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Bastl makes winning start

George Bastl has forced his way into the second round of Wimbledon

(Keystone Archive)

George Bastl has got Swiss hopes at Wimbledon off to a good start with a straight sets win on the tournament's opening day.

The Swiss men's number five saw off Russia's Denis Golovanov 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) on Monday in a meeting of two lucky losers.

Both Bastl (ATP 145) and Golovanov (ATP 152) were beaten in the third round of qualifying for the Grand Slam tournament, but were then handed late entries into the main draw to make up for withdrawals elsewhere.

It was Bastl though who was able to make the step up from lucky loser to deserved winner - taking care of Golovanov in solid fashion.

Speaking after the match, Bastl said he was happy with his performance, and said he felt his form was improving with every game.

Sampras next

The 27-year-old from canton Vaud can now look forward to his first ever appearance in Wimbledon's second round - although the celebrations may not last too long.

Bastl's next opponent will be none other than Pete Sampras, the American seven-times Wimbledon champion who on Monday breezed past British outsider Martin Lee in straight sets (6-3, 7-6, 6-3).

Seven Swiss in Tuesday action

The remainder of the Swiss delegation at this year's Wimbledon championships swing into action on Tuesday, with seven of Bastl's compatriots looking to join him in the second round.

With former world number one and 1997 Wimbledon champion Martina Hingis still recovering from a foot operation, Switzerland's main hopes this year would appear to rest on Roger Federer (ATP 9).

The 21-year-old from Basel, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year with an impressive win over Sampras, begins his 2002 campaign with a first round match against Croatian qualifier Mario Ancic (ATP 154).

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