Sargsian Outlasts Mathieu in Grandstand Classic
by Greg Laub
Saturday, September 4, 2004
In what may go down as one of the greatest battles of the tournament, Sargis Sargsian and Paul-Henri Mathieu gutted it out in front of a delirious Grandstand crowd tonight, and when all was said and done, neither player left anything on the court.
Sargis Sargsian in an all out barn burner on Grandstand against Paul-Henri Mathieu in a third round match. Sargsian went on to win after five-sets.
After Mathieu jumped in front with a two-set lead, Sargsian took the next two, and it was then sent to a deciding fifth set.
Paul-Henri Mathieu blasting away at opponent Sargis Sargsian in a third round match.
The final set went back and forth for more than an hour and a half -- that's right, an hour and 38 minute fifth set -- until finally reaching a tie-breaker, which Sargsian won 7-4, completing an amazing 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4) come from behind victory.
A pumped up Sargis Sargsian defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu in a five-set third round barn burner on Grandstand Saturday night.
When Mathieu finally pushed the final shot into the net, Sargsian fell to the ground and put his hands over his face, then got up and fired tennis balls, his shirt -- anything he could find -- into the wild crowd.
It was a real shame that either player had to lose, but in the end, it was Sargsian who came through with the big points when he needed them most. and this coming off a thrilling five setter against Nicolas Massu on Thursday evening.
"It's hard to beat Massu's match," Sargsian said after his victory tonight. "We probably did today."
Not only did Sargsian come back from two sets down for the fourth time in his career, he did it by holding off two late match points. Serving at 5-5, Sargsian and Mathieu played into six heartwrenching deuces, with Mathieu finally holding serve. At 5-6, Sargsian was down 30-40 before getting it to duece, and then was facing another elimination point when Mathieu slapped a winner down the baseline. But Sargsian dug deep and win the final three points of the game to send the match to the decisive tie-break.
In the tie-break, Sargsian had a double match point, but did not let it get away, as Mathieu lofted a forehand long and sent the amplified fans into a frenzy.
The 31-year-old Armenian came into this year 7-7 in the US Open, and had never before gotten past the third round.
He will next face his good friend Andre Agassi in the fourth round, and he will do so after playing more than 12 hours in just three matches. Agassi has played just five.
Grandstand - MS - 3rd Round
Sargis Sargsian ARM 4 4 6 6 77
Paul-Henri Mathieu FRA 6 6 4 2 64
- Mathieu's last match win at a major before here was at 2002 Wimbledon.
- Sargsian is appearing in the US Open for the eighth time.
- Mathieu was injured until July of this year, and missed all three majors.
- The match time was four hours and 44 minutes.
Andre Agassi forever