Thu, 18 Sep 2003

Angie stumbles in Polo first hurdle in Shanghai, turns hopes to doubles

Agencies, Jakarta

Indonesian tennis star Angelique "Angie" Widjaja suffered an early exit at the Polo Open women's tennis tournament on Wednesday in a rain-interrupted first-round match in Shanghai, China, Antara reported.

At the US$585,000 tournament, Angie took the first set against Hungarian Petra Mandula but then proceeded to drop the next two, crashing to a 7-5, 2-6, 2-6 loss.

After surviving a close first set, Angie, ranked 74th in the world, came back twice to level the second set. She was down a game in the second set before the rain came to force a more-than- two-hour delay.

When play resumed, Mandula, who is ranked 43rd in the world, ran off three straight games to win the set. The Hungarian's domination continued in the third set, with Angie winning only two games.

In other matches, Maria Sharapova of Russia defeated Emilie Loit of France 6-3, 6-7(3/7), 6-3, and Barbara Schett of Austria dispatched qualifier Rossana Neffa-de los Rios of Paraguay 6-3, 6-1, according to

Other players advancing to the next round included Dinara Safina (Russia), Alicia Molik (Australia), Akiko Morigami (Japan) and Anca Barna (Germany).

In the second round on Thursday, Mandula will play Elena Dementieva of Russia, who arrived at the tournament fresh off her victory at the Wismilak International in Bali, Indonesia, on Sunday.

Angie's hopes in Shanghai now rest on the doubles, in which she is teamed up with Spain's Conchita Martinez. The Spaniard also crashed out of the singles in the first round, suffering a thumping 7-5, 6-0 defeat at the hands of Morigami.

Top seeds Angie and Martinez, who overcame Rossana Neffa-De Los Rio and Maria Sharapova on Tuesday, will next face the winners of the match between Ansley Cargill/Jill Craybas and Jelena Dokic/Ashley Harkleroad.

Angie is looking to maintain her form in the doubles, after winning the title in Bali with Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela.

In Basel, Switzerland, the world's top three men's players of Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer will contest next month's one million euro ($1.13 million) Swiss indoor title, organizers said as quoted by Reuters on Tuesday.

The trio, who won this year's French Open, US Open and Wimbledon, respectively, will be joined by top-20 players Guillermo Coria, Carlos Moya, David Nalbandian and Mark Phillippousis for the tournament from Oct. 18 to Oct. 26.

Argentine Nalbandian beat Chile's Fernando Gonzalez to win last year's title.