Norman returns to winning ways

Sweden's Magnus Norman battled for over two hours to overcome Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi and advance to the second round of the Shanghai Open yesterday.

Sweden's Magnus Norman battled for over two hours to overcome Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi and advance to the second round of the Shanghai Open yesterday.

"I was playing pretty poorly the last two weeks, so I feel like my confidence was not really 100 per cent there," the world No 3 said after struggling to beat Gaudenzi 6-3, 6-7, 6-4. "I was expecting a tough match... I'm happy to get through."

Norman faded in the second set as his heavy ground strokes repeatedly found the net. Gaudenzi, who almost beat the same opponent in the Davis Cup two years ago, broke Norman's serve in the seventh game, then breezed through the next to take a 5-3 lead.

The Swede fought back to lead 6-5 but Gaudenzi held serve to force the tie-breaker, which he won to take the set. The Swede came back strongly in the third but squandered two match points while 5-4 up as he again hit the net. The turning point came in the fifth game of the third set, when Norman chased down a long, looping lob and returned the ball between his legs to win the point.

The American Michael Chang also made progress after beating Israel's Harel Levy 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Among the women, the top seed, Kristina Brandi of the United States, beat Miroslava Vavrinec of Switzerland 7-6, 6-1.

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