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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tired Russians Win in Tashkent

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Defending champion Marat Safin easily defeated Noam Okun of Israel 6-4, 6-2 while fellow Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat German Lars Burgsm?ller 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) in first-round play at the President's Cup on Wednesday.

Safin and Kafelnikov, who both came to Tashkent from the U.S. Open where they lost semifinal matches, complained they played worse than usual because they were tired after the long flight.

The Safin-Okun match lasted just an hour, with Safin playing faster and serving stronger. Safin will next play longtime doubles partner Marc Rosset of Switzerland.

In the second set, Kafelnikov lagged behind before Burgsm?ller got nervous and made three double faults while serving. Kafelnikov had a clear advantage at the tiebreak and his strong serves helped bring him victory.

Kafelnikov will play against Stefan Doubek of Austria in the second round.

Top-seeded Monica Seles of the United States advanced to the quarterfinals of the $400,000 Brazilian Open on Wednesday, recovering from mid-match fatigue to beat Slovakia's Janette Husarova 6-3, 1-6, 6-0.

"It was difficult out there," said Seles, who had complained of the heat at the Sauipe complex on Brazil's tropical northeastern coast. Organizers gave the duo a 10-minute rest before the third set in temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius.

The world No. 8, who has won just one tournament this year, in Oklahoma, said she would "have to be more aggressive ... to try and avoid such long matches as this one."

She was set to play her quarterfinal game Thursday against Russian Tatyana Panova, who beat Brazilian Joana Cortez 6-1, 6-3.

Second-seeded Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia beat Iva Majoli of Croatia 6-1, 6-2, while third seed Amanda Coetzer of South Africa advanced by beating Seda Noorlander of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-4.

In the men's tournament, second-seeded Argentine Guillermo Canas beat Britain's Martin Lee 6-2, 6-2.

Canas is now the favorite after Brazil's world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten was ejected in the first round by countryman Flavio Saretta. Canas faces fellow Argentine Agustin Calleri in the quarterfinals.

Saretta also advanced, defeating German Markus Hantschk 6-4, 6-1.

Guga, as Kuerten is known here, played a round of golf Wednesday.

"I'm doing a Tiger Woods with the clubs and a Rubens Barrichello with the golf buggy," said Kuerten, joking with reporters as he strolled the greens.