Rochus finishes Lee's fine run

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The Independent Online

The smallest player on the ATP Tour yesterday halted the recent impressive run of Martin Lee with a straight-sets win at the Energis Dutch Open in Amsterdam.

Olivier Rochus, of Belgium, who is only 5ft 5in, comprehensively defeated the British left-hander, 6-4, 6-0 in the second round of the clay-court tournament. The 5ft 9in Lee reached the final of the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, last weekend and on Wednesday had defeated Karim Alami, of Morocco, but he was no match for the 20-year-old Rochus.

In Stuttgart, the Brazilian top seed, Gustavo Kuerten, and the No 2 seed, the Russian Yevgeni Kafelnikov, powered into the quarter-finals of the Mercedes Cup yesterday. Kuerten, playing his first event since winning the French Open in June, overcame Tommy Robredo, 6-4, 6-1, to register his sixth consecutive victory over the Spaniard. Kafelnikov comfortably defeated the Spanish clay-court specialist Albert Costa, 6-4, 6-4.

In the WTA tournament in Knokke-Heist, Belgium, it was business as usual yesterday after play had been made impossible by heavy rain for much of Wednesday. The local favourite, Kim Clijsters, advanced to the last eight of the Sanex Trophy by crushing the Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual. The 18-year-old French Open finalist won 6-2, 6-3 to justify her top-seeded status in her homeland.

Ruano Pascual famously thrashed the world No 1 Martina Hingis in the first round at Wimbledon last month, but was always second best to the powerful groundstrokes of Clijsters.

The fourth seed, Angeles Montolio of Spain, who lost to Clijsters at Wimbledon, defeated the German Marina Müller, 6-4, 6-2.

There was a significant casualty, however, when the Italian second seed, Silvia Farina Elia, was defeated 6-3, 6-1 by Rosanna De Los Rios, of Paraguay.

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