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After rain, Sanchez Vicario advances over Raymond

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario waited out a six-hour rain delay and a slow start before beating Lisa Raymond 7-5, 6-1 Wednesday to advance to the third round of the Virginia Slims of Florida.

Raymond, whose quick matches at the University of Florida were known as the "Lisa Raymond Tanning Hour," was facing a far stronger opponent than any she faced in college.

Sanchez Vicario, the second seed and No. 2 player in the world, won 30 of 43 points on her first serve. She completed the match in 1 hour, 39 minutes.

"I definitely let her off the hook a couple of times and you just can't do that against Arantxa," Raymond said. "She's such a fighter."

Raymond, a two-time NCAA singles champion, was serving at 5-6 in the first set, but was unable to convert six game points before spraying a forehand wide while facing set point.

The second set belonged to Sanchez Vicario as she drained her opponent with topspin groundstrokes.

"At the beginning I started slow and made lots of errors," said Sanchez Vicario, who hasn't played since losing to Steffi Graf in the Australian Open finals. "After winning the first set, I knew if I concentrated the match would be in my hands."

Raymond, ranked 53rd in the world after six months on the tour, knows she's moved to a different level of play.

"Growing up and in college it was a lot easier winning matches and not playing 100 percent, just relying on my talent and my athleticism," she said. "Now I can't do that."

In other matches, No. 4 seed Amanda Coetzer beat Jolene Watanabe, 6-1, 6-1. Coetzer converted seven of eight break points and won 11 of 13 points on her second serve. She'll play No. 14 Chanda Rubin, who scored a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Clare Wood. No. 5 Helena Sukova opened with a 6-2, 6-2 rout of Patricia Hy.

Graf, the top seed and two-time defending champion, was scheduled to play Wednesday, but her match was crowded off the night program. She'll face Elena Likhovtseva in today's opening match.

In an upset, lucky loser Sonya Jeyaseelan of Canada defeated No. 15 Miriam Oremans 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.


Copenhagen Open: Defending champion Andrei Olhovsky struggled past Peter Moraing 7-6 (7-2), 1-6, 6-3 to advance to the third round. In other second-round matches, top-seeded Magnus Gustafsson defeated wild-card Jan Siemerinck 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), and Patrick Baur ousted Guillaume Raoux 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. Another wild card, Morten Christensen was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Jean-Philippe Fleurian.