Seeds fall in Lyon
Top seeds Marcos Baghdatis and Gaston Gaudio were packing their bags on Tuesday after being ousted in the first round of the €659 000 Lyon ATP tennis tournament.
Home hope Arnaud Clement dispatched number one seeded Baghdatis 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 as lowly German Simon Greul hammered Argentine Gaudio, the second seed, 6-0, 6-2.
The 50th-ranked Clement, the tournament winner in 2000 and the 2003 finalist, had little trouble getting past ninth-ranked Baghdatis.
Clement coasted through the first set and took a 5-2 lead in the second before Australian Open finalist Baghdatis fought back.
The 21-year-old Cypriot trailed 0-3 in the final set, before coming back again to 4-3 only to eventually lose his first meeting with the 28-year-old Frenchman.
“It’s the kind of match where you dominate totally but you could lose if you lose your concentration,” said Clement. “I’m happy that I was able to find my way in the final set where the level was better.”
Third seed Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia suffered a scare when he dropped a set only to see off another Frenchman in Florent Serra 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
However Serra’s compatriot and French number one Richard Gasquet suffered no such fate as he beat Russia’s former world number one Marat Safin in two tightly-fought sets 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
Safin, who has risen back to number 36 in the world having slipped way down because of a persistent injury, showed all his fighting qualities as he saved four match points in the tie break but ultimately Gasquet closed the match out. - Sapa-AFP.