Rusedski and Smith hit the heights

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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."