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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mauresmo Takes Early Exit in Open




MELBOURNE, Australia -- France's Amelie Mauresmo, a surprise finalist at last year's Australian Open, made an equally stunning exit this year as one of four seeded players who tumbled out in the second round Wednesday.


Mauresmo, seeded seventh after muscling her way into the 1999 final, was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Switzerland's Patty Schnyder in the first upset of a hectic day at Melbourne Park.


Women's fifth seed Nathalie Tauziat and seeded men Todd Martin and Richard Krajicek also picked up their bags and headed for the exit after losing matches they had been expected to win.


Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras gave tournament officials some relief as the great U.S. rivals continued on their way toward the prospect of a tantalizing semifinal showdown.


Fourth seed Mary Pierce and Russia's Anna Kournikova were scarcely troubled on their way to the third round.


Former champion and fourth seed Pierce eased into the women's third round with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over fellow Frenchwoman Amelie Cocheteux.


Eleventh seed Kournikova barely spent enough time on court one to satisfy her hundreds of fans as she beat Natasha Zvereva of Belarus 6-1, 6-4.


But the powerfully-built Mauresmo, beaten by Martina Hingis in last year's final, was a mere shadow of her best form against world No. 29 Schnyder.


This was despite coming into the 2000 Open on a high after beating first Hingis and then world No. 2 Lindsay Davenport to win a warm-up event in Sydney last week.


That victory in Sydney pushed Mauresmo's world ranking from No. 9 to No. 6. She had started as one of the heavyweight contenders in the tournament.


"It's one of those days when you probably should stay in bed," Mauresmo said. "It was one of those days when nothing was really working. I made too many mistakes to win today."


World No. 8 and 1998 Wimbledon finalist Tauziat was bounced 7-6, 6-4 by giant-killing Canadian qualifier Sonya Jeyaseelan, ranked 145 in the world.


It swiftly brought Tauziat, making her first appearance in Melbourne in six years, down to earth after she had finished 1999 on a career-high world ranking of seven.


In the men's singles, U.S. veteran Martin was shocked 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 by Barcelona baseliner Fernando Vicente in a three-hour marathon.


"I didn't have nearly enough gas left in the tank," said the 29-year-old Martin, who complained of being "terribly tired."


Dutchman Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon champion, was sent crashing in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 loss to Frenchman Nicolas Escude to continue a miserable recent run in Melbourne.


Top seed Agassi and Sampras at least stayed the course, Agassi spending just 93 minutes on center court as he ousted Dutchman Sjeng Schalken 7-5, 6-0, 6-3.


Sampras, seeking to beat Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam titles, was similarly ruthless as he crushed Swede Mikael Tillstrom 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.


"You can't look that far ahead," Sampras said of his possible semifinal with Agassi. "It's a kiss of death."