Brandi advances to second round

Third seed Kristina Brandi breezed past her American compatriot Tracy Almeda-Singian 6-2, 6-0 today, advancing to the second round of the $970,000 Japan Open in Tokyo.

Third seed Kristina Brandi breezed past her American compatriot Tracy Almeda-Singian 6-2, 6-0 today, advancing to the second round of the $970,000 Japan Open in Tokyo.

"I was happy with the way I played today. I played a solid tennis and I was aggressive," said Brandi.

"I'm just going to continue to play my game and aggressive, if possible."

Brandi will meet Tara Snyder, also of the United States, in the second round. Snyder, a qualifier, beat wild-card Saori Obata of Japan 7-6 (6), 6-1.

Fifth seed Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand beat Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzkekistan 6-3, 6-3.

In an upset, Miroslava Vavrinec of Switzerland eliminated eighth-seeded Anna Smashnova of Israel.

The teen-aged Czech star Daja Bedanova, who reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier at last week's Toyota Princess, made an early exit with a 7-5, 7-5 loss to Lilia Osterloh of the United States.

The top two seeds, Julie Halard-Decugis of France and defending champion Amy Frazier of the United States, had first-round byes.

Halard-Decugis finished second to Serena Williams in the Toyota Princess but won its doubles title with her Japanese partner Ai Sugiyama.

Frazier was a quarterfinalist in the Toyota Princess.

In the doubles, Halard-Decugis and Corina Morariu of the United States advanced to the second round defeating Yayuk Baski of Indonesia and Tanasugarn 6-0, 7-5.

Sugiyama, who also won the U.S. Open doubles title with Halard-Decugis, is sitting out the Japan Open for rest and recuperation.

In the men's event, fourth seed Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador edged out Belgium's Olivier Rochus 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4), advancing to the second round.

Lapentti, ranked No. 16 in the world, topped six seeds in the day's action. All but 16th-seeded Christophe Rochus, Olivier's elder brother, were winners.

It wasn't the two Rochus brothers' day. In the doubles later in the evening they lost 6-4, 6-1 to Nicolas Massu of China and Andre Sa of Brazil.

In the singles, Lapentti was leading 6-5 in the first set when he had three break points slip away.

At the tiebreaker, Lapentti built a 7-6 lead with an ace and then won the set with a sharp return that Rochus hit long and wide.

In the second set, Rochus raced away to a 3-0 with some impressive sharpshooting and big ground shots before Lapentti came back and held his serve with four big serves, including three aces, in a love game.

Lapentti broke the seventh game at love and the two traded one more break en route to their second straight tiebreaker.

Leading 5-4 in the tiebreaker, Lapentti volleyed a winner and then served an ace to win the set and the hard-fought match.

"Rochus has been playing some good tennis in the last few weeks," said Lapentti. "I had to play a great tennis to beat him, and we had two close games with two tiebreaks. I was lucky to win."

It was their first meeting on tour.

"I was sick last night with an upset stomach. I didn't take any food all day, and I felt somewhat weak and tired in the second set when I had to go to bathroom (during the interval)," he said.

"I wanted and tried to win the second set's tiebreaker because I knew I would have less chances in a third set."

Among those reaching the second round included 11th seed Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina, No. 14 seed David Prinosil of Germany, ninth seed Karol Kucera of Slovakia and 15th-seeded Harel Levy of Israel.

Andrea Gaudenzi of Italy, ranked No. 103, ousted the elder Rochus 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Of 16 seeds, eight had first-round byes. They include top-seeded Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, defending champion Nicolas Kiefer of Germany, No. 3 seed Mark Philippoussis of Australia and fifth-seeded Michael Chang of the United States.

Results from the $970,000 Japan Open tennis tournament at Ariake Colosseum (seedings in parenthesis):

Men Singles First Round

Nicolas Massu, China, def. Satoshi Iwabuchi, Japan, 6-3, 6-3. Lee Hyung-taik, South Korea, def. Orlin Stanoytchev, Bulgaria, 6-1, 7-6 (3). David Prinosil (14), Germany, def. Mikhail Youzhny, Russia, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (6). Harel Levy (15), Israel, def. Jeff Salzenstein, United States, 5-7, 6-0, 6-1. Sergi Bruguera, Spain, def. Barry Cowan, Britain, 6-4, 6-3. Yoon Yong-il, South Korea, def. Christian Vinck, Germany, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. Andrea Gaudenzi, Italy, def. Christophe Rochus (16), Belgium, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Nicolas Capentti (4), def. Olivier Rochus, Belgium, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4). Mariano Zableta (11), Argentina, def. Kalle Flygt, Sweden, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3. Laurence Tieleman, Italy, def. Dorminik Hrbaty, Slovakia, 7-6 (5), 7-5. Wayne Black, Zimbabwe, def. Markus Hantschk, Germany, 6-3, 7-5. Karol Kucera (9), Slovakia, def. Paul Goldstein, United States, 6-1, 6-2. Leos Friedl, Czech Republic, def. Davide Sanguinetti, Italy, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Doubles First Round

Gustavo Kuerten and Jaime Cocins, Brazil, def. Michihisa Onoda, Japan, and Vincent Spadea, United States, 6-4, 6-2. Paul Kilderry, Australia, and Peter Tramacchi, Australia (8), def. Alex Calatrava, Spain, and Antonio Prieto, Brazil, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. Hicham Arazi, Morocco, and George Bastl, Switzerland, def. Georgio Galimberti, Italy, and Andrew Ilie, Australia, 6-3, 6-3. Michael Hill, Australia, Jeff Tarango, United States (5), def. Yaoki Ishii and Satoshi Iwabuchi, Japan, 6-2, 6-2. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, India, def. Eric Taino and Chris Woodruff, United States, 6-4, 6-2. Nicolas Massu, China, and Andre Sa, Brazil, def. Christophe Rochus and Olivier Rochus, Belgium, 6-4, 6-1. Andrea Gaudenzi, Italy, and Orlin Stanotchev, Bulgaria, def. Lee Hyung-taik and Yoon Yong-il, South Korea, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

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Women Singles First Round

Tamarine Tanasugarn (5), Thailand, def. Iroda Tulyyaganova, Uzbekistan, 6-3, 6-2. Kristine Brandi (3), United States, def. Tracy Almeda-Singian, United States, 6-2, 6-0. Rita Kuti Kis, Hungary, def. Nicole Pratt, Australia, 6-1, 6-2. Paola Suarez (7), Argentina, def. Yuka Yoshida, 6-4, 6-4. Corina Morariu, United States, def. Marta Marrero, Spain, 6-3, 7-5. Janet Lee, Taipei, def. Yayuk Basuki, Indonesia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Anna Smashnova (8), Israel, def. Mirosiava Vavrinec, Switzerland, 6-1, 7-6 (4). Lilia Osterloh, United States, def. Daja Bedanova, Czech Republic, 7-5, 7-5. Tara Snyder, United States, def. Saori Obata, Japan, 7-6 (6), 6-1. Joannette Kruger, South Africa, def. Meghann Shaughnessy, United States, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.

Doubles

Tina Krizan and Katarina Srebotnik, Slovenia (3), def. Tara Snyder, United States, and Vanessa Webb, Canada, 6-1, 6-1. Julie Halard-Decugis, France, and Corina Morariu, United States (1), def. Yayuk Basuki and Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand, 6-0, 7-5. Shinobu Asagoe and Yuka Yoshida, Japan, def. Shiho Hisamatsu and Saori Obata, Japan, 6-1, 6-2. Amy Frazier and Katie Schlukebir, United States, def. Trudi Musgrave and Bryanne Stewart, Australia, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

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