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Goran Ivanisevic and Richard Krajicek will re-enact their classic 1998 Wimbledon semi-final when they face off on day one of the Q-Tel ATP Champions event in Doha, Qatar – the second event on the 2005 ATP Champions Tour calendar.

That fateful day in SW19 seven years ago is not one that either player will forget in a hurry.

Ivanisevic raced to a two set lead, stood on the brink of victory before Krajicek levelled the match at two sets all. Twenty eight games later, Ivanisevic eventually secured his place in the final with a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-7, 15-13 victory.

It was one of two losses that Krajicek remembers as his most painful (the other came against Stefan Edberg at the 1992 US Open).

“I was two sets down, 5-3 down and Goran had two match points at 40-15,” remembered Krajicek.

“He hit what I thought was an ace to finish the match. I already started walking to the net to shake hands, but the Umpire called ‘let’ and we had to replay the point. I won that point, won the next point, broke him, won the set, won the fourth set, and suddenly I was serving at 3-2 up with a break in the fifth! It was a shame that I lost.”

The Dutchman will have his chance for revenge on Thursday in Doha.

Ivanisevic and Krajicek are joined in Group A by two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera and Henri Leconte, who will meet in the third match of the day.

Over in Group B, Cedric Pioline will battle 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda, and former World No.1 Thomas Muster will meet the 1987 Wimbledon winner, Pat Cash.

The players in each group will face off in a round-robin format, and the top player from each group will contest Sunday’s final. Those who finish second in each group will play off for third and fourth places respectively.

Matches are contested over the best of three sets, with the deciding set taking the form of a Champions’ Tie-break. The first player to reach 10 points in the Champions’ Tie-break is the winner. If the score is level at 9-all, a two-point advantage is required.

The event in Doha is one of a number of new steps on the Road to London in 2005. Tournaments in Frankfurt (Germany), Hong Kong (China), Novi (Croatia), Monte Carlo (Monaco) and a second event in Germany, have all been added to the Champions Tour calendar.

John McEnroe won the first event on the Delta Tour of Champions – the European section of the worldwide ATP Champions Tour – when he triumphed in Frankfurt in February.

Players will compete for points throughout the year to qualify for The Masters at the Royal Albert Hall in London, November 29 – December 4. The top ten players in the Stanford Financial Champions Tour Rankings after all events are complete will qualify automatically. The field in London will increase to 12 with the addition of two wild cards.

To be eligible to compete on the ATP Champions Tour, players must have been either a World No.1 during their competitive playing careers, a Grand Slam singles finalist, or a singles player on a victorious Davis Cup team, and no longer active on the ATP tour. Each event can also invite two players of its choice to take wild cards.

Group A
Goran Ivanisevic
Richard Krajicek
Sergi Bruguera
Henri Leconte

Group B
Thomas Muster
Pat Cash
Cedric Pioline
Petr Korda

MATCH SCHEDULE:

Thursday, April 7
Starting at 6pm

Goran Ivanisevic vs. Richard Krajicek
Petr Korda vs. Cedric Pioline
Sergi Bruguera vs. Henri Leconte
Thomas Muster vs. Pat Cash

Just want to say how good it was to get an e-mail today telling me that Goran had won over Krajicek. Almost like the old days. I miss the excitement of following Goran's ups and downs. No-one else has filled his place in the tennis world for me.
Kind regards to all
Patm
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