It may have taken him until October, but veteran Swiss tennis star Marc Rosset appears to have finally rediscovered his rhythm. On Thursday the 30-year-old Genevan beat French world number 18 Fabrice Santoro to book himself a place in the quarterfinals of the ATP tournament in Moscow.
The 6-2, 6-4 victory marked the first time this season that Rosset has managed to win two successive matches in the main draw of an ATP tournament. Including his progression through the qualifying rounds in Moscow, the Swiss player has actually won five times in a row this week.
Defeat never looked likely against the highly-ranked Santoro. After his first round marathon against Yugoslavia's Nenad Zimjonic, Rosset wasted no time in imposing his game on the Frenchman, breaking Santoro four times and giving no leeway on his own serve until the sixth game of the second set.
Double Moscow champion
Rosset is no stranger to success in the Russian capital, having won the Moscow tournament twice in a row, in 1992 and 1993. Despite that impressive history, the Swiss number three was refused a wildcard entry by the local organisers - a fact which seems to have actually helped boost Rosset's motivation this week.
If he's to continue his run into the semi-finals, Rosset will now have to overcome 24-year-old German player Nicolas Kiefer (ATP 39) who unexpectedly beat Swiss number one Roger Federer in the tournament's opening round.
Rosset goes into the match leading 3-1 from his previous four encounters with Kiefer, although it has been three years since the two last met. While Rosset's season to date has been miserable, Kiefer's has hardly been dazzling. The German will be playing in only his third quarter-final match of the season, after also reaching the last eight in Doha and Majorca.
First victory since US Open defeat
Swiss top tennis player and defending champion Martina Hingis defeated Czech qualifier Sandra Kleinova at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Hingis, who has failed to win a title recently, achieved a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Kleinova. This was her first success since US player Serena Williams defeated her in the semi-finals of the US Open.
Swiss number two player Michal Kratochvil has defeated Sjeng Schalken from the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open.
Swiss player Emmanuelle Gagliardi was defeated by seventh seed Joanette Kruger of South Africa 0-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open. Kruger will face second seed Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand next.
by Mark Ledsom and agencies
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