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Molik, McQuillan out in Dubai
Tuesday, 19 February, 2002
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Feb 18 AP -

Australian Rachel McQuillan was bundled out of the first round of the $US585,000 ($A1.13 million) Dubai Open WTA tennis tournament today.

McQuillan, a semifinallist at this event last year, lost to Tina Pisnik of Slovenia 6-2, 6-4. The right-handed Slovenian led 5-0 and wrapped up the first set in 33 minutes. "She has a very high forehand which kept on taking me off guard," a disappointed McQuillan said. McQuillan took a 4-0 lead in the second set, but the fired-up Pisnik reeled off the next five games to lead 5-4.

"I pulled my game together at the end. But it was Rachel who helped me with all those unforced errors," Pisnik said. "This is a perfect birthday present for me." Earlier Russian Tatiana Panova defeated Australian Alicia Molik 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

After sweeping through the first set, the tough Russian had to withstand a comeback from the lanky Molik before closing off the match in one hour, 48 minutes. Pisnik will next meet Barbara Rittner of Germany who upset fifth-seeded Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-2 on Monday

Anatasia Myskina of Russian pulled off the second upset of the day when she brushed past eighth-seeded Henrieta Nagyova 6-3, 6-3.

Rita Grande of Italy came back from one set down to defeat Czech Adriana Gersi 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, earning herself a meeting with fourth-seeded Sandrine Testud of France, who had a first round bye. Top-seeded Venus Williams of the United States, fresh from winning a tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, is scheduled to play her first match Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday's match between Russia's Anna Kournikova and Selima Sfar of Tunisia.

Kournikova has been visiting the famed Dubai Gold Souk and doing promotions for her sponsors. Monica Seles of the United States, a winner in the neighboring Gulf state of Qatar on Sunday, also received a bye into the next round, as did Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo.