Reality check for Zimonjic

Harry Miltner,Austria
Thursday 20 May 2004 00:00
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Nenad Zimonjic was eliminated in the second round of the Raiffeisen Grand Prix here yesterday just 48 hours after he celebrated his greatest career triumph by defeating the top seed, Andre Agassi.

Zimonjic of Serbia and Montenegro, was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by the Romanian Victor Hanescu and showed none of the brilliance that led him to a surprise triumph over Agassi.

A hand injury will prevent Nicolas Kiefer from playing singles for Germany in their decisive World Team Cup match with Chile in Düsseldorf today. Germany's team captain, Patrick Kuehnen, decided to withdraw Kiefer rather than risk him retiring with injury. "The contest against Chile is the toughest in our group and we do not want to take any risks," said Kuehnen.

Tommy Haas will replace Kiefer, who could still feature in the doubles alongside the German No 1 Rainer Schüttler. The winner of the Red Group tie will progress to the final on Saturday.

Kiefer underwent treatment yesterday after feeling pain in Germany's doubles defeat to the Czech Republic on Tuesday. "I have broken my hand joint twice in my career and it's again giving me pain for the first time in nine months," he said.

The former French Open champion Albert Costa seems certain to play in next week's French Open after recovering from injury as he was named by Spain to face the Czech Republic in the World Team Cup today. Costa, who won the French crown in 2002, has had a muscular injury to his left leg.

* The world No 3, Guillermo Coria, will play in the Stella Artois Championships for the first time after accepting a wild card into the event at Queen's Club, London, from 7 to 13 June. The Argentinian clay-court specialist has never been beyond the first round at Wimbledon in two previous attempts.

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