Tennis: Long-haul victory for Rusedski

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The Independent Online
Britain's Greg Rusedski was made to struggle to win his first-round match against Guy Forget in the Australian Hardcourt Championships in Adelaide yesterday.

In windy, overcast conditions, Canadian-born Rusedski defeated the Frenchman 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in just over three hours. Forget was furious about his defeat, and slammed his racket into the ground.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the top seed, staved off a pair of set points against him in the second set to beat Sebastian Lareau 6-2, 7-6. The Russian, ranked sixth in the world, trailed his Canadian opponent 4-6 in the second set tie-breaker before winning four straight points to take the match.

Andre Agassi is to take part in Melbourne's Kooyong Classic from 10-13 January, an exhibition event used as a warm-up for the Australian Open. Agassi's entry was confirmed after concerns about his fitness following his withdrawals from end-of-season events last year because of a nagging chest-muscle injury.

Agassi missed the final ATP tour event in Frankfurt in November as well as America's Davis Cup win over Russia and the Grand Slam Cup in Munich.

Croatia, the tournament favourites, made short work of France in the Hopman Cup mixed team tournament in Perth. Iva Majoli and Goran Ivanisevic ran up straight-sets victories over Catherine Tanvier and Arnaud Boetsch respectively to seal a 2-0 win for their country in the Group A round- robin match.

Ivanisevic took just 72 minutes to seal his 7-5, 6-4 victory over Boetsch after Majoli had cruised to a comfortable 6-1 6-2 win, but his victory came in uncharacteristic style with none of his usual big serves or aces.

Earlier in the day, the United States had produced the first upset of the tournament, beating the South Africans 2-1. Richey Reneburg bounced back in style to beat Wayne Ferreira 6-2, 6-2 to bring the match level at 1-1 after his partner, Chanda Rubin, lost 6-2, 6-4 to Amanda Coetzer in her singles.

In the deciding mixed doubles match, Reneburg and Rubin kept their cool to overcome Ferreira and Coetzer 7-5, 6-3.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 18