Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not on the court, obviously.
Re: chucho acasuso def safin 64 64
Suffering Safin slumps to Acasuso
BARCELONA, Spain -- Russian top seed Marat Safin suffered another humiliating setback when he crashed out of the Barcelona Open, losing his opening match to Argentine Jose Acasuso 6-4 6-4.
Safin, whose game has declined sharply since he lifted the Australian Open title in January, suffered his fifth defeat of the season in just over 90 minutes.
Acasuso, ranked 69, punished the 2000 champion with groundstrokes, relying on Safin's unforced errors to aid his cause.
Safin never saw a break point while losing serve once per set and he exited the showcase stadium at the Real Club de Tenis to scattered jeers.
The defeat was his second in an opening match this season.
Acasuso, who also beat Safin in the World Team Cup in Germany in 2002, now faces a third-round contest with Swiss qualifier Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Paradorn Srichaphan 1-6 6-3 7-6.
Guillermo Coria resisted a spirited challenge from big-serving Dutchman Peter Wessels to claim a 6-2 6-7 6-4 victory in his second round match.
Fourth seed Coria was joined in the third round by an improving Juan Carlos Ferrero, who eased to a 6-4 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez in one of the day's two all-Spanish encounters.
In the other, defending champion Tommy Robredo went down 6-1 6-4 to Alberto Martin.
Coria, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the final of last week's Monte Carlo Masters, looked to be on the verge of cracking after the towering Wessels had stormed through a tiebreak to take the second set.
The two players traded breaks at the start of the final set and Wessels broke again to take a 3-1 lead but Coria managed to compose himself.
The Argentine took advantage of a double fault by Wessels to level at 3-3.
The 23-year-old used his superior court craft to engineer a break point with a delicate pass in the 10th game and took the match when Wessels sent a loose backhand into the tramlines.
Coria faces a tricky match in the third round against Agustin Calleri, who edged a tightly contested all-Argentine duel against Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3 6-7 7-6.
Ferrero had fewer problems against Davis Cup team mate Lopez.
The former world number earned three break points in the ninth game with a clever lob and converted it on his first attempt with a firm backhand pass. He then served out to love to take the match.
Unseeded Martin made a whirlwind start to reel off the first five games against a rusty Robredo, who had been given a bye in the first round.
Robredo rallied at the start of the second set, breaking in the second game on his way to a 3-0 lead.
Martin broke back in the seventh, stepped up the pressure on Robredo with a succession of powerful ground strokes and broke again in the ninth before serving out for the match.
Nadal, seeded eight, claimed an impressive 6-0 6-2 victory over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.
The 18-year-old, who became the youngest winner of a Masters Series event in 15 years in Monte Carlo last week, ripped through the first set in 15 minutes.
The unseeded Muller was unable to match his opponent's powerful two-handed drives and sizzling forehands. After a brief rally in the second set, he succumbed to the in-form Spaniard.
Nadal, who is at a career-high number 11 in the rankings, will now face a third round match against Dominik Hrbaty. The Slovakian beat Italy's Potito Starace 6-3 6-2.