Rusedski marches into semis


Greg Rusedski continued his timely run of good form in Sydney yesterday when he won through to the semi-finals of the Peters International tournament.

With the Australian Open - the first Grand Slam of the season starting on Monday - the British No1 beat Scott Draper, of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

The unseeded Briton is joined in the last four by top seed Goran Ivanisevic, who beat another Australian, Mark Woodforde, 6-4, 7-5.

It was not such a good day for another Briton, Chris Wilkinson, who was forced to retire from his last-16 match with the top-seeded Paul Haarhuis at the Indonesian Open.

Wilkinson, ranked 130 in the world, pulled out due to dehydration at 3-0 down in the second set, having lost the first 6-1.

Rusedski and Tim Henman - both ranked in the world's top 100 - are guranteed a place in the draw for the Australia Open but three other British men who were attempting to qualify fell at the first hurdle in Melbourne yesterday.

Andrew Richardson, Danny Sapsford and Nick Baglin all went out in the opening round of the qualifying competition.

Lincolnshire left-hander Richardson lost 6-3, 6-2 to Steve Campbell, of the United States, Weybridge's Sapsford was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by the Italian Diego Nargiso and Baglin, from Macclesfield, went down 7-6, 6- 3 to Takao Suzuki of Japan.

Britain's most experienced woman player Clare Wood, from Brighton, starts her qualifying campaign today.

Meanwhile, Monica Seles remains unbeaten in Australia despite dropping her serve and having trouble in her 6-3, 6-2 defeat of South Africa's Mariaan De Swardt - one of only two players to beat Steffi Graf in 1995 - in the Peters International.