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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible