Chess (European Team Championships)
final for Sargsyan.
Sargis Sargsyan was runner-up at the St. Petersburg
Open International Series Tournament taking place
from October 20 to 26.
Sargsyan lost the final 4-6, 3-6 to third seed
Gustavo Kuerten from Brazil, who won his 19th
Sargysan was supported by many fans in St. Petersburg,
a city with one the biggest Armenian diasporas,
as he progressed smoothly through four matches
to reach the final.
Playing on the indoor surface, he defeated Radek
Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 then beat
Igor Andreev of Russia by the same score.
In the quarter-finals, the Yerevan native won
6-3, 6-1 against the German Lars Burgsmuller.
He faced another German Rainer Schuettler, ranked
6 in the ATP listings, in the semi-finals
It was a hard match for Sargsyan as Schuettler
is one of the strongest tennis players of the
world at present. However, Sargsyan emerged the
winner 6-3, 6-3 partly as a result of huge support
from his fans, whose vocal enthusiasm for the
Armenian made it hard for the German to concentrate
on his game.
The ATP tour is drawing to a close with the year-end
championships, the Tennis Masters Cup, in Houston,
USA, where the best eight tennis players will
meet. Sargsyan's current and likely final position
is 39th with 187 race points in 26 tournaments
Last year his final race position was 85. In
2003 Sargsyan entered two finals (St. Petersburg
and Moscow), and four quarterfinals (Chennai,
Bucharest, Wroclaw, Valencia). His singles record
for this year is 28 victories against 26 losses
with $530,664 earned in prize money.
Like Sargsyan, David Nalbandyan from Argentina
took second place at another International Series
Tournament, the Davidoff Swiss Indoor in Basle,
Switzerland from October 21 to 26.
Nalbandyan, who was defending the title he won
in 2002, was unable to play the final against
his countryman third seed Guillermo Coria because
of a left wrist injury. So Coria became champion
with a walkover win.
On his way to the final, Nalbandyan defeated
the UK player Tim Henman 6-2, 6-4 in the quarter
final. He then overcame the top-seeded American
Andy Roddick 7-5, 7-5 in the semis, but the match
left him with the wrist injury that prevented
his participation in the final.
Nalbandyan is currently in eighth place in the
ATP rankings and has qualified for the Tennis
Masters Cup. His singles record this year is 41
victories to 18 losses and $1, 070,000 earned
in prize money.