Tennis: Rusedski back in top 50

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The Independent Online
Greg Rusedski, the British No 2, beat the 24-year-old Czech Republic player, Martin Damm, 7-5, 6- 3, to reach the semi-finals of the Croatian Open in Zagreb yesterday.

The win ensures that Rusedski will be back in the top 50 in the world when the next rankings are announced by the ATP on Monday. Rusedski is now ranked 56, having gone down from 48 at the end of 1996 following first- round defeats in the New Zealand and Australian Opens. But yesterday he was back to his best, dropping only 18 points in his 11 service games and was only once in trouble.

That was after breaking Damm's serve to lead 4-2 in the second set. He went 15-40 down on his own serve in the next game but saved three break points before holding serve for 5-2. Then he served out to 15 for a deserved victory in 80 minutes.

Steffi Graf, the world No 1 surprisingly eliminated in the fourth round at the recent Australian Open, is on course to meet the new world No 2, Martina Hingis, in the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Graf, the top seed, meets Brenda Schultz-McCarthy in the semi-finals after defeating Iva Majoli of Croatia 6-2, 6-3. The 16-year-old Hingis, who last week became the youngest winner of a Grand Slam event this century, meets the fourth seed, Anke Huber.

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