Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Rusedski and Smith hit the heights

The British No 2, Greg Rusedski, and Sam Smith, the 24-year-old Essex player, both gained outstanding victories yesterday.

The left-handed Rusedski, whose world ranking sank to 84 the previous day, enjoyed one of the best victories of his career when he trounced the fifth-seeded Australian Todd Woodbridge - ranked 34th - 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the Heineken Open in Singapore.

And Smith, ranked 214th in the world, beat Sweden's Asa Carlsson, ranked 46th, 6-2, 7-6 in the first round of the Sparkassen Cup in Leipzig. The Essex player led 5-2 in the second set, missed a match point in the eighth game and trailed 2-4 in the tie-break before clinching her best victory of the year. Now she is certain to move up from No 3 to No 1 in Britain.

Steffi Graf needed just 40 minutes to destroy the American Kimberly Po 6-0, 6-1 yesterday at the Leipzig Open - her first match in Germany since her father went on trial for tax evasion.

At the post-match news conference, the world No 1, now through to the quarter-finals, refused to comment on her father's trial, saying only, "Sometimes I do find it hard to concentrate, but somehow I always manage."