said the 29-year-old, who plans to play seven hard-court tournaments before the US Open.

Wednesday's victory gave Kafelnikov a singles career record of 602-297, including Grand Slam triumphs in the Australian Open and French Open. Once known for his fiery outbursts, the No. 4 seed here remained calm as he double-faulted four times in the first set while losing four consecutive games to fall behind 3-5. He then began his comeback by holding, broke Tipsarevic in a 10-point game and lost only three points in the final two games of the set.

Kafelnikov recorded his third consecutive break in the second game of the second set, and each player held serve for the remainder of the match.

Also advancing Wednesday was 2nd seed Paradom Srichaphan of Thailand who defeated Amer Delic of the United States, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-1; 9th-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium beating Rajeev Ram, a former ball boy at the tournament from nearby Carmel, 6-2, 6-4; and Frenchman Gregory Carraz over 15th-seeded Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

In other matches, former USTA 16-and-under national champion Robby Ginepri, seeded seventh, defeated Australian Peter Luczak, 6-3, 6-3; France's Nicolas Thomann with a 6-4, 7-5 upset of No. 8 Hyung-Taik Lee of South Korea; Ivo Heuberger of Switzerland, who upset No. 11 seed Mario Ancic of Croatia, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5; and No. 13 seed Lars Burgsmuller of Germany over American Eric Taino, 6-3, 6-4.

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