Rusedski rises above fatigue

GREG RUSEDSKI stayed on course for a potential quarter-final meeting with Tim Henman by winning a tense three-setter against Andrei Medvedev of the Ukraine in the CA Tennis Trophy here yesterday.

GREG RUSEDSKI stayed on course for a potential quarter-final meeting with Tim Henman by winning a tense three-setter against Andrei Medvedev of the Ukraine in the CA Tennis Trophy here yesterday.

Rusedski, a semi-finalist last year, eventually won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, but put in a far from convincing performance in an untidy match. He struggled to produce his usually devastating serve and did not post a single ace in the opening set.

The second set was littered with unforced errors, both players claiming two early breaks before Medvedev's wild groundstrokes gifted Rusedski a 12th-game break and the second set.

Rusedski, seeded No 5, found some form at the start of the third set with a love service game, and he built up a 4-2 lead with a break in the sixth game as Medvedev appeared to struggle with an injury to his right leg. In spite of his faltering serve, Rusedski then managed to serve out to claim a battling victory.

Rusedski conceded he was lucky to reach the last eight and then admitted he needs a break from the game. "I was fortunate to win today, like I was fortunate to win two days ago [against Swede Thomas Johansson]," he said. "I've got a day off now and I will take my mind completely away from tennis."

Rusedski, who won the Grand Slam Cup in Munich a fortnight ago and has reclaimed his status as British No 1 from Henman, went on: "I'm physically and mentally tired because I've played eight consecutive weeks. The conditions are pretty difficult here and you don't get a lot of free points."

Anke Huber crashed out of the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich as the fast-rising Julie Halard-Decugis landed a second-round win in 65 minutes. Halard-Decugis, who has climbed to a career-high ninth in the world rankings, stormed past the former world No 4 with a series of ferocious forehands.

Huber managed to force a break when 5-2 down in the second set but hit a series of unforced errors in Halard-Decugis' next service game as the French 29-year-old clinched a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

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