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Carlos Moya Eyes Top Ranking Again

July 22, 1999

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) _ Carlos Moya, intent on regaining the No. 1 ranking, routed Fernando Meligeni of Brazil 6-4, 6-3 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the $1 million Mercedes Cup.

Moya became the first Spanish man to hold the No. 1 ranking in March and is now No. 9. His ranking plummeted after lost in the round of 16 at the French Open, where he was defending champion.

``I was the No. 1 and that’s where I want to be again,″ said Moya, seeded second.

Chile’s Marcelo Rios, seeded third and another former No. 1, ousted Germany’s Jens Knippschild 6-4, 6-4 despite being broken three times on the clay courts.

American Vincent Spadea upset fourth seeed Karol Kucera of Slovakia 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), while No. 5 Alex Corretja struggled past fellow Spaniard Albert Costa, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Moya next faces Tommy Haas, the seventh-seeded German who struggled past Norway’s Christian Ruud 7-5, 6-3. Haas, an Australian Open semifinalist, let seven first-set points slip away.

``I failed to close the door in the first set because I risked too much,″ he said. ``But those things happen.″

The tournament lost two seeded players _ No. 8 Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia and No. 12 Francisco Clavet of Spain. Ecuador’s Nicolas Lapentti beat Hrbaty 7-5, 6-3, and Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic downed Clavet 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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