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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moya Dumps Kafelnikov From Open




BARCELONA, Spain -- Carlos Moya sent Russian top seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov spinning out of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday, taking just 75 minutes to win 6-2, 7-6 and inspire a Spanish fightback after a bleak morning for the home nation.


Fifth-seeded Frenchman Cedric Pioline, winner in Monte Carlo last week, withdrew early Wednesday after suffering a recurrence of a back injury in practice before even playing his first match.


Pioline is now expected to rest until the Rome Masters starting May 8.


In other morning action, German Tommy Haas beat Costa Rican Juan Antonio Marin 6-3, 7-5.


Kafelnikov, who had arrived by private plane just a few hours before his second round match, was caught cold by Moya, whose powerful ground-hitting took him to a set and 5-1 up.


Moya's habitual nerves then took a hold and as the Spaniard suffered a rash of unforced errors Kafelnikov raised himself to reel off four successive games.


Another exchange of breaks set up a tiebreak, which Moya took 7-4 after a couple of fiercely struck, open-shouldered forehands down the line had given him two mini-breaks.


"Moya just didn't make any mistakes for the first set and a half," said Kafelnikov, who defended his decision to arrive late.


"I'd practiced and I was ready to play," he said. "I don't think it's wrong to arrive so soon before the match."


Moya said he was glad not to have been up against Kafelnikov at his best.


"Kafelnikov won the French Open in 1996, and you don't win that by accident. Fortunately, I was playing the Kafelnikov who hasn't been quite so good recently."


Moya's convincing victory followed a succession of defeats for the Spanish, as Alberto Berasategui, Alex Corretja, Salvador Navarro, Francisco Clavet, German Puentes and Felix Mantilla all fell in the second round.


But it was followed by another unexpected success for Spain's Sergi Bruguera, who beat Armenian Sargis Sargsyan 6-3, 6-3 in the final match on center court.


Bruguera, twice former French Open champion, was roared all the way to victory by an appreciative crowd, who had seen Sargsyan beat Spanish favorite Alberto Costa on Monday.


Defending champion Mantilla was hustled out 6-3, 6-0 by No. 3 seed Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador, while sixth seed Corretja suffered a 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 defeat by in-form Argentinian Gaston Gaudio.


Apart from Moya and Bruguera, the only Spanish success came from the highly rated Juan Carlos Ferrero, who wasted little time in beating compatriot Fernando Vicente 7-6, 6-2.


Second seed Magnus Norman of Sweden looked sharp as he beat Rainer Sch?ttler of Germany 7-6, 6-3, while the 1994 champion Richard Krajicek had too much for Brazil's Fernando Meligeni, the Dutchman winning 7-5, 6-1.


Fabrice Santoro maintained French interest in the event after the retirement of Cedric Pioline by beating his replacement Puentes 6-4, 6-4.


Pioline is expected to rest until the Rome Masters in May after aggravating the injury in a practice match Monday.


Britain's Greg Rusedski - seeded seventh but no specialist on clay - scored a morale-boosting 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory over last year's beaten finalist Karim Alami of Morocco.


Wimbledon on Thursday announced a 6.1 percent increase in prize money for this summer's championships but stuck to its policy of paying the women players less than the men, The Associated Press reported.


All England chairman Tim Phillips said total prize money for the June 26-July 9 tournament will be just over pounds 8 million ($12.6 million). The men's champion will receive pounds 477,500 and the women's winner will get pounds 430,000.


Total prize money is going up by 7.9 percent for the women, compared to 4.8 percent for the men.