Boris Pasanski, the player from Serbia and Montenegro with strong Maltese connections, made a dignified exit from the Australian Open yesterday.

The 23-year-old's participation in Melbourne was ended by German Nicolas Kiefer who recovered from a set down to beat Pasanski 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-1 in the second round of the first grand slam of the year.

Pasanski, a silver medal winner for Malta in the men's singles competition at the 2005 Andorra GSSE, had set up his clash with Kiefer, ranked 25th in the world, after overcoming Australia's Wayne Arthurs 6-3 6-4 4-6 7-6 in the first round.

Currently ranked 77th on the ATP list, Pasanski lived in Malta for around three years, thus becoming eligible to represent our country in the Games of the Small States of Europe.

Sources close to the Malta Olympic Committee told The Times that Pasanski's entry in ATP events as a Serbian national does not impinge on his eligibility to play for Malta in future GSSE editions.