No. 7 Malisse Makes Quarterfinal
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Xavier Malisse finds matches with Andrea Gaudenzi rewarding _ and exhausting.
The seventh-seeded Malisse took 1 hour, 45 minutes to defeat Gaudenzi 7-5, 7-6 (6) in the second round of the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic on Thursday. The first set in their previous meeting also went 12 games, and Malisse also won in straight sets.
No. 3 Pete Sampras and Wayne Ferreira were scheduled for the last match of the round later Thursday.
In other matches, Rainer Schuettler beat Felix Mantilla 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 to reach his fifth quarterfinal of the year, and Carlos Moya defeated Fernando Vicente 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Malisse got into his second quarterfinal in five events and improved his match record this season to 8-4 by winning the last six points of the tiebreaker.
Down 2-6, he got even with a forehand winner, a smash, an ace and a precise groundstroke that Gaudenzi returned long.
Then Malisse made the shot of the match _ a backhand drop that landed in and spun out as Gaudenzi watched.
``I had to try it,″ Malisse said. ``I was too tired to keep running. He had me running the whole point. I just decided to do it.″
With Guadenzi serving at up to 128 mph, Malisse wasn’t able to break his opponent until the 11th game of the first set.
Malisse broke again in the seventh game of the second, but Gaudenzi got the game back in the 10th.
``It helped me a little bit,″ he said. ``I got mad after I lost my serve, and basically I lost those two games because I was upset. We had a lot of rallies, and I kind of knew where his ball was going, but he puts so much spin on it that here at altitude it’s kind of hard to control.″