Rosset Tops Week With St. Pete Title
- By Mike Scollon
- Feb. 16 1999 00:00
ST. PETERSBURG -- Marc Rosset put the finishing touches on a week of overpowering tennis when he defeated David Prinosil 6-3, 6-4 to win the St. Petersburg Open on Sunday.
The victory over the German at the Sport and Culture Complex ended an impressive run by Rosset - the second-seeded Swiss never dropped a set throughout the entire tournament.
After trading service matches in the first set, Rosset broke Prinosil's serve in the fifth game and again in the ninth game to gain the early momentum.
But Prinosil bounced back quickly in the second, winning Rosset's service to love and then taking an early 3-1 lead over the frustrated Swiss.
While the two players were serving equally well - both posted eight ace for the day - Rosset's came at more opportune moments and he gained strength over the tiring Prinosil to even at three games each.
Rosset, leading five games to four, then broke Prinosil's serve again for the decisive point. During the awards ceremony Rosset lifted the trophy and thanked the cheering crowd.
"Thank you," he said. "I think I am more popular here than in my own country."
That had not been the case the day before, when hot tempers and frustration took center stage in the semifinal matches.
Playing against his doubles partner Marat Safin, Rosset used his superior backhand to defeat the hard-hitting Russian. Their match featured a lengthy delay as Rossetcomplained about the actions of the crowd.
"I don't think it is nice to yell 'double fault' when you are trying to serve," Rosset said of the crowd at a news conference after the match.
In addition, Jeff Tarango of the United States will face an ATP review of an incident in which he kicked over a metal wall holding an advertising banner during Tarango's and Czech partner Daniel Vacek's 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 semifinal doubles victory over the Dutch team of Tom Kempers and Jan Siemerink.
Prinosil upset No. 1 seed Jan Siemerink 6-4, 6-2 in a semifinal match, while Dutchman Menno Oosting and Andrei Pavel of Romania downed Marius Barnard of South Africa and Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty 3-5, 7-5, 6-1.
The top-seeded Tarango and Vacek defeated Oosting and Pavel 3-6, 6-3,7-5.
Tarango thanked his partner, but apologized to the crowd of nearly 10,000 after the game.
"I'm sorry, but we need to give him a passport for the United States. We need him for the Davis Cup," he said.