Rusedski has the stomach for Sampras fight

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The Independent Online

The potency of Greg Rusedski's serve and the sensitivity of Pete Sampras's stomach may decide who wins a place in the quarter-finals of the Ericsson Open here.

Sampras consulted a doctor about changing his anti-inflammatory medication after vomiting during the third set of a difficult third-round match against Andreas Vinciguerra, an impressive Swedish wild card. The American No 2 seed has been taking medicine for a herniated disc in his lower back.

Rusedski, who started the season late after surgery to his right foot, is working on the rhythm of his mighty serve, which will need to be smoother if the British No 2 is to improve his record of one win in eight matches against Sampras.

Asked if there was a danger of thinking too much about his serving action while making a delivery, Rusedski said: "I just expect it to be there. You step in your car, you drive. You don't really think about it. That's what's happening. Unfortunately, my gear shift is kind of crackling around a little bit. I need to get an MOT. It will click. It's just I'd rather have it sooner than later."

He knows where his technique is going wrong. "I'm tossing the ball a little too far in front. My toss isn't consistent. I'm starting a little bit up and down, throwing myself off balance. When I'm in balance, taking my time and hitting smooth, it's pretty effective."

Rusedski's win against Sampras came in the final of the Paris Indoor Championships in 1998, the most important tournament Rusedski has won. Their last meeting was in the opening round in Scottsdale, Arizona, three weeks ago, Sampras winning, 6-3, 6-4.

"The first who breaks down on their serve is the one who's going to lose," Rusedski, theNo 17 seed, said. "With Pete, you kind of know where he's going, but he does it so well. It's [a matter of] just trying to keep the pressure on him. When I beat him in Paris I served really, really well."

Sampras, relieved to advance from the Vinciguerra match, said: "Greg serves that big that he can overwhelm you with his power. But the conditions here aren't that fast. I'm going to have some time to get hold of his serve and make him play. He's one of the better serve-and-volleyers we have in the game. He won't be easy to beat."

Pat Rafter, who underwent shoulder surgery after the United States Open last year, reached the fourth round after defeating the Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean, a finalist here last year, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Rafter recovered from a set and a break down, and saved a break point for 2-5 in the second set.

Mark Philippoussis joined his Australian compatriots, Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, in the last 16 after defeating Cedric Pioline, of France, 6-4, 7-6.

Pioline seemed likely to take the match into a third set after saving three match points at 4-5 and then gaining a mini-break in the tie-break. Two successive double-faults ended Pioline's recovery, Philippoussis converting his fourth match point to win the shoot-out, 7-3.

Written off in her teens as a failed American prodigy, Jennifer Capriati achieved her biggest win since her latest comeback yesterday, defeating Serena Williams, the 18-year-old US Open champion, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, after two hours and 11 minutes to reach the quarter-finals .

Somewhat overweight, but not lacking zeal, Capriati hit shots reminiscent of her astonishing rise to fame on her professional debut as a 13-year-old along the Florida coast at Boca Raton 10 years ago. Tomorrow, when she is due to play Sandrine Testud, of France, marks Capriati's 24th birthday.

Kim Clijsters' first match against Martina Hingis, the world No 1, threatened to become a humiliation but in the end was a useful exercise for the 16-year-old Belgian, who last week was voted the WTA Tour's most impressive newcomer. Although losing, 6-0, 6-4, Clijsters showed some of the qualities that enabled her to win the award.

Overwhelmed in the opening seven games, Clijsters lost the first set in only 16 minutes. She then steadied her nerves and went for her shots - splendid deep drives, forehand and backhand - and won eight points out of nine to take a 2-1 lead in the second set.

Hingis responded by winning the next four games and held her first match point after Clijsters double-faulted at 2-5, 30-30. Having failed to convert, hitting a forehand wide, Hingis found herself under attack.

Clijsters broke to love for 4-5, but then made a series of forehand errors after winning the opening point of the concluding game. Hingis returned serve on her second match point, and Clijsters belted another forehand over the baseline. At least she extended the contest to 48 minutes.

