Ivanisevic turns the tables on Medvedev

TENNIS

Perhaps the Roman sunshine in place of Hamburg's clouds induced Goran Ivanisevic's remarkable transformation. Four days after being jeered off the court for winning only six games in three sets against Andrei Medvedev in the final of the German Open, the Croat reversed the result to advance to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open yesterday, 6-1, 7-6.

More likely, it was yet another example of the perverse nature of Ivanisevic's game. When his mind is able to synchronise with the pace of his shots for more than five minutes at a time, few players are more difficult to beat.

The spectators may have feared the worst, or at least those who had witnessed Ivanisevic's collapse against Jim Courier in the final here two years ago (6-1, 6-2, 6-2). Having said that, the first-round defeats of Pete Sampras, Courier, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Alberto Berasategui and Marc Rosset must have prepared the crowd for anything.

Medvedev is another highly-gifted player who gives the impression of being governed by mood, and he was the one whose resolve seemed to waver here. After creating an opportunity to push the match into a third set by breaking Ivanisevic in the ninth game of the second, he won only one point in the 10th, when the Croat's service return was blessed with a lucky clip of the net cord on the concluding shot.

Ivanisevic approached the tie-break with greater confidence, remembering, perhaps, that he had won a shoot-out to win his first final against Medvedev at the Paris indoor event in 1993. He won this one 7-3 to secure victory after 71 minutes.

"If somebody beats you badly, you want to prove they can't really play better [than you]," Ivanisevic said, acknowledging that in the Hamburg final he had been "mentally out of it''.

He was physically out of the game for two months earlier this year due to cartilage trouble in his right knee, which had nagged him since he injured it playing football after returning to Croatia following last year's Italian Open.

By coincidence, Sergi Bruguera's left knee gave way at roughly the same time as Ivanisevic's right during the Eurocard Open in Stuttgart in February, and both players returned to action in Barcelona last month.

They are on course for a semi-final meeting tomorrow. Bruguera must first defeat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman, who recovered from a set and 2-4 down to beat Fabrice Santoro, Sampras's conqueror, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Ivanisevic plays Jeff Tarango, who defeated his American compatriot MaliVai Washington, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Bruguera seemed in danger of going out yesterday, a lethargic start against Richard Fromberg encouraging the Australian to go for his shots and dominate the opening set, 6-1.

After an exchange of breaks at the start of the second set, the French Open champion capitalised on Fromberg's errors and raised his performance to take nine consecutive games from 2-2 in winning, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Stefan Edberg ended a stimulating week for Corrado Borroni, defeating the Italian qualifier, ranked No 411 in the world, 6-0, 6-2. The Swede now plays South Africa's Wayne Ferreira.

Britain starts building on clay, page 38

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
people
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Life and Style
The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital