Fri, Jul 09, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Andreev surprises Costa in Round 2 of the Swiss Open

AP , GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND

Two-time champion Albert Costa of Spain was upset in the second round of the Swiss Open, surrendering in straight sets to Russia's Igor Andreev.

Andreev dominated the 1996 and 1999 champion 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 23 minutes to advance to the quarterfinals.

Earlier, defending champion Jiri Novak suffered a first-set scare before defeating Albert Montanes of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the round of eight.

Costa was the latest of upsets for the 20-year-old Andreev.

He beat Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero -- the defending champion -- in the second round at the French Open before losing to eventual champion Gaston Gaudio in the fourth round. Then, playing on grass for the first time at Queen's Club in London, he defeated his idol Andre Agassi.

"I'm happy with my game," Andreev said. "This is a really good win for me. It's been unbelievable here."

Andreev, who defeated Italian qualifier Andreas Seppi in three sets on Monday, will face Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard advanced by defeating Stefan Koubek of Austria, 6-3, 6-4.

The 29-year-old Costa, who was upset in the opening round last year by Paul Henri Mathieu, is still without a title since winning the French Open in 2002. It was the Spaniard's ninth appearance at the Alpine tournament.

Novak's victory was his 12th straight in Gstaad.

In last year's final, Novak defeated local favorite Roger Federer, who returned this year after winning his second consecutive Wimbledon title Sunday.

With the victory, fourth-seeded Novak improved his overall record on the red clay in Gstaad to 15-4.

"I think we both played pretty solid tennis today," Novak said. "Especially in the first set he played aggressive tennis and broke me twice.

"In the second set I played a bit more aggressive. I was hitting the ball very fast and from that point I played better on the court. I'm just happy I focused in the third set."

Novak -- who was beaten in straight sets in the opening round at Wimbledon last month by Belgian Xavier Malisse -- is seeking his third title in Gstaad after also winning in 2001.

"I'm happy that my good run here is continuing," said Novak, who began the defense of his title with a 6-3, 6-3 first-round victory over Jose Acasuso on Monday. "Of course I hope to win this title again, but it's a bit early to be thinking of that. If you look at the draw, there are a lot of good players.

"But I'm playing pretty solid tennis at this altitude. I hope I can keep going."

Gstaad is 1,050m above sea level, which makes clay courts very fast.

In the quarterfinals, Novak will play Italian qualifier Potito Starace, who beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (1).

Federer continued his streak in opening round play Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over German Tomas Behrend.

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