Rusedski sets up Becker meeting

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The Independent Online

Greg Rusedski, the British No 2, produced one of his best performances of the year in beating Spain's Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-4, in the first round of the Stuttgart Open yesterday. Rusedski was too powerful and his serving too strong for Moya, a clay-court specialist.

Rusedski now meets Boris Becker in the second round and will fancy his chances of an upset. In January, the Canadian-born 23-year-old led Becker by two sets to one before losing in the first round of the Australian Open, a tournament which the German went on to win.

Becker, who dropped out of the Czech Indoor event at Ostrava last week because of wrist trouble, has yet to play this week after receiving a first-round bye. In contrast, Rusedski has played four matches in four days as he was forced to play in the qualifying competition.

To date he has not lost a set, having previously beaten Andrei Pavel of Romania, Joost Winnink of the Netherlands and the Czech Republic's David Rikl in his three qualifying matches.

Michael Stich has asked Wally Masur to try to guide him back to the top of the game. Masur, a former Australian Davis Cup player, will work with Stich at this week's Stuttgart Open and next week's Paris indoor tournament. The pair will decide afterwards if he is to become the German's next coach.

Stich, who has fallen to 20th in the world rankings, beat the Dutchman Paul Haarhuis 7-5, 6-1 in the first round in Stuttgart yesterday.

Andrei Medvedev, the runner-up in the Paris Open three years ago, has withdrawn from this year's event at Bercy with a shoulder injury. The Ukrainian will be replaced by Italy's Renzo Furlan. The organisers have granted wild cards to the former French Open champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain and the French trio of Guy Forget, Guillaume Raoux and Lionel Roux.