Rubin and Mauresmo advance in Linz

American Chanda Rubin as well as Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo both beat back strong challenges today to advance in the $535,000 Generali Ladies Open in Linz, Austria, while number two seed Venus Williams had no trouble advancing.

American Chanda Rubin as well as Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo both beat back strong challenges today to advance in the $535,000 Generali Ladies Open in Linz, Austria, while number two seed Venus Williams had no trouble advancing.

In late play, Wiliams fended off Japan's Ai Sugiyama 7-5 in the first set and then briskly took the second set 6-2.

Sabine Appelmans netted forehand on set point while leading the fifth-seeded Rubin 5-3 in the first set, enabling Rubin to rally for a break and eventually win the match 7-5, 6-4.

The No. 6 Mauresmo had to overcome a first-set loss to Tatiana Panova before finally prevailing 7-6 (6), 7-5, 3-0 when the Russian developed a shoulder injury and withdrew.

Austria inevitably lost one of its hopes when Sylvia Plischke was defeated by compatriot Barbara Schett 7-5, 6-1.

Zimbabwe's Cara Black, who had defeated Olympic silver medalist Elena Dementieva the previous day, was forced to pull out of the tournament for family reasons as her father was gravely ill.

In other matches Wednesday, Kveta Hrdlickova of the Czech Republic beat Italy's Silvia Farina-Elia 6-3, 7-6 (2); Slovakian Karina Habsudova defeated Anne-Gaelle Sidot of France 7-6 (1), 6-1; Silvija Talaja of Croatia overcame Denisa Chladkova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (2), 6-2; and Dutchwoman Amanda Hopmans routed Anne Kremer of Luxembourg, 6-1, 6-1.

Results from the $535,000 Generali Ladies Open (seedings in parantheses):

Singles First Round

Chanda Rubin (5), United States, def. Sabine Appelmans, Belgium, 7-5, 6-4. Aurelie Mauresmo (6), France, def. Tatiana Panova, Russia, 6-7, (6-8), 7-5, 3-0, retired, injury Kveta Hrdlickova, Czech Republic, def. Silvia Farina-Elia, Italy, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2). Karina Habsudova, Slovakia, def. Anne-Gaelle Sidot, France, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1. Silvija Talaja, Croatia (8), def. Denisa Chladkova, Czech Republic, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2. Amanda Hopmans, Netherlands, def. Anne Kremer, Luxembourg, 6-1,6-1. Barbara Schett, Austria, def. Sylvia Plischke, Austria, 7-5, 6-1. Venus Williams (2), United States, def. Ai Sugiyama, Japan, 7-5, 6-2.

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