Points won by each set: | 33-28, 35-35, 32-37, 6-25, 24-12 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
13 % Santoro – 18 of 133
15 % Safin – 21 of 134

Arguably Santoro’s [43] best Grand Slam victory because Safin was no. 2 in the world and the US Open ’00 champion. From the perspective of time it’s clear that Safin was out of form for a few months in 2001 and that defeat occurred in that difficult period for him, but during that event it was still possible that Safin would be in the 00s someone like Federer ultimately was. Santoro’s specific game-style was nightmarish in general for the Russian, that day strong wind contributed too, and after the 3-hour 12-minute match on Philippe Chatrier court (he died after Roland Garros ’00) Santoro led 6-1 in their meetings! The Frenchman already led *4:2 in the 3rd set when Safin delivered his best tennis for ~thirty minutes winning eleven games in a row (16 successive points in the 4th set) to lead 1:0 in the decider on serve. Santoro’s second and last advancement to the last 16 in Paris, previously he achieved it ten years earlier.

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