Thu, Feb 24, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Vince Spadea wins close match while battling tendinitis

AP , SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONAAP, ACAPULCO, MEXICOAP, DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATESAP, DOHA, QATARAP, MIAMI, FLORIDA

Second-seeded Vince Spadea outlasted qualifier Bobby Reynolds 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) Tuesday in the first round of the Tennis Channel Open, fighting off two match points in the second set.

Spadea came in at 7-5 this season, battling stomach flu and aching from tendinitis in his right shoulder that forced him out of last week's tournament in Memphis. He hadn't practiced since Saturday, and had to wait through four rain delays that totaled more than 3 hours to get started.

But the 30-year-old journeyman still knows how to win.

"All excuses aside, I decided to play," he said. "My preparation wasn't ideal, but I still was out there to compete."

Top-seeded German Tommy Haas withdrew because of flu, and Wayne Arthurs of Australia upset fourth-seeded American Taylor Dent 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Defending champion and top seed Carlos Moya defeated Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti 6-4, 7-6 (4) Tuesday in the first round of the Mexican Open.

Second-seeded Argentine Gaston Gaudio withdrew with an injury after splitting two sets with Tomas Zib of the Czech Republic. Gaudio took the first set 6-2, but lost the second 7-5 before withdrawing.

Eighth-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Alex Calatrava 6-4, 6-4. The 18-year-old Nadal used a dominant service game on the clay court to defeat his countryman.

Marat Safin, playing his first match since winning the Australian Open three weeks ago, was in the opening round of the US$1 million tournament, eliminated by Germany's Nicolas Kiefer 7-6 (2), 6-4.

In the day's marquee match, Tim Henman saved one match point and rallied to beat Greg Rusedski 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 for his fifth straight victory over his fellow Briton.

Kiefer, the 2000 Dubai champion and a two-time finalist in the United Arab Emirates, earned grudging applause from a capacity crowd, which overwhelmingly supported Safin.

Conchita Martinez rallied from a set down to beat Roberta Vinci of Italy 5-7, 6-0, 6-2 and reach the second round of the US$600,000 tournament.

Martinez broke Vinci six times in the match, three in the second set, to prevail in 1 hour, 46 minutes.

Also on Tuesday, Ai Sugiyama of Japan reached second round by beating Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 6-3 and set up a clash with Francesca Schiavone of Italy. Elsewhere, 18-year-old Russian Maria Kirilenko of Russia beat Lucie Safararova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-1, and Nicole Pratt of Australia outlasted Selima Safr of Tunisia 7-5, 6-2 to earn a second-round clash with compatriot and No. 4 seed Alicia Molik.

A homeless man accused of stalking tennis star Anna Kournikova pleaded innocent Tuesday to battery and other charges stemming from his arrest on her neighbor's pool patio.

William Lepeska, 40, has been jailed in a psychiatric unit on US$250,000 bond. He could face 30 years in state prison if convicted of two counts of battery on police officers, resisting arrest and burglary, all felonies. He also faces misdemeanor charges of stalking, indecent exposure and criminal mischief.

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