Norman’s comeback stalled at AT&T; Cup tennis

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Ticker) — Magnus Norman’s return from a hip injury hit another snag Monday night at the $425,000 AT&T; Cup.

Norman fell to Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina, 6-3, 6-2, for his second straight loss since coming back from hip surgery performed last August. The Swede endured a first-round defeat to Nicolas Massu last week in Vina Del Mar, Chile.

“I’m feeling better and better,” said Norman, who reached the final of the French Open two years ago and was once ranked as high as No. 2. “I’m not feeling any pain, I just need more rhythm.”

Norman owned a 2-1 lead in the first set, but Chela won 11 of the next 14 games.

“I’m more happy with the result than with my game,” Chela said. “It’s always important to beat players of the quality of Magnus Norman. Even tough he wasn’t playing at his best, it was the important to win. I’d like to win the tournament, although I’m in the toughest part of the draw.”

Last year’s runner-up Jose Acasuso dispatched fourth-seeded Albert Portas of Spain, 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old from Argentina reached the quarterfinals in Chile last week and will face Italy’s Andrea Gaudenzi, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 winner over Austrian Markus Hipfl.