Krajicek finds form at scene of recent glories

Richard Krajicek returned to his favoured courts to claim the scalp of Spain's Alberto Martin 6-2, 6-4 at the Stuttgart Masters Series yesterday. The former Wimbledon champion has an imposing record in this indoor event, having appeared in five finals in the past seven years and won the title twice, in 1995 and 1998. The 28-year-old needed just under an hour to beat Martin, who struggled to adapt his baseline game to a fast indoor court.

Richard Krajicek returned to his favoured courts to claim the scalp of Spain's Alberto Martin 6-2, 6-4 at the Stuttgart Masters Series yesterday. The former Wimbledon champion has an imposing record in this indoor event, having appeared in five finals in the past seven years and won the title twice, in 1995 and 1998. The 28-year-old needed just under an hour to beat Martin, who struggled to adapt his baseline game to a fast indoor court.

"I was playing good tennis, serving solid and making the returns I had to make," said Krajicek. "But then of course, he's not an indoor player."

Krajicek has had a relatively disappointing year by his own standards, reaching one final in Halle and the quarter-finals of the US Open. A modest 35th in the ATP Champions Race, he is not seeded in Stuttgart and faces a difficult draw with a second-round match against the Australian Lleyton Hewitt, the eighth seed. Krajicek said he had no idea why he plays well in Stuttgart.

"It's weird because I'm always good here and always awful in Paris [at the Paris Open two weeks later]," he said. "Perhaps it's because there's not that much to see and I can concentrate on tennis."

Like Greg Rusedski, Goran Ivanisevic has been unable to make the most of his heavy serve lately. The gifted but erratic Croat lost 6-3, 7-6 to the Frenchman Fabrice Santoro for the latest in a long series of early exits.

Cedric Pioline, another Frenchman and the 13th seed, pulled out before his first match because of a back injury.

* The ATP Tour will now be called the ATP, the governing body of the men's professional circuit said yesterday. The organisation, which runs men's tournaments apart from the four Grand Slams, said its name was being changed to add clarity and simplicity.

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