Tennis: Edberg enjoys chat over dinner

THE CLATTER and chatter from the terrace restaurant of the Monte Carlo Country Club was unabated yesterday as Andrei Medvedev struggled against a businesslike Stefan Edberg on the Centre Court.

In the near future - perhaps even as soon as next month's French Open - everything is likely to stop when Medvedev plays. But on this occasion the diners concluded that the young Ukrainian was not about to become a legend in their lunchtime. Edberg won, 6-4, 6-3.

Interest was swiftly aroused by a Frenchman, Cedric Pioline, who extended an impressive sequence of wins against Aaron Krickstein and Petr Korda in the Monte Carlo Open by defeating Jonas Svensson, 6-3, 6-4, for a place in today's semi-finals.

Yannick Noah, in 1986, was the last French player to advance to the singles final here, and it is 30 years since Pierre Darmon lifted the trophy. Edberg is the semi-final hurdle facing Pioline, a 22-year-old from Paris ranked No 29 in the world. 'We practised quite a few times last week in Nice,' the Swedish top seed said. 'He doesn't give you any free points and he has got a great backhand, so you have got to watch out for him.'

The second semi-final brings together Thomas Muster, the defending champion, and Sergi Bruguera, who won the title in 1991. One Spaniard was guaranteed to reach the last four, Bruguera ensuring himself of the place by defeating a compatriot, Carlos Costa, 7-6, 6-2. Muster, the eighth seed, ended an encouraging week for Alex Corretja, from Barcelona, 6-2,

6-2.

Edberg, not the most effective player on clay, must trust that his confidence holds and that Pioline is as profligate as Medvedev was yesterday. The Ukrainian converted only two of the 11 break points he created.

The pattern of the match was evident as early as the second game, in which Edberg saved three break points and the players duelled through seven deuces, the Swede finally producing a winning forehand volley. Medvedev lost his serve in the fifth game, but broke back in the sixth game, only for Edberg to regain the initiative at 4-3.

Edberg, who had not won an opening set in his two previous matches in the tournament, remained wary. He had notched up 6-1 in the opening set of his first encounter with Medvedev on a similar surface in Stuttgart last year, only for the Ukrainian to beat him in three. Though Medvedev recovered from 0-2 in the second set yesterday, a double-fault on break point at 3-3 hastened his departure.

The Swede, who has defeated Medvedev three times on carpet courts, was pleased with his approach to this second meeting on a slower surface better suited to the Ukrainian's impressive groundstrokes. 'Sometimes when I play on the clay I try to do too much,' Edberg said. 'Today I was hitting the ball very clean. I didn't try to put too much spin on it. I just played the way I play my best tennis, that is by playing the simple way.'

Medvedev said he had had an inkling the day before that events would not go according to plan. 'First of all, we only practised once yesterday, and we normally practise twice,' he said. 'And I was late for everything. I missed my transportation and I was also late for dinner. When I went to bed it was 9.30pm, and after I got to sleep I had a couple of strange phone calls around 9.45pm. They said 'hello' and I said 'who is this?' and then they just hung up. It is not normal.'

The Ukrainian continued to be late on the crucial points yesterday, though he gave his opponent due credit for winning. 'Stefan played well,' he said. 'He not only took his chance, but he also took mine.'

Sport
Murray celebrates reaching the final
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows' by John Constable
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
musicYou'll have to ask Taylor Swift first
News
Joel Grey, now 82, won several awards for his role in Cabaret
people
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
Harry Kane celebrates scoring the opening goal for Spurs
footballLive: All the latest transfer news as deadline day looms
Arts and Entertainment
Master of ceremony: Jeremy Paxman
tvReview: Victory for Jeremy Paxman in this absorbing, revealing tale
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Communications Executive

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - London, £60k

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - Central London, £60,000...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Recruitment Genius: Service Agent / QA Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an est...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness