Wed, Aug 22, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Robredo, Dementieva advance in Connecticut

WET AND WILD Tommy Robredo overcame Marc Gicquel and plucky Elena Dementieva sank Mara Santangelo before the rain came down to halt play

AFP , NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

Elena Dementieva of Russia celebrates match point against Mara Santangelo of Italy at the Pilot Pen tennis tournament at the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven on Monday.

PHOTO: AFP

High seeds Tommy Robredo and Elena Dementieva posted victories in Connecticut on Monday before rain halted play at the US Open tune-up for both the ATP and WTA players.

The second-seeded Spaniard Robredo withstood a late surge from Frenchman Marc Gicquel to post a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over his opponent at the US$675,000 hard-court event.

"I played well enough to win," Robredo said. "We had pretty good rallies. I knew he likes to play fast. I just let him miss more. I mixed it well, but didn't have to go for too much."

The Frenchman tried to rein Robredo in, coming back in the second set to take a 4-2 lead but in vain as the Spaniard finished the job in commanding fashion, reeling off the last four games.

In the women's draw, sixth seed Elena Dementieva sank Italy's Mara Santangelo 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

Dementieva, who is making her eighth appearance in this event, committed nine double faults to her opponent's seven, struggling once again with her delivery.

Her first serves were off target, her marshmallow second serves attackable.

"There was one moment in the game when I was rushing too much," Dementieva said.

"Sometimes I feel I have to take more time before serving and stay focused. But in the end, I was happy with how I played. I was playing longer and not giving her any chances to get into the net," she said.

The 25-year-old Russian will next meet wildcard American Ashley Harkleroad, who steamrolled Tatiana Poutchek 6-1, 6-0.

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