Rios wins in Hamburg; Sampras makes another early exit


HAMBURG, Germany, Reuters

Marcelo Rios shrugged off his recent brush with the law to beat Spain’s Carlos Moya on Monday in a battle of former world number ones in the first round of the Hamburg Masters.

Rios, who attacked two policemen in Rome last week following his second round loss to Juan Carlos Ferrero, barely put a foot wrong on a sun-baked centre court to eliminate Moya 6-4 6-4 and move into the second round of the US$2.96 million tournament.

“You’ve got to look forward,” said the Chilean after his victory. “(Last week) was a bad situation… and things could have been avoided, but now I just want to look forward.

“There is no point looking back. I want to get on with playing good tennis now.”

Tennis officials are still conducting an inquiry into how the former world number one insulted a taxi driver and attacked the police officers on a night out, the ATP said on Monday.

Rios will meet either 14th seed Jan-Michael Gambill or local wildcard Axel Pretzsch in the second round.

Spain’ Alberto Martin made full use of his last-minute lucky loser entry by beating three-times champion Andrei Medvedev of the Ukraine in the first round.

Martin, who received later entry into the first round on Monday morning after German Alexander Popp withdrew with a viral infection, crushed the 1999 French Open finalist 6-3 6-0.

Third seed Andre Agassi takes on Italy’s David Sanguinetti, while British ninth seed Tim Henman meets Germany’s Lars Burgsmuller. Sampras makes another first-round exit in Hamburg

Pete Sampras’s fading hopes of winning his first French Open title were dealt another major blow on Monday when he lost 6-7 6-3 6-4 to Spain’s Alex Calatrava in the first round of the Hamburg Masters.

Sampras, the fourth seed who lost in the first round of last week’s Rome Masters to Israel’s Harel Levy, put up a brave fight on Centre Court, saving seven match points, but he has still failed to win a match on clay this year.

The holder of a record 13 Grand Slam titles, Sampras needs a French crown to complete his collection.