Tennis: Repeat defeat for Krajicek in Stuttgart

ANDRE AGASSI, who has been on the losing end of more matches against Thomas Enqvist than he has won, including the semi-final of the Eurocard Open on Saturday, says the Swede hits a different ball than most players: "He handles pace well and delivers pace well."

Richard Krajicek, while not disputing that, would argue that some of Enqvist's shots sail close to the line, and that the Swede's backhand which ended his propects of nudging yesterday's final into a fifth set landed wide.

The Italian umpire, Romano Grillotti, politely disregarded Krajicek's protests; understandably so, since the call was made on the far line.

Krajicek, the defending champion, knows all about far lines at the Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart. In the first of his five indoor finals here, against Germany's Michael Stich in 1993, the Dutchman experienced one of the worst moments of his career.

Serving at match point down, Krajicek was convinced he had hit an ace. So were the majority of spectators and the linesman. But the umpire, Peter Richter, overruled, and the distraught Krajicek was easily passed on his second serve. Richter (the name means judge) did not officiate on the international scene much longer.

Grillotti's decision, on Krajicek's third break point at 5-5 in the fourth set, was reasonable in the circumstances. But Krajicek made no effort to shake the umpire's hand after losing, 6-1, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

"When you're hanging in and you get a call like that, it hurts," Krajicek said. "It gives a bad aftertaste to the match. It's a shame in a way. We both are fighting for two and a half hours on the court, and there's a call like that. I'd rather have Thomas hit in, and then I have to say, `Too good'. I think he was playing better than me, but I almost turned it round."

Krajicek, who out-played Britain's Greg Rusedski in straight sets in the semi-finals, had little to show for his efforts yesterday, even though he served 25 aces. The runners-up prize, $198,000 (pounds 121,000) did not make up for losing ground in the race to be among the eight qualifiers for next month's ATP Tour Championship in Hanover.

Yesterday's finalists knew that the winner would end the day $376,000 the richer and be placed number eight in the Hanover race, and that the loser would be at number 10 on the eve of the season's last ATP Tour Super 9 tournament in Paris.

Krajicek, who first won the Eurocard Open in 1995, did well to make even a semblance of a recovery after Enqvist, who won the final set against Agassi 6-0, took the opening five games of the final. In the first two sets he frustrated Krajicek's endeavours with superior play, and the odd touch of luck from the netcord.

But for Krajicek's boldness under fire, Enqvist would have served for the match in the third set. At 4-4, Krajicek saved three break points with aces down the middle and delivered a fourth ace down the centre line to win the game. Three games later, Krajicek broke to win the set on his second set point.

A fifth set seemed in the offing when Krajicek broke for 3-1 in the fourth set. The Dutchman was unable to capitalise on his lead, double-faulting off the net cord on the second break point of the next game. Krajicek may have imagined that was a bad break, but worse followed in the decisive 10th game.

Enqvist, the runner-up to Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov at the Australian Open in January, was delighted with his success yesterday. "This is my best week so far," he said. "I've beaten our top 10 players. I've beaten Agassi when he's hot; [Marcelo] Rios just came from a victory, and Krajicek is a five-time finalist here in Stuttgart. I think this is my best tournament."

n Mary Pierce, the top seed, beat her French compatriot, Sandrine Testud, 7-6, 6-1 to win her first title of the year - the Linz tournament - in Austria yesterday. Testud, the fifth seed, has yet to win a set against Pierce in four meetings, including two this year in Rome and Toronto.

Scores, digest, page 5

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own