Kafelnikov’s countryman, Mikhail Youzhny, has got out of the French Open. He was shown the exit door by the Czech player Radek Stepanek who crushed him by 6-0, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the third round match.
Stepanek came into the match firing on all cylinders as he broke the serve of his opponent thrice consecutively in the opening set to register a bagel.
The start was similar for the Czech international in the second set as well as he got a breakthrough in the first game again, but, this time, Youzhny broke him back immediately. However, that proved to be an aberration only as Stepanek broke Youzhny in the 3rd game and then held his serve in the 4th game to take a 3-1 lead. Thereafter, he just won his service games and clinched the second set too to get into a very good position in the match.
In the third set though, Youzhny appeared to be making his way back into the match. He significantly decreased the no. of unforced errors and latched on the opportunities that came his way to clinch the set by 6-3.
That made the proceedings interesting, but, only for a short duration as Stepanek was back to his best again in the 4th set. With some brilliant forehand shots, he got Youzhny completely flattened.
The eventual score line of the 4th set was 6-4 in the Czech’s favour and the match got finished off with that.
This can be termed as a bit of an upset as Youzhny (world no. 15) is more than 20 positions higher than Stepanek (world no. 40) in the ATP world rankings.
Now, in the third round match that will take place tomorrow, Stepanek will be playing against Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.