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Kafelnikov Wins Round in Australia

January 16, 2001

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Yevgeny Kafelnikov extended his streak of success Down Under by beating Jens Knippschild 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 Tuesday in the first round of the Australian Open.

Kafelnikov has a 20-3 record in Australia since 1998. He won the Australian Open title in 1999, lost last year’s final to Andre Agassi and won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in September.

Kafelnikov, seeded fifth, could face top-seeded Gustavo Kuerten in the quarterfinals. Kuerten beat Kafelnikov en route to the French Open title last year.

No. 16 Sebastien Grosjean, seeded in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, opened by beating Ivan Ljubicic 6-0, 7-6 (6), 6-4.

In women’s play, two-time semifinalist Amanda Coetzer, seeded 10th, beat Sonya Jeyaseelan 6-2, 6-4. With more than half of the first round completed, only one seeded player had been upset: No. 11 Chanda Rubin.

On the second consecutive mild, sunny day of the tournament, the center court stands were less than half full for the first match. Kafelnikov broke serve six times, slammed 30 winners and even won 15 points at the net, where he ventures infrequently.

Knippschild, a German who finished last year ranked 108th, complained several times about rulings by linesmen.

``Every call you do is against me,″ Knippschild told chair umpire Norm Chryst in the third set. ``You don’t like me? It looks like it. I don’t know why.″

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