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Johansson happy to be home
From correspondents in Stockholm
October 27, 2004
JOACHIM JOHANSSON took the first step towards a potential final with Andre Agassi today, defeating Adrian Garcia 6-4 6-2 in the Stockholm Open.
The first-round win for the 22-year-old 11th-ranked big-hitter led the way for compatriot and fellow seed Robin Soderling.
The No.6 seed dismissed three-time champion and compatriot Thomas Enqvist 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 as the Swedish game sees a generational shift in its power base.
Johansson is enjoying a week of playing at home, sleeping in his own bed rather than a hotel room.
"I've been a bit sick for the past two weeks but I'm feeling much better now," said the second seed.
"I got off to a good start with an early break and was able to focus on my own service games. I'm satisfied with my game, but there are a few things I'd like to improve."
Soderling took his third win of 2004 against the 30-year-old Enqvist.
Soderling, who lifted his first career title in Lyon this autumn, won the first set and went up an early break in the second.
Enqvist saved a match point from a Soderling return which appeared to crawl over the net cord on its own.
The senior Swede then double-faulted to give Soderling a second chance.
He saved that one also before finally crashing out.
Top-seeded drawcard Agassi returned to Sweden for the first time in a decade and pronounced himself ready to fight for a place in the Masters Cup final next month.
The 34-year-old arrived from business in Paris pleased with his fitness as he aims for a fourth consecutive appearance at the elite Masters, starting on November 15.
Elsewhere, German fourth seed Tommy Haas scored his third career win against Italian veteran Davide Sanguinetti 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, while qualifier Janko Tipsarevic took out seventh-seeded Czech teenager Tomas Berdych 3-6 7-5 6-1.
Feliciano Lopez, the fifth seed who won the Vienna title a fortnight ago, defeated American Jeff Morrison 7-6 (7-5) 7-5