Goran features on new Croatian stamps
Ivanisevic Douses Gimelstob's Fire
by Mildrade Cherfils
31 August 2001
American qualifier Justin Gimelstob was silenced in straight sets Friday by No. 15 seed Goran Ivanisevic and his 23 aces, just two shy of his record-setting performance in the first round against Hugo Armando. Although each player had seven opportunities to break his opponent's serve, the reigning Wimbledon champ converted four break points to the fiery American's single conversion. Ivanisevic will face Spain's Albert Costa in the fourth round in his bid to be a back-to back winner of the US Open and Wimbledon.
At No. 15, reigning Wimbledon champ Ivanisevic has his first seeding at the US Open since 1998.
Ivanisevic served 25 aces in his first round match with wild card Hugo Armando to put him in joint third place with Julien Boutter for the most aces served by a player in the first round.
Ivanisevic is making his ninth appearance in the US Open second round. As a No. 11 seed, he lost at this stage in 1993 to Carlos Costa.
Goran Ivanisevic Wins at U.S. Open
August 29 2001
By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Goran Ivanisevic was about to serve on match point when a voice from the stands broke the silence at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
"Yea, Goran!" the fan shouted. Ivanisevic turned toward him, grinned and waved, then won the next point to close out his first-round victory at the U.S. Open.
The colorful Croat was back on the Grand Slam stage Wednesday, basking in his role as reigning Wimbledon champion. With a near-capacity crowd firmly in his corner, Ivanisevic beat Hugo Armando 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
"I never saw so many people watching me first round," Ivanisevic said. "It's a great honor that I achieve and people respect me. It's a great feeling."
Fans love Ivanisevic, but few expect him to duplicate his magical run at Wimbledon, where last month he became the first wild card to win a major men's title. That achievement was all the sweeter because it came in the same tournament where he had endured a decade of despair.
Now he's seeded 15th and in the weaker half of the draw but again considered a long shot. He's still hindered by chronic shoulder soreness that will require surgery at the end of the year, and Wednesday's victory was just his sixth at the Open since 1996, the only time he reached the semifinals.
"If I pass the first week, is going to be again very, very open," said Ivanisevic, echoing comments he made at the start of Wimbledon in the same broken English. "Doesn't matter what the people are talking. I feel happy. It's fun to play tennis again."
For the third straight day, there were no upsets among the top players. Top-seeded Gustavo Kuerten and Martina Hingis advanced, as did Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles and Serena Williams. Patty Schnyder gave Wimbledon runner-up Justine Henin a scare before losing 6-7 (7), 6-1, 6-4.
Two-time champion Patrick Rafter won 17 of the last 20 games to beat Christophe Rochus 7-5, 6-2, 6-1.
On a near-perfect day for tennis - clear and mild - the only precipitation came from Czech Michal Tabara, who admitted he spit at American Justin Gimelstob approaching the net to shake hands after their match. Gimelstob, who won in five sets, annoyed Tabara with his demonstrative manner and injury timeouts.
"I think he wasn't fit," Tabara complained. "He take injury time because he cannot breathe and cannot move."
Gimelstob said he didn't see Tabara spit, probably because he was looking in another direction as he celebrated the win.
"The chance is 100 percent I didn't see it, or I would have been on the other side of the net," Gimelstob said. "I guarantee you the next time I see him, I'll take it up with him."
For entertainment value, only Ivanisevic could rival a spat about spit. His news conferences may be the most exciting 15 minutes in sports, and topics Wednesday included his sore left shoulder, off-color English and plans to play soccer for his hometown team in Split, Croatia.
"I signed the contract, so I'm on the team," he said. "I'm going to be even more nervous, because is not my sport. When they going to give me the ball, I going to get rid of the ball straightaway, just give it to the closest guy next to me, even if he's from the other team."
Ivanisevic apologized for language he used at Wimbledon to describe a linesman who annoyed him, and said he's trying to be more careful about his choice of words.
