Stefan Edberg beat Henri Leconte in his first match at the Algalrve Vale do Lobo tournament. He won 6-2, 6-7(5), 10-3 and today faces Thomas Muster in the second match. Stefan always beat Muster in 10 ATP Tour matches, and again last September in Paris Senior tournament.
Rios Loses Unbeaten Record On Day Of Upsets
from ATP Champions Tour
Until tonight, Marcelo Rios had ‘owned’ the Vale Do Lobo Grand Champions CGD in the Algarve, Portugal. The Chilean had won the title in both of his previous appearances (2006 and 2008), winning all eight of the matches he had contested. Against wild card and home favourite Nuno Marques, that run ended emphatically as he went down 6-1, 6-2 in just 55 minutes. A day of upsets continued when Sao Paulo finalist Fernando Meligeni defeated former World No.1 Thomas Muster 6-4, 4-6, 10-3 (Champions’ Tie-Break).
Watching the left-handed Marques serve and volley his way to victory against Rios made one wonder how the Portuguese player had not broken into the Top 50 during his career. He regularly rendered Rios defenseless by pushing the Chilean off-balance, and then finishing points at the net.
For Rios, sporting a severe, spiky hair-do and a sleeveless shirt to show off the work he had been doing in the gym, nothing went right. The timing and angles for which he is famous were conspicuous by their absence, and his vanquisher wondered whether the Chilean was injured.
“It was a great win of course at a tournament that means so much to me but Marcelo wasn’t at his best,” said Marques. “He was having trouble moving and reaching difficult balls. I don’t think the result would have been like this if he had been at his best.”
Rios would not have argued with that assessment, but he also refused to make any excuses. “I wasn’t injured. I just didn’t play well,” he said.
For Marques, to play in the event is a dream-come-true. “The event is in my country and it’s one of the very few opportunities to play these top guys. Some of them were my idols when I was younger - guys like Stefan Edberg. It’s a big honour to play this tournament," he said.
Elsewhere, Meligeni was in fine form to see off Muster, while Greg Rusedski made an impressive debut at the Vale Do Lobo Grand Champions CGD with a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over Marc-Kevin Goellner. A cracking final match of the day saw Stefan Edberg, looking more 23 than 43, overcome Henri Leconte 6-2, 6-7(5), 10-3 (Champions’ Tie-Break). Edberg still weighs the same as when he retired 13 years ago, and Leconte has recently lost nine kilos in weight. It showed.
All players in each group will play each other over a round-robin format, and after all round-robin matches are complete, the top player in each group will meet in the final. The runners-up in each group will play off for the third place position. Matches are played over the best of three sets with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) deciding the winner of matches that are tied at one-set-all.
To be eligible to compete on the ATP Champions Tour, players must be either a former World Number One, a former Grand Slam champion or finalist, or a singles player on a Davis Cup-winning team. Each even can also invite two wild cards of its choice.
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