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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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LINZ, Austria (AP) -- Ai Sugiyama beat local favorite Barbara Schett 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 Tuesday in the opening round of the $565,000 Generali Ladies Linz WTA tournament.

Schett, ranked 20th in the world, was overpowered by the 26-year-old native of Japan, who already has three career titles to her credit.

Sugiyama will meet Magdalena Maleeva in the second round.

Elena Likhovtseva, ranked 23rd in the world, was challenged by lucky loser Denisa Chladkova, prevailing 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Iroda Tulyaganova, who won a WTA tournament in Vienna this summer, beat qualifier Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 6-2.

Tulyaganova was eliminated in the second round of last week's tournament in Zurich by Nathalie Tauziat of France, the fourth seed in this event.

Tauziat, who had a first-round bye, will meet Chandra Rubin in the second round on Wednesday.

In other first-round matches, qualifier Alexandra Stevenson eliminated Cristina Torrens-Valero 7-6 (4), 6-2, and Daja Bedanova beat Nadia Petrova 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (5).

The 18-year-old Bedanova, who last week failed to defend her title at the Eurotel in Bratislava, will face top-seeded Lindsay Davenport in the second round.
 
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