"I swear on the court in Indianapolis, some religious group, they call," he said. "Everything what I say, everybody complaining, this group, that group. I have nothing against those people. Just that's the thing I say. I'm not going to say it anymore."
Ivanisevic resisted using curse words when discussing his rotator cuff injury. The shoulder hurts, he said, as it did at Wimbledon, but he slammed a record 213 aces there and had 25 against Armando.
"I have a lot of aces, but a lot of painkillers also," he said. "Each ace, one painkiller."
Ivanisevic, 29, will be sidelined for several months following surgery, but he plans to play again at Wimbledon.
"How can I not show up, even with one leg?" he said.
Wednesday's win came on the one-year anniversary of his last match at the Open, a dismal loss to Dominik Hrbaty. Ivanisevic won the first set, then lost 18 of the next 19 games.
It was the fourth time he was eliminated in the first round at the Open, and he sank into a slump that left his fragile psyche shaken and his career in doubt.
"Last year was disaster," he said. "I remember that, talking pretty sad things. But now is different. Today was too nice day to go back and spoil everything."
Ivanisevic plays Gimelstob next. A first-time U.S. Open finalist is likely to emerge from that half of the draw, with Kuerten and American teen-ager Andy Roddick the most formidable potential opponents.
"It's a good chance for old Goran," three-time Open champion John McEnroe said. "He's very dangerous. That half is pretty wide open. It's unpredictable who is going to come out of there. Why not Goran?"
After what happened at Wimbledon, that's a good question, and the enigmatic Ivanisevic will provide the answer.
Ivanisevic to Tone Down Outbursts
August 29 2001
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goran Ivanisevic's verbal outbursts could be a thing of the past, the Croat said on Wednesday.
After beating American Hugo Armando 6-4 6-4 6-3 in his first round match at the U.S. Open, Ivanisevic apologized for some colorful language he directed at a Wimbledon linesman earlier this year.
"I can apologize to him but I didn't mean anything bad with that," he said.
The 29-year-old Wimbledon champion said he was trying to be more careful with his words.
"I swear on the court in Indianapolis, some religious group calls. Everything I say, everybody is complaining, this group, that group. I can't please anybody. There's the problem," said Ivanisevic.
"I have nothing against those people. Just that's the thing I say. I'm not going to say it anymore."
Ivanisevic "doesn't care" about U.S. Open
25 August 2001
By Bill Berkrot
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Andre Agassi loves the U.S. Open, Gustavo Kuerten is a bit intimidated by it and Goran Ivanisevic is still so high from Wimbledon that the Open doesn't much matter to him one way or the other.
Such were the diverse perspectives of this year's first three Grand Slam winners when asked to discuss the fourth and final major championship, which begins on Monday.
Ivanisevic is still on Cloud Nine almost seven weeks after his unlikely run to the Wimbledon title in his fourth trip to the final after gaining a last minute wild card entry.
Asked if he thought he could also win the U.S. Open, Ivanisevic broke up the room with his disarmingly honest response.
"Actually, I don't care," he said in New York on Friday.
"My dreams came true after so many tries and now I feel more happy on the court, just enjoying tennis and whatever happens here it's gonna be nice."
Was this the "good Goran" or the "bad Goran" talking?
"It's the relaxed Goran," joked the big guy who has admitted to possessing multiple personalities.
He said he still sometimes worries about waking up and realising his Wimbledon win was a dream rather than a dream come true.
"After three finals, how I won it with a wild card, nobody believed it (could happen). I kind of believed and hoped. I never gave up hope and that was like a destiny for me," he said.
"I'm still dreaming and flying. Still, sometimes I think I didn't win and then I say 'Gee, I won it.'"
Ivanisevic noticed the difference that comes with his new status as Wimbledon champion as soon as he walked out to a practice court at the National Tennis Centre on Friday.
"It feels great. Today I was practising and so many people were watching. The past three years in my first round match there were not that many people watching as today at practice," he said almost in disbelief.
"You come as Wimbledon champion and everybody is happy for me, it was really great," he said.
Ivanisevic Visits David Letterman
Aug. 24, 2001
Wimbledon champion appeared on the popular tv show to talk about his recent success.
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman from the CBS studios in New York on Thursday evening.
Of his appearance on the popular television talk show, the affable Croat said: "It is a thrill to be on one of the most popular television shows in the whole world. I can play on Centre Court at Wimbledon, and not get nervous, but this is different. While I was waiting in the dressing room for my segment, I couldn't help but look for the fire escape."
Among the topics addressed by the king of late night television were Goran's improbable Wimbledon title, his penchant for breaking racquets and his much-publicized strip show in front of 200,000 spectators in his hometown of Split, Croatia.
"The moment I walked out on the stage it was amazing," Ivanisevic said. "I have seen so many celebrities on this show, and it was an incredible feeling to be part of it. Once you get in that chair, David makes you very comfortable. He makes it easy for you."
The episode will air on Friday night in the States and should air on Monday in Europe.
Felix Mantilla Upsets Ivanisevic
August 21 2001
COMMACK, N.Y. (AP) - Felix Mantilla, ranked No. 69 in the world, stunned Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic 6-3, 7-5 Tuesday in the opening round of the Hamlet Cup.
The 26-year-old Mantilla, who was ranked in the top 25 from 1996 through 1999, lost five straight matches earlier this year and dropped to the Challenge circuit to try and get untracked.
"I'm alive again," said Mantilla, who had to win two qualifier matches to get into this tournament. "I was solid on the baseline and that stopped him from getting so many aces."
In another first-round match, third-seeded Pete Sampras outlasted Olivier Rochus 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4).
Mantilla had 11 aces, five more than the hard-serving Ivanisevic, who led 4-1 in the second set.
"The second set was strange, but I just kept going at him," Mantilla said. "The fans were rooting for him, but that gave me the inspiration I needed to get on track."
The seventh-seeded Ivanisevic, who complained the courts were slow and the balls were heavy, admitted his left shoulder continued to bother him. The left-hander is scheduled to have surgery on it at the end of the year. "It's nerve problems in my shoulder and it goes all the way down to my elbow," he said. "My serve definitely slowed down and that's why he was able to make the comeback."
Ivanisevic was asked about the upcoming U.S. Open.
"It's not going to be easy," he said. "I'll have to take painkillers as I did at Wimbledon and pray as I did at Wimbledon."
Sampras, holder of a record 13 Grand Slam titles but winless in his last 15 tournaments, is a wild-card entrant in this event.
The win was the second for Sampras over the 20-year-old in as many meetings. The first was a 6-1, 6-2 victory in the Queen's Club in London two months ago.
Thomas Enqvist continued his comeback from surgeries last December on his right shoulder and right foot with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Hyung-Taik Lee.
"There is no pain at all," the ninth-seeded Enqvist said. "It took a long time, at least four months, to get my power back again. I had to have the operations. I was trying to play through the pain, but that didn't work."
Jan-Michael Gambill withdrew after splitting two sets with Alberto Martin because of problems with his right rotator cuff.
It was the second time in as many weeks Gambill was forced to quit during a match.
"It's kind of a dead feeling," said Gambill, who had his shoulder massaged after winning the first set 6-3. "There was no sense doing additional damage on the eve of the U.S. Open.
"I'll play in that until my arm falls off. That's why I decided before taking the court tonight that I wouldn't play more than two sets."
Martin won the second set 7-5.
"Bad Goran" costs his master a game penalty in racket-smash outburst
By: Bill Scott
INDIANAPOLIS -- Goran Ivanisevic started out strong but faded to grey at the RCA Championships Sunday as top seed Gustavo Kuerten moved into the finals 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a match postponed from Saturday night due to rain. Kuerten, with six titles already to his credit this season, was taking on Australian Patrick Rafter for the title on hard-courts. Rafter is playing in his fourth straight trophy match without a victory since losing to Ivanisevic in the Wimbledon final last month.
Ivanisevic said that after ripping through the opening set in 21 minutes from a 5-0 lead - Kuerten got into the match with three aces in the sixth game - his level faded fast.
Against a world-beater like Kuerten, that was a fatal error. "He played a bad first set, but I had a bad game early in the second," said the 29-year-old Croatian. If you let him get some confidence he'll run all over you. After the first set, my serving percentage dropped very low," said the ten seed who produced 14 aces but his only 49 percent of his first serves. "You have to serve well against the top guys."
There was also some typical Ivanisevic antics in the match.
One of the trio of the colorful player's alter egos, Bad Goran, put in an unwelcome appearance in the third set as the left-hander was trying to mount a come-back. Ivanisevic, who had already broken one racket in the morning contest, smashed another one in the third game of the final set after missing on a break point.
That gesture earned him a game penalty. "I was just frustrated," he said. "I had missed like 11 first serves in a row, then I then missed easy forehand. The man who admits to being the master of several competing personalities added: "Good Goran was frustrated, but he didn't want to break a racket. But Bad Goran pushed my arm down that extra two inches for the break. I forgot I already had a warning."
Kuerten overcame a niggle in his ribcage which required on-court treatment and won through in 68 minutes to put him into a quest for his seventh trophy of this season.
'Guga' will take on Rafter for the second straight week after beating the Aussie 6-1, 6-3 in Cincinnati seven days ago. Also in Cincinnati, Kuerten finished off a weather-held semi against Tim Henman, then earned the Masters title against Rafter.
Rafter claimed an afternoon Indianapolis victory Saturday over Marat Safin, then attended a Colts NFL pre-season game to relax at night. Ivanisevic started out on fire, racing to a 5-0 lead and forcing Kuerten to produce three aces in the sixth game before finally get a look onto the scoreboard. The Brazilian then squared the match in the second and began the third with a break of the 29-year-old Croatian, who has never won a title in the U.S. out of 22 in his career.
Thanx to Lisa for this news
Kuerten and Rafter Set for Another Final Showdown
19 August 2001
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Top seed Gustavo Kuerten set up his second consecutive final meeting against Pat Rafter when he beat Goran Ivanisevic 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the RCA Championships Sunday.
Kuerten, the French Open champion, struggled to find his form in the opening set of the quick 68-minute semifinal, which had been held over from Saturday because of rain storms.
The Brazilian saved himself from a total whitewash by holding his serve in the sixth game against the Wimbledon champion, serving aces on the final two points.
After racing through the first set, Ivanisevic's game fell apart and his temper flared throughout the next two sets.
In contrast, Kuerten, who was tended to by ATP trainer Doug Spreen for a sore right arm and rib cage from overplaying, picked up the pace of his own game.
After losing the first game of the third set, a frustrated Ivanisevic broke his racket in disgust and received a warning from the umpire.
He did the same thing in the third game of the final set after smacking an easy forehand into the net to go down 30-40, earning a point penalty from the umpire and handing the Kuerten the game for a 3-0 lead.
"He played a pretty bad first set, but then I played a very bad game in the second game of the second set to go down 2-0," Ivanisevic said. "Then in the third set I played two stupid games."
Australian Rafter beat Marat Safin of Russia 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 in his semifinal Saturday. Kuerten comfortably beat Rafter 6-1, 6-3 in the Tennis Masters Series-Cincinnati final last Sunday.
Kuerten, Rafter in RCA Finals
August 19 2001
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten advanced to the RCA Championship final Sunday by beating Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
After a one-hour break, Kuerten had to get back on court to face Pat Rafter for the title. Kuerten's semifinal was scheduled for Saturday but was postponed by rain.
It was the second straight week Kuerten was forced to play a semifinal and final on the same day. The Brazilian beat Tim Henman and then Rafter to win a tournament in Cincinnati last Sunday.
In Indianapolis, Ivanisevic cruised through the first set but struggled after that. His booming serve failed him over the last two sets, with just 44 percent of first serves going in.
At one juncture, he threw his racket, breaking it, and then tossed it into courtside flowers.
Rafter, who lost to Ivanisevic in the Wimbledon finals in July, won his semifinal Saturday over Marat Safin 6-3, 5-7, 7-6.
Weather Postpones Indianapolis Semifinal
August 18 2001
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Reuters) - Rain storms and tornado warnings have postponed the semifinal match between top seed Gustavo Kuerten and 10th-seeded Goran Ivanisevic at the Indianapolis Championships on Saturday.
The match will be played at 11:00am EST with the final expected to be played after a suitable rest period but not before 1:00pm EST. The winner of the match will met Australia's Pat Rafter who beat Russia's Marat Safin 6-3, 5-6, 7-6 (9-7) in an earlier match. It is Rafter's fourth consecutive final following appearances in the finals of Wimbledon, Montreal and Cincinnati. He has failed to win the previous three finals.
Ivanisevic Moves Into Indianapolis Semis
Friday August 17 2001
By Sandra Harwitt
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic and last year's U.S. Open winner Marat Safin both won their quarterfinals Friday at the Indianapolis Championships.
Ivanisevic, who served strongly, beat Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco 7-5, 6-3 in just over an hour while Safin beat eighth-seeded Thomas Enqvist of Sweden 7-5, 6-4.
Meanwhile Ivanisevic, who won Wimbledon in July after failing in three previous finals, said he now wanted to add a U.S title to his list of accomplishments.
"I have never won a tournament in the United States," said Ivanisevic, who has lost all five finals he has played in America.
"That's my goal. Now that I won a Grand Slam, I'd like to win a tournament here. And this place is a great place."
Ivanisevic, 29, who never offered the 49th-ranked El Aynaoui a service break opportunity broke the Moroccan twice in the match.
He will now meet the winner of the quarter-final match between top-seeded Gustavo Kuerten and sixth-seeded Tim Henman in the semifinals.
Last week in Cincinnati, Ivanisevic lost a third-round match to Kuerten under lights and he admits his night vision is suspect but is unsure of wearing contact lenses.
"I need to play less night matches, that's for sure."
"I've asked some of the players and they say you feel something always in your eyes with contacts. But I have to do something."
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, armed with 19 aces, captured a 7-5 7-5 victory over seventh-seeded Arnaud Clement to set up a quarter-final with Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco.
Belarussian Max Mirnyi saved seven match points to outlast Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden 3-6 6-3 7-6 (14-12) to move into the quarterfinals against Pat Rafter.
The fifth-seeded Rafter, who has reached the final of his last three tournaments - Wimbledon, Montreal and Cincinnati - won 6-4 6-4 over Kristian Pless of Denmark.
16 August 2001, By Sandra Harwitt
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic saved two match points to beat Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-1) in the second round at the Indianapolis Championships.
Ivanisevic, who was warned for verbal abuse during the second set tiebreaker, said his experience of winning Wimbledon had helped him through the match.
"When I'm on court I'm usually living here, on the court," Ivanisevic said.
"But as soon as I'm off the court I think about the Wimbledon win because it is so nice, so good.
"But sometimes, even when I'm on the court, I think about Wimbledon. Sometimes during the match I say, Come on man, you won Wimbledon, hit two aces, you need them."
The 79th-ranked Voltchkov led 5-4 in the third set as Ivanisevic was serving in the 10th game and fell behind 15-40.
He saved the first match point with an ace and the next match point with a service winner.
"I hit two good serves," Ivanisevic said.
"I hit an ace and then on the second serve I couldn't understand what he was doing. For some reason, he came three meters inside the baseline and I don't know why he would do that.
"I decided to take some pace off the serve and just put it in and it worked."
Ivanisevic will meet Australian Open finalist Arnaud Clement of France in the third round on Thursday.
The seventh-seeded Clement holds a 3-1 career edge over the Croat.
I've recently added to my web site an archived news section, the recent interview with Goran and pictures from OK! Magazine, and a download section where you can download a Wimbledon 2001 video cover!
Wimbledon winner auctioning scooter because mum doesn't like it
14 August 2001
Goran Ivanisevic is auctioning off a scooter because his mum thinks it's too dangerous.
Proceeds from the sale will go towards a children's hospital in Split, Croatia.
Fans from abroad can take part in the auction via email.
Goran was given the Piaggio maxi-scooter X9 180 as a sponsor's present following his triumph at Wimbledon.
Goran said: "My mother never let me drive a motorcycle in my life. Even now when I am a grown up person, she still believes it would be too dangerous for me to drive. I don't want to disobey her and that's why I'm selling it."
It will be auctioned off as part of an event due to take place in Split later this month. The starting price for bids is £3,300.
Fans can take part in the auction via email. They can send their offers to email@example.com.
"It is sad that at the moment there isn't an intensive care ward for children," said Goran. "I am always ready to help such things, to help those little babies'."
He received the scooter on the same day his friend wrote off his Porsche. A Peugeot cabriolet he ordered has been held up due to high demand.
Monday August 13 11:08 PM ET
Ivanisevic Wins First Round Match in Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic struggled, but eventually managed to close out his first round match 6-4, 6-4 over Brazil's Fernando Meligeni at the Indianapolis Championships on Monday.
Serving for the match at 6-4, 5-4, the 10th-seeded Ivanisevic raced to 40-15 but then struggled through the 12-point final game.
Not only did the Croatian watch those two match points go by, but he then had to save one break point with a breathtaking backhand drop shot.
Five points later on his fourth match point, Ivanisevic ended the 70-minute match with a service winner.
"In the end, I always complicate life," said Ivanisevic of the final game.
"I just can't do anything normal. I had those two match points. When I get to the U.S. Open I can't do this type of thing to myself."
Ivanisevic, who had 15 aces and broke serve on three occasions, only had his own serve broken once, in the fourth game of the first set.
He admits that having won the Wimbledon trophy, in his fourth final, has made his life more enjoyable.
"That (winning Wimbledon) was all I wanted. Every time I step on the court, I want to win, but I take losses easier."
"Five months ago I was afraid to go for my shots because I wanted to win so badly. I just was pushing the ball back."
"I'm not as tight now and whatever happens, happens so I'm relaxed and just hit it back."
Despite saying he has eased the pressure on himself, Ivanisevic admitted he was nervous in the match against the 89th-ranked Meligeni and was seen more than once berating himself in Croatian when he missed a shot.
"I think I played very well but sometimes I made some stupid mistakes," Ivanisevic said.
"For me, everything has to always be perfection. Even if I win a shot I might not be happy because I didn't hit the ball the way I wanted."
INDIANAPOLIS Aug. 13, 2001
Ivanisevic Through to Second Round
Goran Ivanisevic defeated Fernando Meligeni to advance in Indianapolis.
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, making his eighth appearance at the RCA Championships, defeated Brazil's Fernando Meligeni 6-4, 6-4 to advance Monday in Indianapolis.
Ivanisevic, the No. 10 seed, improved his record to 3-0 against the left-handed Brazilian. He now moves into the second round, where he will face Vladimir Voltchkov, who defeated qualifier Glenn Weiner 7-6(4) 3-6, 6-0.
Ivanisevic fired 15 aces in the match, which was his 10th victory in his last 11 matches since the beginning of Wimbledon.
"The conditions were perfect and it was nothing close to Cincinnati," Ivanisevic said. "I played pretty well in the match and I'm pleased with my performance. I'm hitting the ball well."
In other action, Tennis Masters Series Montreal champion Andrei Pavel began his campaign with a tough 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 win over American Mardy Fish. The No.11 seed from Romania fought off a spirited Fish to set up a second-round clash with former Wimbledon finalist Cedric Pioline or Denmark's Kristian Pless.
"In my first two years here, I lost in the first round," Pavel said. "After the second set, I said, 'No, no. Not again.' I'm happy I kept my mind for the third set."
