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Sanchez Shocks Ivanisevic
06-21-2005, 10:42 AM
Post: #1
Sanchez Shocks Ivanisevic
Emilio Sanchez only arrived in Novi as a late replacement for the injured Boris Becker, but he did not wait long to make his mark.

The Spaniard outlasted home favourite Goran Ivanisevic in a two-hour battle 6-7(7), 7-5, 10-8 (on a Champions’ Tie-Break) to disappoint the local fans.

Ivanisevic, who currently tops the Stanford Financial Champions Tour Rankings, found the withering heat too much to take.

Elsewhere, John McEnroe, who won the two Delta Tour of Champions events that were held in Zagreb in 1998 and 1999, began successfully. He defeated former French Open champion Andres Gomez 6-3, 7-5.

Cedric Pioline and Thomas Muster also began in style, beating Gilad Bloom and Andrea Gaudenzi respectively.

The players in each group will face off in a round-robin format, and the top player from each group will contest Tuesday’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.

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. Sergi Bruguera overcame Pat Cash in the Doha final last month, and Goran Ivanisevic also beat Cash a week later in the Hong Kong final. Muster took the first clay court title of the year with victory in Rome in May.

Players compete for points throughout the year to qualify for The Champions 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competitive playing careers, a Grand Slam singles finalist, or a singles player on a victorious Davis Cup team, and no longer active on the ATP circuit. Each event can also invite two players of its choice to take wild cards.

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