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Talaja, Suarez Advance in Croatia

May 2, 2000

BOL, Croatia (AP) _ Fourth-seeded Silvija Tajala of Croatia advanced Tuesday to the second round of the $170,000 Croatian Bol Ladies Open, beating Cristina Torrens-Valero of Spain 6-3, 6-0.

Paola Suarez of Argentina, seeded seventh, also easily ousted another Spanish player, Nuria Llagostera, 6-2, 6-1.

The two top-seeded players _ both from France _ Julie Halard-Decugis, the world’s No. 9, and Sandrine Testud, ranked 11th, had first-round byes.

Gala Leon-Garcia of Spain, who defeated fellow countrywoman Ainoha Goni 6-3, 6-3, will next meet Halard-Decugis, while Jelena Kostanic of Croatia, a 6-3, 6-0 winner over Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, will take on Testud.

Talaja’s victory _ and an easy one too _ is a boost for the 22-year-old player, who after moving swiftly to the 23rd place on the WTA list, recorded mainly losses this year.

While Torrens-Valero started the match with a 2-1 lead, Talaja turned it to 5-2 and then lost only one game till the end of the match.

She said she knew her rival ``is not so good with the backhand, so I forced such a play.″

In other matches, Tina Pisnik of Slovenia stopped Austria’s Patricia Wartusch 6-1, 6-0, and Virginie Razzano of France had more trouble with a bumblebee that annoyed her throughout the match than with Ivana Abramovic of Croatia, whom she beat 6-2, 6-1.

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