Injured Ivanisevic pulls out

Tennis

JOHN ROBERTS

reports from Key Biscayne

A pain in the neck ended Goran Ivanisevic's challenge for the Lipton title in the fourth game of yesterday's final here against Andre Agassi, the defending champion.

As Ivanisevic slumped in his chair, Agassi took to the microphone and silenced the whistles and jeers of 15,000 disappointed spectators by explaining why his opponent was unable to continue. A thunderstorm then washed out an exhibition between Agassi and Jim Courier, with the Las Vegan leading 5-3.

It was surprising that the crowd had not been informed of Ivanisevic's injury when the start of the match was delayed for 30 minutes, and that the Croat even attempted to play. The tournament doctor described the affliction as a muscular spasm.

Ivanisevic, who had beaten Michael Chang and Pete Sampras on the way to his seventh ATP Tour final of the year, had awoken in pain, was unable to hit backhands without discomfort during his morning practice, and served like Gabriela Sabatini.

His first delivery of 80mph - 40mph below speed - was a clear indication that 90 minutes of treatment, including an injection, had not improved his condition. Ivansievic salvaged five points - four when broken in the first game - before retiring after 10 minutes with Agassi leading, 3-0, 40-0. His participation in Croatia's Davis Cup tie against the Ukraine next Friday is in doubt.

It is the second time that the Lipton tournament has been concluded in unsatisfactory circumstances. Ivan Lendl had a walkover in 1989, when Thomas Muster was injured by a drunk driver shortly after defeating Yannick Noah in the semi-finals. Two years ago, Agassi lost to Pete Sampras in the final after allowing his American rival an hour to recover from a stomach upset before the start of their match.

The women's final on Saturday was also an anti-climax, Steffi Graf overwhelming Chanda Rubin, 6-1, 6-3, in 54 minutes. The ease of Graf's victory was disappointing, because Rubin, has great potential. Moreover, the 20-year- old from Louisiana has a reputation for engaging leading players in marathon matches, partly because of her fighting spirit, but sometimes because she has trouble finishing them off.

Her four meetings with Graf have not even been close: straight-sets, with the American accumulating only 14 games. Rubin was a set and 2-0 down on Saturday before her nerves settled long enough for her to make her presence felt with three consecutive aces, the first off a second serve.

Rubin also applied sufficient pressure to break to love and level at 3-3, Graf double-faulting on the final point. But the American then missed the opportunitiy to take a 4-3 lead by missing a forehand on game point and misdirecting a volley to lose serve.

Against Monica Seles in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January, Rubin led 5-2 in the final set before succumbing to the superiority of the player co-ranked with Graf as the world No 1. "They're both great players in their own right, but Steffi's game definitely presents more problems for me," Rubin said.

When, one wonders, shall we next see Graf and Seles in opposition? It appears that when Graf is fit, Seles is convalescing, and vice versa.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders