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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND (TICKER) -- Barbara Schett of Austria avoided a three-match losing streak Monday with a 6-1, 6-2 rout of Magui Serna of Spain in the first round of the $1.19 million Swisscom Challenge.

Schett lost in the first round to American Chanda Rubin last week at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Filderstadt, Germany after reaching the quarterfinals at the Kremlin Cup the week before.

The 25-year-old Austrian is making her sixth straight appearance in Zurich, with her best result coming last year when she upset the third and fifth seeds to advance to the semifinals. She fell to eventual winner Lindsay Davenport.

This was Schett's second win over Serna in as many encounters.

Serna has lost seven of her last eight matches, with her only victory over that span coming in the first round last week at Filderstadt.

Rubin, a second-round loser last week in German, dispatched Spain's Angeles Montolio, 6-1, 6-3, to advance to a meeting with fourth seed Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia. Dokic has won two of her last three events.

In the only other singles match Monday, Nadia Petrova of Russia routed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, 6-2, 6-0. The 19-year-old beat Schnyder for the first time in three lifetime meetings.

Petrova won her main draw debut here after losing in the final round of the qualifying in 1999. She ended her three-match losing streak, but still has lost seven of her last 11 matches.

Schnyder has played here seven straight years and has yet to move past the second round. Ranked as high as No. 8 three years ago, the 22-year-old has continued her steady slide. Schnyder, down to No. 50 this week, has lost seven of her last nine matches since reaching the final of the Uniqa Grand Prix at Vienna in July.

Petrova takes on new world No. 1 Jennifer Capriati of the United States, who lost in the quarterfinals last week in Filderstadt but gained the top spot when Martina Hingis injured her ankle in the semifinals and was forced to retire. Hingis will be sidelined six to eight weeks.

The top prize is $175,000.
 
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