Results from the $5.76 million Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida:

Men's Singles Third Round

(2) Pete Sampras (US) def. Andreas Vinciguerra (Swe) 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4. (3) Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Rus) def. Fernando Meligeni (Br) 6-4, 6-3 Jan-Michael Gambill (US) def. (5) Magnus Norman (Swe) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. (14) Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) def. Tommy Haas (Ger) 6-1, 6-3. (7) Thomas Enqvist (Swe) def. George Bastl (Swit) 6-0, 7-6 (3). Greg Rusedski (GB) def. Byron Black (Zim) 6-1, 7-6 (4) Gianluca Pozzi (It) def. Jiri Novak (Cz Rep) 6-3, 7-5

Women's Singles Third Round

(1) Martina Hingis (Swit) def. Anne-Gaelle Sidot (Fr) 6-0, 6-3 (2) Lindsay Davenport (US) def. Silvija Talaja (Cro) 6-2, 6-2. Nathalie Dechy (Fr) def. (4) Nathalie Tauziat (Fr) 6-4, 6-2. (5) Serena Williams (US) def. Ai Sugiyama (Japan) 6-3, 6-0. (6) Conchita Martinez (Sp) def. Patty Schnyder (Swit) 7-5, 6-4 (7) Monica Seles (US) def. Lisa Raymond (US) 6-3, 6-2. (9) Anna Kournikova (Rus) def. Natasha Zvereva (Bela) 6-1, 6-4 Sabine Appelmans (Bel) def. (10) Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (Sp) 6-3, 7-5. (12) Sandrine Testud (Fr) def. Sylvia Plischke (Aut) 6-0, 6-0. (13) Jennifer Capriati (US) def. Chanda Rubin (US) 6-1, 6-3. Amy Frazier (US) def. (14) Anke Huber (Ger) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. (15) Elena Likhovtseva (Rus) def. Ruxandra Dragomir (Rom) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5). Amanda Coetzer (SA) def. (16) Dominique Van Roost (Bel) walkover Elena Dementieva (Rus) def. Sarah Pitkowski (Fr) 6-2, 6-2. Nadejda Petrova (Rus) def. Anastasia Myskina (Rus) 6-1, 4-6, 6-0. Kim Clijsters (Bel) def. Adriana Gersi (Cz Rep) 6-4, 7-5

Men's Doubles First Round

Goran Ivanisevic (Cro) and Daniel Vacek (Cz Rep) def. Thomas Shimada (Japan) and Myles Wakefield (SA) 6-3, 6-4 Paul Goldstein and Chris Woodruff (US) def. Jim Courier and Jonathan Stark (US) 7-6 (4), 6-3 Jaime Oncins (Br) and Daniel Orsanic (Arg) def. Marc-Kevin Goellner (Ger) and Marcos Ondruska (SA) 6-3, 7-6 (5) Massimo Bertolini and Cristian Brandi (It) def. Fredrick Bergh and Peter Nyborg, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 Patrick Galbraith and Brian MacPhie (US) def. Francisco Montana (US) and Jairo Velasco (Sp) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Donald Johnson (US) and Cyril Suk, (Cz Rep) def. Juan Ignacio Carrasco (Sp) and Jack Waite (US) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Tomas Carbonell (Sp) and Eric Taino (US) def. Luke Jensen and Murphy Jensen (US) 6-0, 6-4. Roger Federer (Swit) and Andreas Vinciguerra (Swe) def. Jim Grabb and Richey Reneberg (US) 6-4, 6-1.

Second Round

Justin Gimelstob (US) and Sebastien Lareau (US) def. Giovanni Lapentti and Nicolas Lapentti (Ecu) 6-4, 6-3. Martin Damm (Cz Rep) and Dominik Hrbaty (Slovak) def. Wayne Arthurs (Aus) and Leander Paes (Ind) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Gustavo Kuerten and Antonio Prieto (Br) def. Olivier Delaitre and Fabrice Santoro (Fr) 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (US) def. Mark Knowles (Bah) and Max Mirnyi (Bela) 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Women's Doubles First Round

Silvia Farina (It) and Karina Habsudova (Slovak) def. Eva Melicharova (Cz Rep) and Alicia Ortuno (Sp) 6-2, 6-4. Tathiana Garbin (It) and Katalin Marosi (Hun) def. Gala Leon Garcia and Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo (Sp) 6-2, 6-2. Yayuk Basuki (Indon) and Tamarine Tanasugarn (Thai) def. Meghann Shaughnessy and Linda Wild (US) 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. Holly Parkinson and Brie Rippner (US) def. Amelie Cocheteux (Fr) and Janette Husasrova (Slovak) 4-6, 6-0, 6-3. Jelena Kostanic (Cro) and Tina Pisnik (Sloven) def. Mariaan de Swardt and Joannette Kruger (SA) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. Amy Frazier and Katie Schlukebir (US) def. Kim Clijsters (Bel) and Alicia Molik (Aus) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Jelena Dokic (Aus) and Patty Schnyder (Swit) def. Erika de Lone (US) and Nicole Pratt (Aus) 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-5. Anke Huber (Ger) and Barbara Schett, (Aut) def. Catalina Cristea and Ruxandra Dragomir (Rom) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Second Round

Surina de Beer and Nannie de Villiers (SA) def. Florencia Labat and Patricia Tarabini (Arg) 7-5, 7-6 (10).