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Bastl falls in first round of Australian Open

Andre Agassi beat Czech player, Jiri Vanek, before announcing he would not play in the Davis Cup Keystone

Swiss tennis player George Bastl has been beaten on the first day of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Andre Agassi used the occasion to announce that he would not be competing against Switzerland in next month's Davis Cup.

Bastl’s hopes of reaching a respectable position in this year’s Open faltered on Monday, when he lost his first round singles match to Guillermo Canas of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

Switzerland’s other players were more successful: Michel Kratochvil beat Raemon Sluiter of the Netherlands, while Ivo Heuberger beat the retired Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco.

In the women’s singles, both Emmanuelle Gagliardi and Miroslava Vavrinec won their first round matches.

The world number one, Switzerland’s Martina Hingis, is not due on the courts until Tuesday, when she faces Hungary’s Katalin Marosi-Aracama.

Meanwhile, Andre Agassi announced on Monday that he would not be playing on the American side in the first round of Davis Cup against Switzerland.

The match, scheduled for next month, is likely to leave the Americans seriously weakened not least because Pete Sampras has also signalled that he is unwilling to participate.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR