The Australian Andrew Ilie survived an early scare before beating Japan's Gouichi Motomura 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 yesterday to advance into the second round of the Hong Kong Salem Open. Ilie, ranked 63 in the ATP Champions Race, was made to work hard by the wild card.
The big names, Russia's Marat Safin, and America's Andy Roddick begin their campaign today. Safin, a winner in Tashkent two weeks ago and seeded second, will come up against another wild card, John Hui, in his opening match while the fourth seed Roddick will play the Brazilian Andre Sa in his first round match.
Michael Chang, of the United States, who has won the title three times, will also be in action today, coming up against his fellow-American James Black.
The top seed, Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, will play his first round match tomorrow. Ferrero, ranked fifth in the ATP rankings, will arrive today having played in the Davis Cup World Group play-off victory against Uzbekistan at the weekend.
Last year's finalist, Mark Philippoussis will also play his first match tomorrow, coming up against the Israeli Harel Levy. The Australian returns to action after a six-month lay-off due to knee surgery.
Spain's Felix Mantilla defeated his countryman Albert Montanes in three sets yesterday in opening round action in the ATP tournament in Palermo. After losing the first set, Mantilla took a second-set tiebreaker 7-2 on his way to a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory.
America's Hugo Armando overcame the Spaniard Roberto Carretero 7-5, 6-1, and Jiri Vanek, of the Czech Republic beat Spain's Jacobo Diaz 6-3, 6-3.