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Rosset rumbled by Russian rookie

Rosset threw away an early lead against Davydenko Keystone

Veteran Swiss tennis star Marc Rosset was the only one of the homegrown players not to make it into the Basel quarter-finals, losing his second round match against young Russian Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets (5-7, 1-6).

Taking on an opponent ten years younger than himself, the 30-year old Genevan made a determined start to Thursday’s match breaking Davydenko early on to take a 3-1 lead.

But the Russian ‘lucky loser’, who was only given a place in the tournament following the withdrawals of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, then proceeded to up his game.

Varying his shots with newfound ease, Davydenko (ATP 98) broke back in the seventh game before taking a decisive lead with a further break to 6-5. In a repeat of the worst moments from his first round win over Alex Corretja, Rosset (ATP 91) seemed to concern himself more with querying close line calls than battling his opponent.


Taking his frustration out instead on nearby officials and his long-suffering racket, Rosset was unable to stop Davydenko serving successfully for the set.

Two more breaks in the young Russian’s favour at the start of the second set left Rosset in need of a miraculous recovery.

It never came. Despite pulling one break back following an apparent lapse in concentration by Davydenko, Rosset was unable to iron out the inconsistencies in his own game, losing his serve once again in the next game along with the services of another smashed racket.

A final break of serve in what was to be the last game of the match brought a wretched finale to a match that had begun so brightly. And having told swissinfo on Tuesday that the Basel tournament offered him a last chance “to save what’s left to save of this season”, Rosset will also now be contemplating a miserable end to a miserable year.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR