14 April 2004
ESTORIL – German tennis star Rainer Schuettler couldn’t work his way out of trouble this week, crashing to his third defeat at the Estoril Open 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 at the hands of Romanian spoiler Victor Hanescu.
The hard-hitting outsider, a towering two metres tall, survived a run of five consecutive breaks between the pair in the third set on the clay of the Estadio Nacional.
When it finally ended, Schuettler remained defiant after going out in an opening match for the seventh time this season.
“The only thing wrong in my game is that I came from Davis Cup indoors to the clay,” Schuettler said, 48 hours after he helped Germany to a 5-0 result in a playoff against Israel.
“I only had an hour to practise on the clay, but I still should have won this match. The third set was close. I’m working hard and trying to do better, and I’m expecting to play better soon.”
The 2003 Australian Open finalist and world number 6 in 2003 now stands a disappointing 3-8 this season on the ATP.
Schuettler has never won a match in Estoril, traditional opener of the European spring clay campaign, having also gone out in 2000 and 2003.
Subject: German news