Roddick's bad luck continues as Safin sails on

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The Independent Online

After controversially losing to Lleyton Hewitt in the quarter-finals of the US Open, Andy Roddick's luck shows no sign of turning as a foot injury forced him to concede in the first round of the Hong Kong Salem Open against Andre Sa of Brazil.

Roddick, who was edged out by Hewitt in a five-set marathon after bitterly disputing an overrule from the umpire, received on-court treatment after he hurt his right foot midway through the third set. However, despite returning to play, he retired hurt after just one game. The 19-year-old American took the first set 6-3, but it was downhill all the way from there as Sa won 3-6, 6-4, 3-3.

"It is a fluke inflammation. I don't know how it happened as I was 100 per cent fit going into the match. I'm having trouble putting any pressure on it," said Roddick who was seeded fourth in Hong Kong.

Russia's Marat Safin faced no such obstacles as he brushed aside Hong Kong's John Hui, winning 6-3, 6-2 to move into the second round.

Safin dropped his serve in the fourth game in the second set, however the Russian had too much firepower, breaking Hui three times to wrap up the match in 59 minutes.

In the Sparkassen Cup WTA tournament, seeds Magdalena Maleeva and Silvia Farina-Elia made early progress to the second round.

Maleeva, the sixth-seed from Bulgaria, knew too much for Denisa Chladkova of the Czech Republic, winning 6-3, 6-3. However, Farina-Elia, the No 5 seed from Italy, made hard work of disposing of qualifier Barbara Rittner and was taken to three sets by the German before going through 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

"After getting so smoothly through the qualifying, I was hoping to create an upset or two," Rittner said afterwards. "Too bad it didn't work out."

The withdrawals of America's Serena Williams and Justine Henin of Belgium has left the indoor tournament without some of its biggest names yet it is bound to attract attention because of the expected return to action of Anna Kournikova.

The 20-year-old Russian has hardly played this year because of a persistent foot injury, yet Kournikova has finally shaken off the problem and it is hoped she will appear in the second round on Thursday having received a bye.

Also taking part are last year's champion, Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Yugoslavia's Jelena Dokic, fresh from winning the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo on Sunday.