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Chela Upsets Lapentti at Copa

February 21, 2002

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Local favorite Juan Ignacio Chela upset third-seeded Nicolas Lapentti in three sets Wednesday in second-round play of the $425,000 Copa AT&T tournament.

Chela won 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (1) on center court of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

After losing the first set, the Argentine overwhelmed Lapentti in the second set. In the third set, the two stayed neck-and-neck, but Chela won the tie-break easily.

Sixth-seeded Alberto Martin retired with an injury after falling behind to another local, Franco Squillari, who won 6-1, 3-1.

Lapentti and Martin join top-seeded Gustavo Kuerten, Gustavo Canas (2) and Albert Portas (4), as the early casualties from this tournament.

Completing a clean sweep for Argentina, eighth-seeded David Nalbandian ousted Fernando Gonzalez, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4).

Nalbandian lost his concentration in the second, serving poorly, but was buoyed on by the crowd and lifted his game in the final set.

In the day’s other singles game, Chile’s Nicolas Massu advanced to the quarterfinals by beating David Sanchez in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

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