Max Mirnyi continued his impressive form by defeating Australian showman Andrew Ilie 6-4, 6-4. Mirnyi, who beat Andrei Pavel and nearly toppled Lleyton Hewitt at last week's Tennis Masters Series Cincinnati, will now meet fourth seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
No.16 seed Tommy Robredo also advanced with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Stefan Koubek of Austria. Robredo of Spain is normally known for his clay court skills, but he showed that he is equally effective on hard court by earning a second-round date with Michael Russell, who eliminated Armenia's Sargis Sargsian 6-2, 6-4.
Belgium's Xavier Malisse breezed into the next round with an efficient 6-2, 6-3 win over Alexandre Simoni of Brazil. Malisse will face ninth seed Thomas Johansson or Harel Levy in round two.
America's Chris Woodruff fought off Arnaud Di Pasquale 6-2, 7-6(5), while Nicolas Escude defeated American wild card James Blake 6-3, 6-3. Also through are Romania's Adrian Voinea, who eased past Sebastien Lareau 7-6(6), 6-1, and Alexander Popp of Germany, who defeated Jiri Vanek 7-5, 6-1. Voinea takes on Britain's Tim Henman in round two, while Popp will play Thomas Enqvist.
SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?
The media can't seem to come to a consensus on what Goran Ivanisevic should do about his shoulder injury. The Web version of Sport-Bild (www.bild.de) quoted former player and tournament director Niki Pilic saying that a shoulder operation at the end of the year would be a mistake. "He is already 30 years old after all. I'd take my hat off to him, if he played big tournaments again and were able to win," Pilic said. The Stuttgarter Zeitung, meanwhile, was much more optimistic, reporting that Ivanisevic might be playing doubles next year with Boris Becker, continuing their partnership from Cincinnati.
TENNIS MASTERS SERIES CINCINNATI Aug. 09, 2001
Guga Crushes Sorry Goran
Kuerten will face Kafelnikov in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Gustavo Kuerten won the battle of the Grand Slam champions with a crushing 6-2, 6-1 victory over Goran Ivanisevic to move through to the quarterfinals of the Tennis Masters Series Cincinnati for the fourth time in as many years.
Kuerten, who won at Roland Garros for the third time in his career in June, needed just 41 minutes to defeat the Wimbledon champion and earn a quarterfinal clash with another Grand Slam winner, Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
While even the affable Croat never knows which of the three Goran personalities is going to show up on court, the outcome of the match never looked in doubt from the moment Kuerten broke the formidable Ivanisevic serve in the first set. With the help of three double faults from Ivanisevic, Guga took full control and maintained his high standards of play throughout the encounter.
"Since I got the first break, I knew I was serving well and it was going to be tough for him to break me," said Kuerten, who is going for his sixth ATP title of the season. "I think it was a bit frustrating for him, and I just tried to maintain my level of play as much as possible."
Ivanisevic, who was on a nine-match winning streak following his victory at Wimbledon, had no answer to Kuerten's deadly groundstokes and increasingly effective serve.
Ball in play
"I couldn't play tonight," said Ivanisevic, who admitted to struggling with his eyesight in the night session conditions. "I couldn't hit two balls on the strings, I couldn't return and my body would not move anywhere.
"He's a good player, and you have to play well to beat him, but if I play like this, I couldn't beat anybody tonight. He just had to keep the ball in play, and that was enough."
Kafelnikov, Kuerten's quarterfinal opponent, has only won three of their nine meetings on the ATP circuit. But the Russian looked impressive as stopped the run of Alberto Martin just 24 hours after the Spaniard had defeated three-time champion Pete Sampras.
Also through to the quarterfinals despite an inopportune rain delay is Jan-Michael Gambill. The 23-year-old American had to wait for nearly two hours before coming out to serve for the match against the in-form Guillermo Canas before completing the job with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.
He now meets Tim Henman for a place in the semifinals and holds a 3-0 career record against the Briton.
Ivan Ljubicic was left to fly the flag for Croatia following Ivanisevic's exit as he defeated Hicham Arazi in straight sets to reach his second TMS quarterfinal of the year (Ericsson Open).