Olympic gold medallist Massu eliminated in historic marathon
by Greg Heakes

Agence France Presse -- English
September 3, 2004 Friday 3:30 AM GMT

NEW YORK Sept 2 -- Olympic double gold medallist Nicolas Massu was
eliminated from the US Open on Thursday in a historic five-set marathon
with Sargis Sargsian of Armenia.

Sargsian fired 20 aces and won 184 of 337 points to beat Massu 6-7
(6/8), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.

The match lasted five hours, nine minutes and is second longest on
record behind the 1992 men's semi-final where Stefan Edberg beat
Michael Chang in five hours and 26 minutes.

The previous second-longest match was also in 1992 when Ivan Lendl
beat Boris Becker in five hours, one minute in the round of 16.

"So many things happened in that match," Sargsian said. "It is just
amazing to come through.

"I wouldn't put it on top of my list but it is in the top three. Now
I am just go to take my vitamins, get a massage and pray for rain."

He has one day to rest before his third round match against France's
Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Sargsian won the war of attrition but he paid for it as after four
hours on the court both players started to suffer from leg cramps.

"I couldn't feel my legs," Sargsian said of the end of the match.

Sargsian's family and friends would have had to stay up to 4 a.m.
Armenian time to watch the entire match.

Massu came into the US Open after the best week of his career, having
won gold medals in singles and doubles at the Athens Games.

The Chilean lost his composure on several occasions, breaking his
racket in the first set.

He argued several times with chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, and vowed
to never play in front of Ramos again.

"I lost because of my mistake. But this umpire have not to umpire
anymore," Massu said. "He is unbelievable. He is never going to umpire
me again."