Thu, Aug 05, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Hrbaty ends Federer's winning streak

AP , MASON, OHIOAP, MONTREALAP, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Ai Sugiyama returns to Daniela Hantuchova during the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Tuesday. Sugiyama won 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

PHOTO: AFP

Top-ranked Roger Federer had his 23-match winning streak stopped in a first-round upset Tuesday, while No. 2 Andy Roddick rallied to avoid one of his own.

Federer of Switzerland lost a second-set tiebreaker to former doubles partner Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia and couldn't recover, falling 1-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the Tennis Masters Cincinnati. The world's top player hadn't lost in the first round since the 2003 French Open.

"I had a great run," said Federer, whose last loss was to Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten in the third round at Roland Garros. "The streak's ended now. I'm going to take a few days off."

He almost had some familiar company.

Roddick, who lost to Federer in the championship at Toronto on Sunday, struggled against Max Mirnyi of Belarus, but held on to win 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Fifth-seeded Briton Tim Henman and seventh-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain also advanced in first-round matches Tuesday.

Federer's winning streak was the longest on the men's tour since Pete Sampras ran off 24 in a row in 1999. He had won his last four tournaments, including Wimbledon, and eight overall this season.

Rogers Cup

AP, MONTREAL

Fifth-seeded Jennifer Capriati battled past Alina Jidkova of Russia 7-6 (3), 7-5 and into a third-round match against Mary Pierce in the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.

Capriati was cruising in her first match since Wimbledon at 7-6, 3-0 until a lengthy rain delay, after which Jidkova resumed with better focus. But Capriati broke in the final game to seal the second-round win.

Since losing in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, Capriati had withdrawn from recent tournaments in Los Angeles and San Diego with a hamstring injury.

The former champion _ she won in 1991 as a 15-year-old _ next plays unseeded Pierce, who beat Nicole Pratt of Australia 6-1, 6-1 and became the first player to reach the third round.

Pierce became the 17th seed after top-seeded Serena Williams withdrew.

No. 15 Chanda Rubin downed German qualifier Antonia Matic 6-4, 6-3 and will play another American, qualifier Mashona Washington, who beat Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (3), 6-4.

Ai Sugiyama, seeded seventh, won a long battle with former top-5 player Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 and missed an all-Japanese third-round match when Shinobu Asagoe was beaten by 12th-seeded Karolina Sprem of Croatia 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

Nordic Light

AP, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Italian veteran Silvia Farina edged Russian qualifier Anna Chakvetadze 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3 and ended a three-match losing streak on tour in the first round of the Nordic Light Open on Tuesday.

Second-seeded Farina Elia avoided the fate of three other seeds eliminated so far when Chakvetadze double-faulted on match point on Olympic Stadium's fast hard-court.

No. 4 Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic became the latest seeded player ousted when she lost 7-5, 6-3 to Ukraine's Tatiana Perbiyinis. However, Benesova's compatriot Densia Chladkova advanced by outlasting Roberta Vinci of Italy 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Silvija Talaja defeated Elena Tatarkova, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

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