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Friday, November 10, 2006

CHILEAN SPORT

144th-ranked Andreev upsets fifth-ranked Gonzalez
In first-round Davis Cup action this weekend, Russia defeated Chile at home in the resort city of La Serena, Chile.In the first of two singles matches on Friday 4 sept, Marat Safin of Russia (ranked 24th) beat Nicholas Massu of Chile (ranked 42nd), 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Massu has shown a slump in his form in the past year. As is tradition, the local team had been allowed to choose the location and pitch. The Chileans had picked a clay surface at sea level in an effort to slow down the hard-hitting Russians.In the next game, local fans were certain that Fernando Gonzalez, the world's No. 5 player, would easily overcome Igor Andreev, ranked 144th. Against all odds, however, Andreev struck a heavy blow to the home team's morale, defeating Gonzalez in three straight sets.The Chilean team went to rest that night without disclosing who would take part in the doubles match.A few minutes before the start of the game on Saturday morning, the crowd of 9,000 cheered as they saw that Gonzalez and Massu would try to keep Chile in the series. The two Chilean players have been playing together since the junior division. In 2004, they won the gold medal in doubles at the Athens Olympic Games.The Russians, Safin and Andreev, were no match for the Chileans, who won 7-6, 6-3, 6-4. Now all was set for the final and decisive match day, when Gonzalez would face Safin and Massu would play against Andreev.Gonzalez recovered his form on Sunday and defeated Safin, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, boosting the crowd's spirit.Now all the attention was focused on whether Massu could defeat Andreev, the surprise player of the series. The Russian started by playing nearly perfect tennis at the beginning and won the first two sets, 6-2, 6-1. Spurred on by the local fans, Massu made a comeback in the third set to win, 7-1, in the tiebreak. Unfortunately, in the fourth set, Andreev played as well as he did earlier, winning with a final score of 6-2, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4.Chile must now await the draw by the International Tennis Federation to see which country will be its rival in September. Whoever it might be, Chile must win in order to continue in the top flight of world tennis.Other 1st Round ResultsArgentina 4, Austria 1USA 4, Czech Republic 1France 4, Romania 1Germany 3, Croatia 2Spain 3, Switzerland 2Sweden 3, Belarus 2Australia 2, Belgium 3


Chile’s Top Polo Player Dies After Freak Accident
Gabriel Donoso Was A Good Friend Of Prince Charles
(Photo by La Segunda.com)
The Fleni Clinic in Buenos Aires, Argentina informed that on November 10, Gabriel Donoso, Chile´s best polo player of all time, had been confirmed dead at 05:45 a.m.,. On, Nov.5, Donoso, aged 46 had suffered an unusual accident as he trained with his horse some minutes before a match in Pilar, a suburb on the outskirts of the Argentine capital. According to TV news reports, the horse became nervous and threw Donoso onto the ground. Donoso broke his spine and had been in coma and breathing through artificial ventilation.
Gabriel Donoso was also considered one of the best polo players in the world alter having achieved a handicap of nine goals, a mark that very few polo players can boast. Another of his feats occurred in 2004 when he led Chile to defeat England by 10-8 at the Guards Polo Club in London. On that occasion Donoso was honored to receive the trophy from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, of whom Gabriel Donoso was a close friend and teammate. Donoso was married to a english woman and leaves two children.
Also known as the “Sport of Kings”, Polo originated in what is now Iran and is the most exclusive sport, placed only by high income individuals and royalty. At present only a few countries Duch as U.S.A, Argentina, England, Pakistan and Australia have professional tournaments. Argentina won the World Cup since 1949 and most of the 10-goal (highest ranking) players are from this South American country. Also Argentina’s “Campeonato Abierto de Polo” (Polo Open) is one of the most prestigious in the world and has been played for the past 100 years.

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