Tennis: Gaudenzi makes wrong call: Ivanisevic into the last eight after comedy of errors at French Open

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The Independent Online
THERE is more than one way to win. Yesterday, for example, Andrea Gaudenzi tried taking the umpire's seat and awarding himself a place in the quarter-finals of the French Open.

At the time, the umpire, Zoltan Bognar, was visiting the bathroom, and Gaudenzi was trailing Goran Ivanisevic by two sets to one. 'Reprise, game, set and match to Gaudenzi in five sets,' the Italian said, much to the Centre Court crowd's amusement.

Unfortunately, the good nature evaporated shortly afterwards, Gaudenzi twice resorting to the F-word in protesting about a decision in the fourth game of the fourth set. The second time, he received a code violation.

Ivanisevic, the only seeded player to survive in the lower half of the draw, went on to win, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Gaudenzi refused to shake the umpire's hand and said to him: 'You should be fined.' The reverse will be the case.

If the official did make a mistake, he was not alone. The match, played in windy conditions, was strewn with 134 unforced errors, 80 by Ivanisevic, who still did enough to advance to meet Alberto Berasategui for a place in the semi-finals.

Berasategui went through to his first Grand Slam quarter-final with a flick of his wrist. The 20-year-old Spaniard subsequently spent almost as much time giving slowmotion demonstrations of his bizarre racket action to the media as he had on the court.

His opponent, the Argentinian Javier Frana, started well, leading 2-1 with a break of serve, but the effects of a pulled stomach muscle caused him to retire after 61 minutes with Berasategui ahead, 6-2, 6-0.

Running down the Spaniard's shots aggravated Frana's condition. Merely trying to read them would overtax most people. Berasategui uses only one side of the racket, contorting his wrist when playing the forehand.

The unseeded semi-finalist will be either Sweden's Magnus Larsson, who defeated Jaime Yzaga, of Peru, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, or Germany's Hendrik Dreekmann, who scored an impressive victory against Aaron Krickstein, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Larsson towered over Yzaga, who was still rather weary from his match with Michael Chang on Saturday. The Swede was a quarter-finalist at the United States Open last year. Dreekman has not previously advanced beyond the first round of a Grand Slam.

Jim Courier, Sergi Bruguera and Andre Medvedev, who were uppermost in Pete Sampras's mind at the outset of his campaign to add the French title to those of Wimbledon, the United States and Australia, are crowding in on the world champion.

Should Sampras overcome Courier in the quarter-finals today, Bruguera or Medvedev will be waiting for him in the semi-finals. All three feel at home on the slow surface and are armed with the type of solid groundstrokes that could unhinge the game's smoothest stylest.

The fact that Sampras has won 10 of his 12 matches against Courier, while obviously a psychological advantage, may count for less than the point that he is facing his American compatriot for the first time on clay.

Courier has prospered on these courts for the past three years, winning the title twice and then losing to Bruguera in the final, the Spaniard having eliminated Sampras in the quarter-finals.

On the debit side, Courier has not won a tournament since his success on concrete in Indianapolis last August, after which he briefly regained the No 1 ranking from Sampras.

Sampras, while not exactly experimenting, has rallied his way out of trouble in certain matches and relied on the potency of his serve in others. He knows what he needs to do against Courier: 'I'm going to have to come in more, even on my second serve, because I don't want too many gruelling rallies with Jim. If I am going to lose, I am going to lose playing my game.'

Adriano Panatta, whose win here in 1976 was a rare triumph for predominantly attacking players, considers Sampras has chosen the right course. 'You have to accept that you sometimes have to be the anvil and not always the hammer,' he said, 'But above all Sampras must try to be the hammer.'

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