Safin Records First Win on Grass
LONDON (AP) _ Marat Safin recorded the first grass-court victory of his career Tuesday, beating Julien Boutter of France 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to reach the third round of the Queen’s Club tournament.
The seventh-seeded Russian, a quarterfinalist at the French Open, defeated an opponent who was a virtual unknown until a few weeks ago.
Boutter received a wild card into qualifying at the tournament in Monte Carlo and beat Michael Chang in straight sets on his way to the third round.
Boutter pushed Safin to the limit, but ruined his chances with crucial double faults.
Also advancing was 11th-seeded Mark Philippoussis, who downed fellow Australian Wayne Arthurs 6-3, 7-5.
Arthurs matched the 12 aces served by Philippoussis, but failed to take advantage of a chance offered to him late in the second set. Philippoussis served for the match at 5-4 but was broken. Arthurs then dropped his own serve at love, and this time Philippoussis closed the match.
French qualifier Michael Llodra moved into the third round when Brazil’s Andre Sa retired with a wrist injury while trailing 6-1, 3-0.
Pete Sampras, who received a first-round bye, faced Britain’s Arvind Parmar later Tuesday in his first match since losing to Philippoussis in the first round of the French Open.
Top-seeded Andre Agassi, also granted a first-round bye, opens play Wednesday against Anthony Dupuis. The Frenchman beat Sweden’s Magnus Gustafsson 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Another American, David Wheaton, advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Sweden’s Andres Vinciguerra.