Thu, Sep 30, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Schiavone advances in Brussels

AP , BRUSSELS, BELGIUMPALERMO, SICILYAP, SEOULAP, SHANGHAI, CHINAAP, BANGKOK, THAILAND

Wimbledon winner Maria Sharapova of Russia signs an autograph on the back of a young South Korean fan at Olympics Park in Seoul, Wednesday.

PHOTO: AP

Fifth-seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy easily downed countrywoman Mara Santangelo 6-2, 6-0 Tuesday to earn a place in the second round of the US$170,000 Gaz de France Stars.

The other two seeds in action, sixth-seeded Silvia Farina Elia of Italy and seventh-seeded Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, also won.

Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters is set to make her comeback from a five-month injury layoff Wednesday after receiving a first round bye in the tournament, which is being held near her hometown in eastern Belgium.

Clijsters is seeded second behind US Open finalist Elena Dementieva of Russia, who also starts on Wednesday. Clijsters will face Benesova, while Dementieva takes on Pastikova.

Clijsters has been off the circuit since May when a wrist injury forced her to withdraw from the German Open in Berlin. She needed surgery to repair a torn tendon and failed to be fit in time for the US Open.

The layoff has seen the Belgian's ranking fall to seventh, after she reached No. 1 in August last year.

Palermo

Italy's top player Filippo Volandri cruised past Albert Montanes of Spain 6-2, 6-3 in the Campionati Internazionali di Sicilia in Palermo, Sicily.

Fifth-seeded Volandri, who won his first ATP title at St. Poelten in May, beat Montanes in Bucharest's first round two weeks ago.

Sixth-seeded Rafael Nadal, fresh from leading Spain into the Davis Cup final last weekend, beat countryman Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 7-5.

The other two seeds in action also advanced in the year's final ATP event on clay.

No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko of Russia ousted Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-2, 7-5, while No. 7 David Ferrer defeated Spanish countryman Alberto Martin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Qualifier Alessio Di Mauro couldn't clinch an all-Italian second-round match against Volandri when he lost to Spain's Galo Blanco 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

However, Italian wild card Andreas Seppi defeated 1999 champion Arnaud Di Pasquale of France 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-4, and drew in the second round Kristof Vliegen of Belgium, who easily beat Argentine qualifier Mariano Puerta 6-1, 6-2.

Korean Open

Samantha Stosur of Australia cruised past Russia's Galina Voskoboeva 6-2, 6-4 Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals.

Stosur will next face the winner of the second-round bout between Japan's Miho Saeki and Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova.

Saeki and Sharapova did not play on Wednesday when five of the eight quarterfinalists were decided, including American Abigail Spears, who beat second-seeded Shinobu Asagoe of Japan 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

Sanda Mamic of Croatia earned a close fought 7-5, 6-4 win over Catalina Castano of Colombia, while fellow Croatian Silvija Talaja rallied to beat Japan's Yuka Yoshida 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Poland's Marta Domachowska defeated Chuang Chia-jung of Taiwan 7-5, 6-1. She will face Talaja in the quarterfinals.

Shanghai Open

Jiri Novak's luck continued Wednesday as he advanced to the second round of the ATP Shanghai Open on an easy day for the remaining top seeds.

The second-seeded Czech barely broke as he deftly eliminated Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun, 6-2, 6-2.

Lanky Finn Jarkko Nieminen, the tournament's sixth seed, had a tougher time, going three sets against Germany's Bjorn Phau before bagging the 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.

Top seed Juan Carlos Ferrera canceled his appearance at the US$380,000 tournament due to injury and fourth seeded Philippoussis saw his woeful season continue when he was ousted on Tuesday by unheralded American Glenn Weiner.

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