Veteran Swiss tennis star Marc Rosset finally had something to celebrate on Monday, after coming through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw of the ATP tournament in Moscow.
The prestigious Russian event has been a favourite stomping ground of Rosset's in the past. During his long reign as Swiss number one, the Genevan won the Moscow title twice - lifting the trophy in 1992 and 1993.
Eight years later, and after a dismal season that has seen Rosset slump to 103rd in the world rankings, the 31-year-old had to book his place in the main draw the hard way - by winning three qualifying round matches.
His opponent in the last of those three matches was none other than last year's losing finalist, David Prinosil - who entered the encounter more than 40 ranking places higher than Rosset.
Despite his apparent underdog status, though, Rosset edged ahead of Prinosil to take the first set 7-5, and then refused to give way, sealing the second set 6-3 to secure his seventh win in eight meetings with his German opponent.
Improvement in fortunes
Rosset's achievement in reaching the main draw follows earlier signs of a slight improvement in his fortunes. Although the Swiss player is clearly not back to his best, his performance in Moscow comes at the end of a spell which has at least seen him reach the second round at three of his last four tournaments.
Previously, Rosset had been dumped out in the first round of seven consecutive competitions.
Rosset will be joined by current Swiss number one Roger Federer in the main draw in Moscow. The 20-year-old from Basel (ATP 12) is the tournament's third seed, but may not find things easy in his first round match against Germany's Nicolas Kiefer.
Honours are even between Federer and the 24-year-old from Holzminden, with each player having won one of their previous two meetings. Kiefer came out on top at the end of their last encounter, beating Federer in three sets during the first round of the Indian Wells tournament in March.
swissinfo with agencies
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