Tennis: Moya's forlorn defence

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The Independent Online
BUSINESS WAS booming, on and off the courts, at the Monte Carlo Open yesterday, with the unseeded Jerome Golmard, of France, advancing to the semi-finals by defeating Spaniard Carlos Moya, the title holder, top seed, and French Open champion, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0.

Another impressive statistic was the confirmation of a pounds 750m 10-year agreement granting television, marketing and licensing rights for the ATP Tour to International Sporting Leisure Worldwide, who have provided a similar service for the Olympic Games and the Fifa World Cup.

Moya, who spent two weeks as the world No 1 in March, has lost each of his three matches against Golmard, a left-hander from Dijon, ranked No 25 in the world, who lived up to Tim Henman's description of him as "unorthodox, but effective".

Even so, Henman, who has suffered three times at the Frenchman's hands, would have been surprised how ineffective Moya was in the final set, particularly since Golmard took an injury time-out for treatment to his right thigh. The Spaniard cut a forlorn figure, receiving a code violation for hitting the ball into the stands after losing the first three games.

"I did that in frustration," Moya said. "Golmard was cramping, but the winners kept coming. I've not seen a player hit the lines as much as he did."

An all-Spanish quarter-final duel was won by Felix Mantilla, who repeated his victory against Albert Costa in last year's Bournemouth final, although in tighter circumstances. Mantilla had his first match point in the second set, but was taken to a tie-break. Costa, who led 3-0 in the third set, went on to create four match points at 5-3. This time he was the one taken to a tie-break, which Mantilla secured 7-4 with his second match point, winning 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 after two hours and 46 minutes.

In today's semi-finals, Mantilla will play the Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, the 1997 French Open champion, who ended the American Vince Spadea's encouraging first visit to Monte Carlo, 6-3, 6-3.

Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski are least effective during the clay-court season, both losing in the second round here this week after byes in the opening round. Henman, who gave a creditable performance while losing in three sets to Fernando Meligeni in the singles, at least advanced to his first clay-court doubles semi-final yesterday, partnering the Frenchman Olivier Delaitre. They defeated the Italian Davis Cup pair, Andrea Gaudenzi and Diego Nargiso 7-6, 6-3, winning the first-set tie-break 8-6, and now play Don Johnson, of the United States, and Cyril Suuk, of the Czech Republic.

ISL Worldwide will focus on increasing the exposure of the ATP Tour's Super 9 tournaments, at Indian Wells, Key Biscayne, Monte Carlo, Hamburg, Rome, Montreal, Cincinnati, Stuttgart and Paris, and the year-end ATP Tour Championship, which is due to move from Hanover after this season. These are the most important men's tournaments outside the four Grand Slams: Wimbledon, plus the French, United States and Australian Opens

ISL Worldwide's managing director, Daniel Beauvois, spoke about creating a specific look for the Super 9s and linking them with "blue chip global companies".

The Buchholz brothers, Butch and Cliff, are in the process of selling their Super 9 event at Key Biscayne, Florida, to Mark McCormack's International Management Group for a reported pounds 18.75m. The tournament, formerly sponsored by Lipton, becomes the Ericsson Open from next year. It is intended that the Buchholzs, who built the tournament over 15 years, will continue to organise the event for the next five years at least.

Results, Digest, page 25