Aussies facing tricky Open tasks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies facing tricky Open tasks

By Guy Hand 22/01/2004 05:56:44 AM Comments (0)

Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis hit centre court facing possible banana skins along their path to an elusive Australian Open tennis title.

Hewitt's second round clash is against Slovakian Karol Kucera - one of the most durable players on tour and a former semi-finalist at Melbourne Park.

Kucera has played Hewitt twice in the past fortnight and lost both times, but sits just outside the world's top 40.

Philippoussis plays a night match against another dangerous floater in the draw - French veteran Fabrice Santoro.

Both are capable of upsetting the Australian feelgood festival that the Open has become in its opening three days, with several locals pushing deep into the first week.

Alicia Molik and Nicole Pratt both advanced to the third round with victories.

Molik outplayed 15th seed Daniela Hantuchova 6-4 6-3, while Pratt needed another three-setter to get past Japan's Akiko Morigami 1-6 6-3 6-3.

Teenager Todd Reid and veteran Wayne Arthurs get their chance to follow suit.

Reid plays experienced Armenian Sargis Sargsian in his second round clash, while Arthurs has a tough clash against Spaniard Albert Costa, the 28th seed.

Australian hero Pat Rafter will also make an appearance on centre court, teaming with Josh Eagle in a first round doubles match against South Africans Jeff Coetzee and Chris Haggard.

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