Carlsen upsets Calatrava in Heineken Open

Monday, September 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SHANGHAI, China (AP) _ Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen upset fifth-seeded Alex Calatrava of Spain on Monday in the opening round of the dlrs 400,000 Heineken Open.

Qualifying matches for the tournament in Shanghai, China, started a day late, on Sunday. Players were delayed by flight cancellations following last week's terrorist attacks in the United States.

U.S. players said they still found it difficult concentrating during practice. But they stressed that it was important to carry on despite what had happened back home.

``It's good to be out here,'' said Cecil Mamiit, a Los Angeles native ranked 92 in the ATP Champions Race. ``We need to get ourselves going back to normal.''

The Heineken Open's top-seeded player is Andre Agassi, ranked second in the ATP and in his first tournament since losing to rival Pete Sampras in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. Agassi's first match is on Tuesday against Irakli Labadze of Georgia.

On Monday, the seven-time Grand Slam champion paired up with Chinese basketball star Yao Ming in a brief doubles exhibition game for charity.

Agassi, who stands at about 1.80 meters (6 feet), joked with the 2.25-meter (7-foot-5-inch) Yao about the difference in their height. Yao is widely seen as a No. 1 pick should he join the NBA draft.

In Monday's play, 255th-ranked Carlsen overcame Calatrava 6-4, 7-6. The Dane broke the 75th-ranked Spaniard's serve twice in the first set.

Francisco Clavet of Spain, ranked 53rd, breezed past China's Jiang Shan 6-0, 6-0. Lee Hyung-Taik of Korea defeated Japan's Yoaki Ishii 6-1, 6-3.

A crowd of 1,500 watched at the newly refurbished Xianxia Tennis Center.