- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 October 31, 2003 

Double Fault: Sargsyan, Nalbandian fall at the final hurdles

Chess (European Team Championships)

Another 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 career title.

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 played.

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.



According to Agnes
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This week Armenia was commemorating the fourth anniversary of October 27 terroristic act in Armenian parliament and paying tribute to its victims. Among others Stepan Demirchyan visited the cemetery and laid flowers on the grave of his father, late speaker of National Assembly Karen Demirchyan.


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