Goran Ivanisevic Article

March 2 1997


MILAN, Italy (Mar 2, 1997 12:02 p.m. EST) -- Goran Ivanisevic won the quickest final in ATP Tour history Sunday, making short work of Sergi Bruguera 6-2, 6-2 in the Italian Indoors tournament.

Ivanisevic, seeded No. 1, needed only 47 minutes to overcome the Spaniard at Assago Forum and capture his second ATP Tour title of 1997. He also became the third repeat winner at the $815,000 Milan event, joining John McEnroe and Boris Becker.

The 25-year-old, big-serving Croat dominated the match, relying on his powerful, precise serve and on deep backhand passing shots.

"I was too good today. I was fully concentrated, while it's usually the contrary. I felt unbeatable," said Ivanisevic, who improved his year record to 22-3 while winning his 19th career title.

He was sympathetic with the fans, who hooted at the quick finish.

"They paid the ticket, and there was little tennis. I always had the match under control."

Bruguera, 26, playing his first final since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was no threat to the more powerful and inspired opponent.

"He served well, and played faster. It was difficult to attack, try to break him. He has the best serve in tennis history," said Bruguera, who won two French Open titles before being sidelined with torn right ankle tendons and a knee injury in 1995-96.

"Reaching the final here gave me a good morale, but Goran took some of the confidence out of me today," said the Spaniard, who vaulted to 47th in the ATP Tour this year from 81st.

Ivanisevic, who had won last year's Milan final against Swiss Marc Rosset in 58 minutes, pocketed a first prize of $128,000. Bruguera got $68,000.

"This has not been my shortest match, but for sure it has been my shortest final," Ivanisevic said.

It was the quicket ever ATP final. The previous fastest of 50 minutes was played in Ostrava last year with David Prinosil overcoming Petr Korda 6-1, 6-2. While ATP officials clocked 47 minutes, television tapes indicated the duration of the final at 43 minutes, 21 seconds.

Ivanisevic served 12 aces and had an impressive average of 96 percent of first-serve points won in his third final of the year. He broke Bruguera twice in each set and never faced a break point.

Ivanisevic, the only seeded player left in the Milan tournament after the quarterfinals, said he was looking forward to tournaments in Rotterdam and Key Biscayne later this month.

"However, what I want most is a Grand Slam title," said Ivanisevic, who lost a Wimbledon final to Pete Sampras in 1994.

"If I always manage to play like this, I could win Wimbledon. Milan and Wimbledon are not the same thing, but a final is a final and I played super today," he said.