rg05puerta_canas

Points won by each set: [ 25-19, 18-29, 19-32, 33-23, 35-30 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
12 % Puerta – 17 of 131
20 % Canas – 27 of 132

A lifetime opportunity for both Argentinians, the most involved players in doping affairs as far as guys born in the 70s are concerned. Canas had played a French Open quarter-final before, but he was an underdog in 2002 as he lost in a five-setter to Albert Costa (5-7 6-3 7-6 4-6 0-6). Against Puerta, he was a slight favourite as a higher ranked player [10 vs 37], but again succumbed despite a two-sets-to-one advantage. In a gruelling baseline battle of acute angles, Puerta’s offensive ground-strokes overcame in the end Canas’ exceptional skills in defence. Puerta got the only break of the 4th set leading 3:2. In the decider Canas had a break point at 2:1, but quickly found himself trailing *2:4 (0/30). He avoided a double break deficit, and saved a double match point in the 10th game with two cross-court FH passing-shots (Puerta dived on the second one), but lost that 1/4 final duel on the third match point after 3 hours 35 minutes… Canas will play his third and last Grand Slam quarter-final two years later, also in Paris.

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