Tennis: No joy for Kafelnikov

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The Independent Online
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV'S poor record in the Estoril Open was extended yesterday when he was defeated 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in the first round by the Romanian Andrei Pavel. It was the fourth time that the Russian top seed and world No 3 has lost in the opening round of Portugal's leading ATP tournament.

Last year's finalists, Alberto Berasategui and Thomas Muster, were also defeated yesterday. Berasategui, the holder from Spain, lost 6-1, 7-6 to the American second seed, Todd Martin, while his compatriot and sixth seed, Felix Mantilla, knocked out the twice previous winner, Muster of Austria, 6-3, 6-2. Mantilla goes on to face the 1993 winner, Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine in the second round.

In Hong Kong, Michael Chang of the United States demonstrated his liking for the Salem Open, defeating Daniel Vacek of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round. Chang, who has won the event three times before but is currently ranked 40th in the world, afterwards said he was encouraged by his performance.

"These last few months have been hard. I have been stringing together losses instead of victories and it is hard to explain why. But sooner or later I hope things will turn around," said Chang, who is seeded eighth in the tournament.

Chang lost in the first round last year, but yesterday there was never any doubt as to who would end up triumphant. The American easily won the first set with two breaks of serve and then broke Vacek in the seventh game of the second set.

Chang's second-round opponent will be Hendrik Dreekman of Germany, who defeated the American Jeff Tarango 6-4, 6-4.

The 19-year-old Thai qualifier Paradorn Srichaphan continued his impressive run with a 6-1, 7-6 victory over his fellow-qualifier Petr Luxa of the Czech Republic. In another first-round match, German Oliver Gross defeated Hong Kong's Wayne Wong 6-3, 6-0.

Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport will play for the United States in their Fed Cup tie against Croatia in Raleigh on 17 to 18 April, the team captain, Billie-Jean King, has announced. Chanda Rubin and Lisa Raymond are the other members of the team.