Maleeva advances to second round of Generali

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The Independent Online

Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria today opened the account for seeded players in the $565,000 Generali Open in Linz, Austria, when she defeated Paola Suarez of Argentina 7–5, 6–1 to advance to the second round.

Maleeva is seeded seventh for this indoor tournament.

In another first round match, Croatia's Iva Majoli was put to the test by Austrian wild card entry Evelyn Faith.

Faith took the first set and was leading 4–1 and 40–0 in the sixth game before she sacrificed three break points and let Majoli back in.

Faith's game then fell apart and Majoli took control to emerge the 5–7, 6–4, 6–0 winner.

It was the first time the two had met on the court.

The 24–year old Majoli was put out in the second round of last week's Swisscom in Zurich by Sandrine Testud of France, here seeded at number six.

On other first round action, Chandra Rubin of the United States had a trouble free 6–2, 6–1 advancement in her match against Slovakia's Henrieta Nagyova.

Title defender and top seed Lindsay Davenport comes to Austria fresh from her victory in the final in Zurich on Sunday over Yugoslavia's Jelena Dokic, also here at number three.

Also here and at nummer two is Belgium's Justine Henin, beaten one week ago by Davenport in Filderstadt, Germany.

The tournament features three of the world's top 10 players – Davenport, Henin and Dokic, and nine others in the top 20.

Venus Williams, who last year lost to Davenport in the final here in Linz, pulled out on Sunday, citing wrist injury problems.

Williams has confirmed that she will play in next week's season–ending Sanex Championships in Munich, Germany.

The tournment is a WTA Tour Tier II event.