Local boy upsets Safin

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French wildcard Josselin Ouanna stunned former No.1 Marat Safin 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 4-6, 3-6, 10-8 backed by the continuous cheering of the local crowd. Safin, who will retire at the end of 2009, rallied from two sets down to level the match and had the early initiative in the decisive fifth set, but then saw Ouanna even the score at 3-all.

Safin, a 2002 semi-finalist at Roland Garros, staved off elimination with an ace on his opponent’s first match point at 4-5 and again with a forehand winner at 5-6, but could not continue his heroics with Ouanna holding two more match points at 8-9. Ouanna secured his best victory in four hours and 34 minutes when Safin’s return sailed wide on the fourth match point.

The No.134 Ouanna, who is playing in his sixth tour-level tournament, earned his first Grand Slam victory when he defeated Spain’s Marcel Granollers in five sets in his opening match.


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