Puerta upsets Canas


Paris, June 1:

Mariano Puerta unleashed a string of ferocious winners to post the biggest triumph of his career. His five set win over fellow Argentine Guillermo Canas sees him head into the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time ever.

The 26-year-old unseeded Puerta overcame a two-set to one deficit to grind down his 27-year-old friend 6-2, 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in three hours and 35 minutes.

Now, Puerta will play the winner of the contest between No15 seed Spaniard Tommy Robredo and Russian Nikolay Davydenko, the No12 seed.

A pumped-up Puerta came out firing here, dictating play with his wicked forehand. He soon had his countryman sprinting from side to side and guessing on every point.

The 37-ranked underdog broke in the second and fourth game to go up 5-0 and concluded the speedy first set two games later in 30 minutes when Canas committed an unforced error. Canas, ranked 10th, looked physically spent and came out flat, unable to find secure footing as he was constantly pushed back by the southpaw’s heavy top-spin drives. He found his aim in the second and swung the tide back in his favour. His patience paid dividends too, as

he took his opponent’s serve two times to restore parity. He then skipped out to a 5-1 third set lead and snatched the third set in a cakewalk as Puerta began to run out of gas.

Puerta broke Canas in the sixth game, opening up the court with inside-out forehand bullets to jump ahead 5-2, and evened things out two games later to force a decider.

The Argentines traded blows like two raging bulls in the fifth. Puerta was in full attacking mode while Canas relentlessly kept chasing every ball down.

Puerta broke Canas in the fifth game to go up 4-2 and maintained his advantage en route to his upset victory but not before Canas gave one last fight. He secured a third match point and finally emerged victorious when Canas committed a fatal last error.