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Kiefer Upsets Kafelnikov in Munich

April 30, 2002

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MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ Nicolas Kiefer upset top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 in the first round of the BMW Open clay-court tournament Tuesday.

Kiefer finally converted his fifth match point when Kafelnikov sent a forehand into the net to close out the upset.

``I am overjoyed to have finally won a match,″ said Kiefer, who lost seven first-round matches this year.

Australian Open winner and Champions Race leader Thomas Johansson was also knocked out, losing 7-5, 6-3 to Rainer Schuettler. The Swede was seeded No. 3.

Kiefer, fighting off a cold that forced him to drop out of the Barcelona tournament last week, patiently outplayed the erratic Kafelnikov, who has dropped all three of his first-round matches on clay this season.

Kiefer wasted his first match point at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreaker and dropped his serve to fall behind 2-1 in the third.

He snapped his racket over his knee in frustration, but regained his composure to allow Kafelnikov only one more game. Kafelnikov, a former French Open champion and once No. 1 in the world, is 15-11 this year.

Kiefer will next play Radek Stepanek, who beat fellow qualifier Dennis van Scheppingen of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-0.

Second-seeded Tommy Haas, also advanced, beating Estoril Open winner David Nalbandian 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

Elsewhere, defending champion and fourth-seeded Jiri Novak reached the second round by ousting qualifier Jan Frode Andersen 1-6, 6-1, 6-4; Mikhail Youzhny defeated Hicham Arazi 6-2, 1-6, 6-1; and sixth-seeded Younes El Aynaoui beat Max Mirnyi 6-4, 6-4.

No. 5 Guillermo Canas and Albert Costa, runner-up last week in Barcelona, both withdrew because of injuries.

Update hourly