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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Safin Gives Up, Limps From Court

MONTREAL — Defending champion Marat Safin was booed off court after quitting with a knee injury when trailing Frenchman Nicolas Escude 6-4, 5-2 in the first round of the $2.95 million Montreal Masters on Monday.

The Russian second seed said there was no point carrying on with the problem he first felt at Wimbledon and aggravated last week in Los Angeles.

"It hurt when I had to serve, and I couldn't run," the 21-year-old said. "After he broke me twice in the second set, I just gave up — what could I do?"

Safin complained bitterly about his treatment at the hands of the disappointed Montreal fans.

"They should try to understand, I'm injured," he said. "It's easy to sit in the stands eating popcorn and drinking beer. We are not machines here. No-one is coming here and going to die on the court."

The U.S. Open champion said he was unsure about his immediate tennis future. "I think my U.S. season may be short," he added.

Safin's fellow countryman Yevgeny Kafelnikov, seeded sixth, also crashed out in the first round, losing 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 to American Todd Martin.

With Safin gone, the door is ajar for top seed Gustavo Kuerten and last week's Los Angeles champion Andre Agassi at the sixth Masters Series of the season.

Ninth seed Rafter had to dig deep to hold off last year's losing finalist, Israel's Harel Levy, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3, while fifth seed Hewitt put out Canadian wild card Simon Larose 6-0, 5-7, 6-3.

Tim Henman was the only one of three Britons to advance earlier in the day, the seventh seed beating Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan 6-3, 6-3.

It was Henman's first match under his new American coach Larry Stefanki, former mentor to Kafelnikov and Marcelo Rios.

British pair Greg Rusedski and Martin Lee both tumbled out. Montreal-born Rusedski was beaten 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 by former French Open champion Carlos Moya of Spain while Lee lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to Czech Bohdan Ulihrach.

Rusedski was greeted with a mixture of restrained applause and some booing by the Canadian crowd.

Anna Kournikova, playing her first tournament since February, returned with Martina Hingis to win a doubles match on Monday's opening night of the San Diego Classic, The Associated Press reported.

Kournikova and Hingis, who is ranked No. 1 in the world in singles, defeated Leizel Huber of South Africa and Laura Montalvo of Argentina 6-1, 6-1.