Rusedski eases into Stuttgart second round

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The Independent Online

British number two Greg Rusedski joined two-time champion Richard Krajicek in the second round of the $2.95m Stuttgart Masters Series today.

British number two Greg Rusedski joined two-time champion Richard Krajicek in the second round of the $2.95m Stuttgart Masters Series today.

Rusedski took just 43 minutes to beat Jerome Golmard of France 6-1, 6-2.

He said: "It was nice to get that match out of the way. Golmard can be a bit of a tough opponent.

"I think he was struggling a little bit with his fitness today. He can always be dangerous because he can hit flashy passing shots, returns. You don't want to give him too much of a target."

Rusedski, a former world top 10 player, has been struggling this year with injuries. He is currently only number 73 in the ATP Tour's Championship.

Krajicek, who won the Stuttgart event in 1995 and 1998 and has been in the last three finals, took 58 minutes to dispose of Spanish qualifier Alberto Martin 6-2, 6-4.

"It's inexplicable. Something is definitely good here for me, that makes me play well," the Dutchman said.

"If I knew what it was, I would make sure I would have it at every tournament. It's an indoor event, I like playing indoors.

"I lost my timing a bit little bit, especially on my baseline shots. But my serve was big enough today to hold relatively easy."

Krajicek, also a former world top 10 player, is number 35 in the race.

Neither of the two has any realistic hope of qualifying for the eight-man, season-ending Masters Cup in Lisbon, Portugal, at the end of November.

The Stuttgart tournament is the eighth in the nine-event Masters Series, the most lucrative and the most important tournaments after the Grand Slams.

Pete Sampras, Gustavo Kuerten, Marat Safin and Andre Agassi have qualified for Lisbon. Sampras has pulled out of the Stuttgart event and also won't be at the last Masters Series tournament in Paris.

Another seeded player, number 13 Cedric Pioline of France, withdrew because of a back injury.

Safin, the US Open champion, is the top-seeded player in Stuttgart. Like all other 16 seeded players, Safin had a bye into the second round.

The Russian could have a tricky second-round encounter against Fabrice Santoro of France, who has won all of their five previous matches.

Santoro advanced to the second round by beating Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia 6-3, 7-6 (4).

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