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22.10.2002

Press release #4
A Russian day: four wins of four!


The second day of St.Petersburg Open has finished with a classy success of Russian tennis players winning in all the matches they played. Thus, today an achievement of the 1995 event, when four Russians at ones had advanced to the second round was repeated.

The day was opened with a match of a qualifier Alexander Shvec from Belarus and Gaston Gaudio from Argentina being the 7th seeded player of the tournament. The Minsk-native had started unexpectedly good scoring 3:0 and 5:2, but a sensation didn't happened. The Argentine had concentrated and won 5 straight games. The next set developed according to the similar scenario and finished with the win of Gaudio and same score.

But another qualifier Tuomas Ketola from Finland managed not only to frighten the more experienced rival with a sporty start, but also to get the better over him. The fans of St.Petersburg had remembered Spaniard Alberto Martin since the last year when he just forced out Marat Safin in the second round, but clearly it was his bad luck today - 2:6 3:6.

And the third qualifier Tbilisy-native Irakli Labadze had the worst game in his life. Romanian Andrei Pavel didn't left him any chance.

But a fight between Andrei Stoliarov and Anthony Dupuis appeared to be exclusively stubborn.

Stoliarov won the first set very hardly making a break in the decisive 12th game. He had leaded in the second set, but Dupuis took the situation under controlling and fought back. In the third set Stoliarov had two match-balls. When the Frenchman had fought them back he cheered up and came up to the tiebreak. But the Russian appeared to have the stronger nerves.

Marat Safin frayed the fan's nerves playing to another qualifier - Cyril Saulnier from France.

At fist Marat's game went bad, he had got nervous and disputed with the referee and dropped his rocket. In Addition Saulnier played just wonderfully, fighting for every point. The rivals had exchanged with the breaks and relied upon a tiebreak. Safin happened to be more successful. Character of the match didn't change in the second set as well. Each of them made a break and then a tiebreak took place. After the double fault made by Saulnier, Safin had a double match-ball, but the Frenchmen survived and won in the second set. Not earlier than in the third set Safin got into the game and making a break in the 5th game he solved the problem and advanced to the second round.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov and the "lucky looser" Michael Kohlmann (Germany) were the last who played on the central court. And again the match started unexpectedly - Kohlmann leaded 2: 0. But Yevgeny had managed to fightback and to co come up to a tiebreak and to won it. The second set was entirely dictated by the Olympic Champion:

So, all the four Russians advanced to the second round repeating the record of 1995 tournament.

Singles
Alexander Shvec (BLR) / Gaston Gaudio (ARG) - 7-5 7-5
Karol Kucera (SVK) -Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-2
Andrei Stoliarov (RUS) - Dupuis (RUS) 7-5 3-6 7-6(7-2)
Tuomas Ketola (FIN) - Alberto Martin (ESP) 6-2 6-3
Andrei Pavel (ROM) - Irakli Labadze (GEO) 6-1 6-3
Marat Safin (RUS) - Cyril Saulnier (FRA) 7-6(5) 6-7(2) 6-3
Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS) - Michael Kohlmann (GER) 7-6(4) 6-0

Doubles
S. Aspelin/A. Olhovski (SWE/RUS) - V.Voltchkov /M.Youzhy (RUS - 7-6(7-4) 6-3
P.Pala/L.Rikl (CZE) - Y.El Aynaoui/I.Ljubicic (MAR/CRO) 6-2 6-3
P.Lixa/D.Skoch (CZE) - T.Cibulec /L/Friedl (CZE) 6-2 2-6 6-3

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