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Top-Seed Korda Falls in Guardian

February 26, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Petr Korda became the fifth seeded player to lose in the Guardian Direct Cup when he was beaten in the second round Thursday by Cedric Pioline of France.

Unseeded Pioline, who lost to Pete Sampras in the Wimbledon final last year, beat the Czech left-hander 6-3, 6-3. It took just 77 minutes.

Korda, who appeared tired and complained of back problems, defeated Pioline in four sets a month ago en route to his victory in the Australian Open.

Greg Rusedski, Goran Ivanisevic, Richard Krajieck and Sergi Bruguera were the seeded players ousted before Korda took his fall.

``He volleyed so well that it was very difficult for me to pass him,″ Korda said of Pioline. ``I had two break points in the seventh game _ maybe the score would have been different if I’d won that game.″

The Frenchman staved off the danger and broke Korda in the following game to lead 5-3. He also took Korda’s service in the fifth and ninth games of the second set to coast home.

Second-seeded Patrick Rafter of Australia had better luck, defeating Magnus Gustafsson of Sweden 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to reach the third round.

In another second-round match between unseeded players, Marc-Kevin Goellner of Germany defeated Andrew Richardson of Britain 6-4, 6-7 (7-4), 7-5.

In two late matches, No. 7 seed Karol Kucera of Slovakia defeated Belgium’s Filip DeWulf 6-3, 6-4, and unseeded Tim Henman of Britain won over Rainer Schuttler of Germany, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

In quarterfinals Friday, Goellner faces Jan Siemerink, Henman plays No. 3 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Pioline plays Kucera and Wayne Ferreira plays Rafter.

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