Thu, Oct 28, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Johansson cruises past Adrian Garcia

PROFESSIONAL TENNIS TOUR The Swede never faced break point against the unseeded Garcia at the Royal Tennis Hall's fast Plexipave court in the Stockholm Open

AP , STOCKHOLM, SWEDENAP, BASEL, SWITZERLANDAP, LINZ, AUSTRIAAP, LUXEMBOURG

Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand returns Stefan Koubek of Austria during their first-round match at the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel, Switzerland on Tuesday.

PHOTO: EPA

Second-seeded Joachim Johansson, whose serve hasn't been broken in his last two tournaments, easily beat Adrian Garcia of Chile 6-4, 6-2 t the US$822,000 Stockholm Open on Tuesday.

The Swede never faced break point against the unseeded Garcia at the Royal Tennis Hall's fast Plexipave court.

"I got off to a good start in both sets, then I was able to relax," said Johansson, a candidate for ATP Newcomer of the Year after climbing from 113th in the ATP rankings at the beginning of the season to 11th.

Last year, Johansson was a wild card in the Swedish capital, where his father Leif scored one of the biggest upsets by beating former top-ranked Stan Smith of the US in 1971.

This time, the 22-year-old Johansson is among the favorites after a year that has included a quarterfinal win over Andy Roddick at the US Open.

Johansson, a quarterfinalist last year in Stockholm, is coming off a tough three-set tiebreak loss in the last eight at the Madrid Masters and needs to win his second ATP title on Sunday to stay in the hunt for one of the remaining spots in the Tennis Masters Cup in Houston next month.

Fourth-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany, No. 5 Feliciano Lopez of Spain, No. 6 Robin Soderling of Sweden and Olivier Rochus of Belgium also posted straight-set wins.

Haas, a two-time winner this year, topped qualifier Davide Sanguinetti of Italy 7-6 (5), 6-4. In the US Open this year, Haas needed five sets to beat Sanguinetti.

Lopez was pushed by American Jeff Morrison before winning 7-6 (5), 7-5. Lopez has displayed good form recently, winning the ATP tournament in Vienna earlier this month. Morrison made the semifinals in Metz two weeks ago.

Rochus had an easier time against qualifier Johan Settergren of Sweden, winning 6-3, 6-2 in the first center court match of the day.

Soderling, a finalist last year and winner of his first ATP title in Lyon two weeks ago, edged former three-time Stockholm Open champion and Royal Tennis Hall member Thomas Enqvist in an all-Swedish match 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic became the first seeded player to fall, losing to qualifier Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia-Montenegro 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Andre Agassi, who has not played in the Swedish capital since 1994 when the tournament was held across town in the much bigger Globe Arena, is seeded No. 1. He'll play Kristof Vliegen of Belgium on Wednesday.

"I played well last week and it feels good to continue here," said Agassi, who lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Marat Safin of Russia at the Madrid Masters. "I need to take one match at a time. It's very simple, if you don't concentrate on the first one the rest of them won't matter."

Swiss Indoors

Fifth-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain rallied from a break down in the final set to beat Swiss qualifier Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4 on Tuesday, advancing in the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament which earlier in the day lost top-seeded Roger Federer.

"Being a break down in the third set, I tried to run a bit more and be a bit more aggressive," Robredo said. "I knew I needed to do something. He played really well."

Also, French Open champion Gaston Gaudio, seeded third, defeated qualifier Dick Norman of Belgium 7-6 (3), 6-4 to reach the second round of the tournament for the first time.

Gaudio, who lost in the opening round in his last two appearances here in 2000 and 2001, has qualified for his first Tennis Masters Cup.

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