Open-Olympic champion Massu falls to Sargsian

Sept 3 2004

NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Olympic champion Nicolas Massu emerged
on the wrong end of a five-set battle on Thursday as his U.S. Open
hopes were ended in the second round by Armenian Sargis Sargsian.

In a pulsating match on court 11, the 10th-seeded Chilean held a
matchpoint in the fourth-set tiebreak but finally bowed out 6-7 6-4
3-6 7-6 6-4 in five hours, 10 minutes, the second longest match in
U.S. Open history.

"It's a huge win for me," Sargsian said. "I haven't had a very good
year, so to pull out a match like this, is huge.

"I would quite like it if it rains tomorrow and I can have an extra
day off, but I'll be okay."

Twice Sargsian fought back from a set down, but in an 80-minute fourth
set, Massu was on the verge of victory when he held matchpoint at
6-5 in the tiebreak only for Sargsian to save it, win the next two
points and force a decider.

The Chilean, who had already been warned for his behaviour, was then
penalised a point in the first game of the decider, handing Sargsian
a 1-0 lead.

The two stayed together until 4-4 when Massu dumped a forehand in
the net to give Sargsian the break.

With the crowd cheering him on, Sargsian held to 15 to clinch victory.