NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Dominique Van Roost survived a strong challenge from Bulgaria's Magdalena Maleeva in the first round of the women's event in New Haven on Monday.

The sixth seed from Belgium advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory, and fifth seed Amanda Coetzer of South Africa beat Slovakian qualifier Karina Habsudova by exactly the same score.

Maleeva confessed to feeling tired after last week reaching the quarter-finals in Montreal. She beat Amanda Coetzer, and then advanced when Lindsay Davenport retired in their third round match with a foot injury.

"The whole match was really just a few points," Maleeva said. "I did the wrong thing at some important points. I hit two drop-shots that weren't very wise, and she played the important points better. I did what I did, but I was a little bit tired after last week."

In a contest crowded with errors, Van Roost held the edge from the third game when she broke Maleeva to lead 2-1. The Bulgarian rallied to 4-4, and was then denied two set points at 6-5 when the umpire over-ruled a call and levelled the game score at 30-30.

After that short-lived crisis, Van Roost swept through the tiebreaker, and after both players broke serve twice in the second set, Van Roost broke a third time to take the match.

"I think I was a little bit more constructive and she got tired in the second set and was making more mistakes," said Van Roost. "But it's very difficult to play her because she can do anything and I had to concentrate and be ready for any kind of ball she might play.

"When you have someone who switches all the time, plays slow and then fast, then it's very difficult for me because I don't have the game to switch like that. But this time I was able to switch between high balls and slice, and she wasn't expecting that."

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