Marach the quarterfinalist
Oliver Marach became the second player to reach the quarterfinals of the Orange Prokom Open. In a very good match, the Austrian unexpectedly defeated the world's 16th player Gastona Gaudio 7/5, 6/4, 7/6.
The first set showed that the players were evenly matched. Gaudio won the first game only to lose the next two. This seemed to frustrate the Argentinean so much that he broke his racquet in two by slamming it repeatedly against the court. As it turns out this sort of outlet had a positive effect on his tennis because he won the next two games. They both held serves to 5/5, at which point Gaudio broke Marach and held to take the set.
The second, no less entertaining set was won by Oliver Marach. He broke early and held his serve to finish the set at 6/4.
The third set was truly nerve racking. Gaudio was leading 5/2 after the first seven games, and when everyone thought it was over, Oliver pulled off an amazing come back. At 5/5 Gaston held his serve and at 5/6 so did Marach. Both players were visibly nervous during the tie break, which was won 7/4 by the Austrian.
and an interview from Sopot...
"Gaudio was not playing his best tennis today. I watched him yesterday, I knew that I could win, that I would have to fight for every point but that I could do it. Gaudio had a chance to close out the match, when he was up 5/3 but I was able to break back. I knew that he was a bit down lately and I knew that this was my chance.
"My arm was so slow in the tie break, I was very nervous. I thought that here I am, a few points away from beating a French Open champion. You have thoughts like that at those moments but you have to focus, hit the ball over the net, not push it. I was pushing my serve in that last game, it was so slow, like my mother's. Gaudio made a simple mistake, and I had that lucky net point. But luck always goes both ways.
"My whole family enjoys playing tennis. I started playing when I was six. I didn't think I would be a professional player. I wasn't that good when I was younger, I was about 60th nationally at seventeen. At that time I decided to get serious, I played some good matches and my level went up. In six months I went up 400 places in the rankings. At twenty I was already 160 in the world. Then I started having chronic problems with my shoulder. I did not want it operated so it still bothers me from time to time".