George Bastl needed even less effort than Roger Federer to book his place in the second round of the Swiss Indoors on Wednesday. After taking the first set against American eighth seed Jan-Michael Gambill, Bastl then saw his opponent pull out injured.This content was published on October 24, 2001 - 19:53
Prior to Gambill's withdrawal, Bastl (ATP 125) had been playing the better tennis, and deservedly went ahead of the tournament's eighth seed with a break in the seventh game of the opening set.
The Swiss number five, ranked more than 100 places lower than Gambill in the world standings, had to defend a single break point on his own serve in the subsequent game, but otherwise looked in good shape to win the match under his own steam.
He wasn't to get the chance, though. After calling for his trainer with the score at 5-4 in Bastl's favour, Gambill surrendered the next game and the set before abandoning the match as well.
"I think I played a very good, aggressive game in the first set and deserved to win it," a somewhat surprised Bastl told swissinfo after his win. "I saw Gambill call over his trainer but I thought he was just after a rub or something. I didn't think he would stop so suddenly."
After following Swiss colleagues Michel Kratochvil and Marc Rosset into the second round, Bastl is now set to challenge Czech world number 33 Bohdan Ulihrach for a place in the tournament's quarter-finals. And, barring another unexpected withdrawal, Bastl isn't expecting his next match to be as short as the last.
"Ulihrach's had a very good year," Bastl pointed out. "He's a solid player without any real weakness. But I believe in my chances and tomorrow will be another day."
by Mark Ledsom, Basel
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