Qualifier Clement Ousts Fifth Seed Beck
by ATP Staff
© AFP/Getty Images
Arnaud Clement won his eighth tour-level match of the season.
French qualifier Arnaud Clement won his first tour-level match since May as he accounted for fifth seed Andreas Beck 6-4, 6-2 Tuesday in the first round of the If Stockholm Open, an ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament.
The former Top 10 member had lost in the opening round of six tour-level events since a second-round showing (l. to C. Rochus) at Roland Garros. The 31 year old, who won three matches in qualifying, saved both break points he faced, while capitalising on three of the six opportunities he created to seal victory after 76 minutes. It was Clement's eighth tour-level win of the year.
"It was much better today," said Clement. "I've been losing in the first round of challenger events in the past few weeks but I'm starting to play much better. I've won a few matches in the last few days and it's great for my confidence.
"I wasn't feeling great physically in the last few months and lost all my confidence. Winning qualifying matches has helped me find my form, and winning my first main-draw match since Roland Garros against a seed helps a lot."
World No. 37 Beck, 101 places higher than Clement in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, slipped to a 22-20 mark on the season. The German reached his first ATP World Tour final at the Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad (l. to Bellucci) in July and recently posted back-to-back quarter-final efforts at the Open de Moselle (l. to Mathieu) in Metz and the PTT Thailand Open (l. to Melzer) in Bangkok.
Clement next will face fellow qualifier Michael Berrer, who ended the hopes of Finnish qualifier Henri Kontinen with a 7-5, 7-6(7) victory in two hours and nine minutes. "It's a nice opportunity to progress further but I can't take anything for granted," said Clement.