Safin upset by qualifier at Madrid Masters

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Qualifier Agustin Calleri pulled off the biggest upset at the inaugural Tennis Masters Madrid on Wednesday morning, stunning third-seed Marat Safin 7-6 (6), 7-6

Safin upset by qualifier at Madrid Masters

Madrid:

Qualifier Agustin Calleri pulled off the biggest upset at the inaugural Tennis Masters Madrid on Wednesday morning, stunning third-seed Marat Safin 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) in a second-round match.It was one of the biggest wins for the 26-year-old Argentine, who had to play two weekend qualifying matches to get into the main draw.Calleri rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win the first-set tiebreak 8-6, clinching it on his first set point with a sizzling straight backhand passer down the line.The big Russian trailed 4-1 in the second tiebreak but clawed back to 5-5, only to lose the next two points with Safin's forehand sailing out long on match point.Safin was visibly upset with his performance during the last part of the match, throwing his racket several times on the court. The match lasted 2 hours, 7 minutes and ended just before 2 am local time with only a few dozen fans still at the Rockodromo center court.Calleri was ranked 59th on the ATP Champions Race coming into the Madrid tournament. This year, he has made one final, in his home country in Buenos Aires."This was one of my best matches ever. I wanted to win this one badly. But in the beginning of the year I also played well, especially when I beat Gustavo Kuerten in Buenos Aires," Calleri said.Safin is battling for one of the six remaining berths in the season-ending Masters Cup finale next month in Hong Kong."The loss was not physical, not mental. It was just about two points," he said. "Maybe it's luck. I need luck to win a tiebreak."Moya, Ferrero advanceEarlier, Carlos Moya saved a match point in the second set against Fernando Gonzalez before squeezing into the third round. Moya, seeded No 8 in Spain's biggest tournament ever, won 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) at the Pabellon de Cristal.Another Spanish favorite, fifth-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero, was also extended to three sets, outlasting Finnish lefty Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-5 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 41 minutes.Sebastien Grosjean, the No 7 seed from France, also advanced to the third round when Xavier Malisse of Belgium was forced to retire because of a wrist injury when trailing 5-1 in the opening set.Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand caused a mild upset when he beat former world No 1 Kuerten 6-4, 6-4 in a first-round match. Paradorn, winner at Long Island, New York, before the US Open and a finalist in two other minor tournaments this year, will meet No 4 seed TimHenman next.Henman outplayed Paradorn when they met last month in a British Davis Cup win over Thailand. Kuerten, a wild-card entry here and a losing finalist last week in Lyon, France, has no chance of making the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai next month. The Brazilian underwent right hip surgery late February and was sidelined for more than two months.Qualifier Jan-Michael Gambill, wild-card entry Feliciano Lopez and Nicolas Lapentti won other first-round matches.Gambill, who won two weekend qualifying matches to get into the main draw, defeated Andrei Pavel of Romania 7-6 (3), 6-3 to set up a second-round match with fellow American Andre Agassi on Wednesday. (AP)



Topics : Tennis
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