MARATHON MAN
By BRIAN LEWIS

New York Post, NY
Sept 3 2004

September 3, 2004 -- Sargis Sargsian dropped to his knees and
covered his moist eyes, overcome with a mixture of exhaustion and
emotion. He draped an Armenian flag over his shoulders and celebrated
the second-longest win in U.S. Open history -- and the most dramatic
of this summer's classic.

He had just upset two-time Olympic gold medallist Nicolas Massu 6-7
(8), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 in a marathon that lasted five hours and
nine minutes, a tilt that saw the 10th-seeded Chilean lose first his
poise, then the hotly-contested match on Court 11.

"I lost the match and I'm so [peeved] about it," Massu said. "I can't
believe they...what happened on the court is too much. It's too much
for five hours to believe in everything, to fight...to accept that
you lost the match. It's difficult."

It was the second-longest match ever at the U.S. Open, behind only
Stefan Edberg's 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 win over Michael Chang that
lasted five hours and 26 minutes in 1992.

Sargsian kept his cool, with his serve getting better and better as the
match went on. Meanwhile, Massu showed precious little sportsmanship or
Olympic spirit with an on-court tantrum. "I was too tired to notice,"
Sargsian said. "My legs were [going to give out], so I was just trying
to hold on."

After spraying a return shot long, Massu dropped his racquet to the
court and yelled at it, as if it were to blame. He battered the U.S.
Open sign with his racquet and got warnings in the first two sets,
and lost a point, dropping the second set 6-4. In the fourth set, he
argued a call with chair umpire Carlos Ramos. He slammed his racquet
down so hard, it bounced up over his head.

Destroying a racquet is an automatic penalty, so Sargsian was awarded
the first game of the fifth set. Massu appealed to famed Wimbledon ref
Alan Mills -- serving as Grand Slam ref -- but his backhand deserted
him in the fifth set, and Sargsian went on earn a third-round date
with Paul Henri-Mathieu, who beat Taylor Dent.

"I didn't lose the match because of that, but it's hard to believe
this guy didn't use his head. All the players throw the racquet,"
said Massu, who spent close to an hour after the match griping to
Open officials. "I play for five hours, I fight, and this guy comes
and gives me three warnings."

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress