1992 – 1993, Wimbledon

Wimbledon, Great Britain
June 22, 1992; 128 Draw (16 seeded) – $3,654,296; Surface – Grass

At Wimbledon ’92 Andre Agassi and Goran Ivanisevic took their best shots to another level: the passing-shot and the serve respectively. They met in the final and thanks to their contrasting styles, one of the most memorable Grand Slam finals was made, in which passing-shots triumphed over serves by a small margin. 33-year-old John McEnroe, 15 years after his sensational Wimbledon semifinal advanced to the last 4 once again (triumphed in doubles), and it was his ‘swan song’ at majors; in turn fellow American, Pete Sampras, the future seven-time Wimbledon champion, reached his first Grand Slam semifinal on grass; he never had been past the second round at Wimbledon in three previous attempts! Other future champion, Richard Krajicek made his controversial remarks considering women’s tennis.
All scorelines
First round: Rob Gloster

The biggest loser Monday was crowd favorite Jimmy Connors, who showed little of the enthusiasm that carried him through a series of Grand Slam match victories in 1991. Last year was a joyride for Connors and his fans. He reached the third round at the French Open and Wimbledon and then rode a serious of incredible comebacks to the U.S. Open semifinals. But 1992 has been a downer for Connors, who turns 40 in September. He lost to Michael Stich in the first round of the French Open last month and was defeated 6-2, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 by 5-foot-7 Luis Herrera in Wimbledon’s first round. “My tennis is way past disappointment,” said Connors, a two-time Wimbledon champion who said his herrera_wb92chances of returning next year are less than 50-50. “I’ve been through all that, and got through it without ever crying and shedding tears.” Connors, who has won more singles matches than any other man at Wimbledon, was knocked out in the first round for only the second time in his 20 years on the grass courts. Connors provided moments of high drama in his match with Herrera, saving three set points with lunging shots before losing the third set and then saving four match points in the next-to-last game of the match. It was the only whiff of excitement on an opening day on which all the top seeds won with surgical-like precision. “I get to a point in a match where things just get too painful,” said Connors, who produced moments of brilliance but lacked bite against Herrera. “My hips go and my knees get too sore and my back stiffens up.” Top men’s seed Jim Courier, halfway to the Grand Slam after victories in the Australian and French opens, defeated Markus Zoecke 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to win his 24th straight match. Second seed Stefan Edberg, a two-time Wimbledon winner, joined Courier in the second round with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 defeat of American Steve Bryan. Defending champion Michael Stich, the third seed this year, swept to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Stefano Pescosolido. Fourth seed Boris Becker, a three-time champion, defeated Omar Camporese 7-5, 6-3, 7-5. Fifth seed Pete Sampras had 10 aces in a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Andrei Cherkasov and sixth seed Petr Korda won 7-5, 7-6(4), 6-4 over Christian Bergstrom. “It’s not my favorite surface by any stretch,” said Courier, who rarely played on grass as a junior and never got past the quarters in three previous Wimbledons. “It’s a challenge for me. But I think I have the ability to adapt maybe better than others, to do whatever it takes to adjust.” “He’s not a natural grass-court player,” Edberg said of Courier. “He`s playing great tennis at the moment. There’s no doubt about that. He`s always going to have a chance here. I think he’s going to do well here. But whether he can go all the way, that`s going to be really tough for him, I think.” Stich said he`s playing better on grass than last year and is confident he can win it again. Told of Stich and Edberg`s comments, Courier snapped: “Good for them. I don’t think it`s very wise for anybody to look to the final this early in the tournament.”  Michael Chang became the first major upset victim of this year’s Wimbledon, losing in straight sets today to Briton Jeremy Bates. The seventh-seeded Chang sprayed shots off the court in all directions in a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 loss to Bates, ranked 113th in the world and often a butt of jokes in his own country. Chang was the first seed to lose in the tournament. Twenty other seeds had advanced without difficulty Monday and earlier today. No British man has won a singles title at Wimbledon since 1936 and Bates, as his country’s top male player for the last few years, has often been used as bates_wb92an example of what is wrong with the country’s tennis programs. Unseeded John McEnroe, a three-time Wimbledon winner, overcame early sloppiness to defeat Luiz Mattar 5-7, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. McEnroe had five double faults in the opening set. Andre Agassi Show closed on a successful note Wednesday at Wimbledon, complete with the ritual curtain calls. First, there was Agassi putting the finishing touches on a 5-7, 6-1, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Andrei Chesnokov, held over from the night before when darkness halted the match early in the third set. Afterward, Agassi, who on Tuesday received a warning for swearing, did his usual number. He faced the stands and bowed from his waist. He spun around and waved. He peeled off his shirt and tossed it into the cheering crowd at Court 1. He walked off to more cheers, but not before walking backward a few paces as he waved goodbye. It was vintage Agassi, all in all. And the fact that he did it under the very proper noses of the All England Club members in the very sanctuary of tennis, well, let’s just say a tennis lounge act rarely enjoys such a venue. As whole sections of his fans cheered his every small step and held signs urging him on, Agassi moved into the second round of the tournament he loved to loathe… but that was before last year. Agassi came back to Wimbledon last year and made it to the quarterfinals in his first appearance on the finely manicured grass courts of the All England Club since 1987. That’s when he lost in the first round and said, basically, that the only thing grass is good for is chinch bugs. But Agassi is older now – he is all the way up to 22 – and says Wimbledon is just a great place for him to be. “There’s no tournament like it and there never will be,” Agassi said. “It’s like the Masters. You can have a tournament anywhere in the world, and it will never seem to hold the mystique Wimbledon has.” Agassi broke Chesnokov at 5:5 in both the third and fourth sets, helped along in the deciding set on a key double fault by Chesnokov to give Agassi two break-point chances at 15/40. Serving for the match, Agassi began with an ace and finished on his second match point with nicely placed forehand volley. “I think I started quite lovely, to be honest,” said Agassi , who plays Eduardo Masso in the second round. Bryan Shelton [73] won an unusual match against former finalist Kevin Curren 3-6, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(5), 9-7 after 4 hours 9 minutes. Shelton hadn’t a break point until the next-to-last game of the match!

Second round: Mike Davis

To a Wimbledon crying out for excitement, for charisma, for a little old-fashioned drama, John McEnroe and Pat Cash answered the call Thursday. The two former champions, close friends off the court but contentious rivals on this day, staged an epic battle on Center Court, with the 33-year-old McEnroe prevailing after five sets, two tiebreakers, 4 hours and 9 minutes. The scores were 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-2. “Fabulous,” McEnroe said, describing the match and his play. “Couldn’t be better.” Indeed, the standard of play in what was believed to be the first second-round meeting of unseeded former champions in Wimbledon history was remarkable, each player raising hlasek_wb92the level of his game and lifting the other up with him. Actually, there was a lot of that going around Thursday. Gut-wrenching, second-round five-setters were the order of the day. Boris Becker, the No. 4 seed, needed all his guile to subdue 19-year-old Martin Damm of Czechoslovakia 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Another Czech, French Open finalist and No. 6 seed Petr Korda, lost a 4-hour, 19-minute marathon to Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7), 16-14. “To win 16-14 in the fifth set is something unbelievable,” Hlasek said, of his poor start he added, “I was thinking: ‘Look, it’s going to change’ and actually it did. At the end it worked.” Hlasek saved a match point in the fourth-set tiebreaker, then won on his fifth match point (Korda survived two games saving match points; he didn’t lose his serve in the last two sets until the 30th game of the 5th set).I was a little bit unlucky, but in the end it worked out.” And No. 9 Guy Forget survived against Sweden’s Anders Jarryd 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8. Luis Herrera backed up the Connors’ conquest with a gritty five-set victory over Shuko Matsuoka on Thursday. Herrera, the former Cardinal Gibbons’ player who has an apartment in Deerfield Beach, stopped Matsuoka 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3. Herrera missed two match points in the third set, but hung on to win the deciding set from the big-serving Japanese star who reached the Queen’s Club final two weeks ago. “I pulled it out very well,” Herrera said. “I got down after the two match points and he started playing well. I got back in the match in the fifth set and he had trouble with my serve.” Gary Kesl, Herrera’s coach: “He had an extra day to come down off his high after beating Connors and a day to get ready for the next match.” The McEnroe-Cash atmosphere, and much of the play, was infused with the electricity and emotion of a classic Wimbledon final. These two players, both well past their prime but still capable of borderline-brilliant tennis, have provided some of this tournament’s greatest Center Court memories – McEnroe with his titles in 1981, ’83 and ’84 and his historic 1980 final against Bjorn Borg, Cash with his out-of-nowhere championship and climb into the stands in 1987. After Thursday’s match, McEnroe said he hadn’t played so well on tennis’ greatest stage “since when I was in all those finals (1980-84). The tennis today was high quality.” These days, McEnroe, ranked 30th, is contemplating retirement and Cash, 27, is a part-time player, his ranking down to 191. He needed a wild-card invitation to get into the draw here, and he, too, has hinted that this could be his last Wimbledon. “It might’ve been my last match out there (on Center Court),” said Cash, who lost to McEnroe in straight sets in the 1984 semifinals. “It might have been his last, too.” “It’s certainly possible,” McEnroe acknowledged. If it was, these two buddies – amateur rock ‘n’ roll guitar-slingers who once recorded a song together for charity – gave a memorable farewell performance before an appreciative crowd. Both were at their serve-and-volley, shot-making best much of the day. McEnroe wriggled out of trouble constantly, saving a break point at 5:3 against the Australian in the fourth set and four more in the second mcenroe_cash_wb92game of the fifth. “He had me on the ropes, but I got a second wind,” McEnroe said. The match finally turned at 2:2 in the fifth, when the American broke serve with an inside-out cross-court forehand serve-return winner. He broke a dispirited Cash again for 5:2, closed it out with a love service game and was on his way to a third-round meeting with 16th seed David Wheaton. The players embraced at the net, and later, both were in a reflective mood. “I hope he keeps playing,” McEnroe said of Cash. “He’s a great personality for tennis and he’s got a lot left.” “In my opinion, he’s the greatest player who ever stepped on a court,” Cash said of McEnroe. “But it still (ticks) me off to lose to him.” “It’s time for me,” said Bryan Shelton, who defeated Olivier Delaitre 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-3 Thursday in the second round. “I had a big win over (Andre) Agassi at (Lipton) Key Biscayne, Fla. To knock off Becker is going to be the next step for me. He’s beatable. I didn’t realize that the first time I saw him. I thought he was a machine. Now, I have confidence.” Shelton, No. 73 in the world, lost to Becker in straight sets in the first round in his 1989 Centre Court debut. The 26-year-old from Atlanta then was a rookie and recent graduate of Georgia Tech with an industrial engineering degree. “I was so nervous then, I couldn’t see straight,” he said. “I couldn’t keep the ball on the court. This time, he’s going to have to beat me.” No. 1 Jim Courier says he does not feel slighted by not yet playing on Centre Court. “I don’t find it odd at all,” Courier said after after mowing down Byron Black 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 on Court 2. “I think history at Wimbledon shows that the former champions tend to play their early matches on the Centre Court more than non-former champions. If I keep doing my job, they are going to have to play me out there.” A quartet of big names were already in the third round: Stefan Edberg, Michael Stich, Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl. Edberg needed two tiebreakers, but defeated Gary Muller, 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(4); defending champ Stich needed one tiebreaker to subdue Amos Mansdorf, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3; and Lendl also needed one to beat Arne Thoms, 7-5, 7-6(6), 1-6, 7-5. Sampras struggled through four sets – three of them tiebreakers – before moving into a third-round match by defeating Todd Woodbridge, 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-7(7), 6-4. Sampras fired 26 aces, wasted two match points in the 3rd set tie-break. In a power display, Goran Ivanisevic served 34 aces to dust off Mark Woodforde 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3. Ivanisevic’s fastest serve was clocked at 129 mph in the second-round match on Centre Court. The Guinness Book of World Records lists 42 aces as the all-time match record (John Feaver at ivanisevic_wb92Wimbledon ’76), so Ivanisevic was on pace if he had played a fifth set. Woodforde was having so little luck returning that he suggested to his fellow left-hander that they both play a point right-handed. They did – and Ivanisevic got his serve in and won the point. Andre Agassi launched a verbal attack Thursday on Grand Slam supervisor Ken Farrar and said he would appeal his $1,500 fine for swearing. The fine for “audible obscenity” was assessed by tournament referee Alan Mills after Farrar said he had witnessed Agassi swearing during his first-round victory over Andrei Chesnokov. Agassi admitted he swore but said he was convinced Farrar and the courtside fans could not have heard him. ““I’m disappointed,” he said after his second-round 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Eduardo Masso. “I was very unsatisfied with the way I got the warning. There were a lot of things I say that deserve warnings, but what I got a warning for, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I plan on appealing it. It’s the principle. I mean the prize money here alone is a lot more than that fine. So I don’t have a problem with the financial part. It’s the principle and I feel strongly about that.”

Third round: Mike Davis

Wimbledon turned into a trough of abuse Friday. Grunts yielded to insults and thoughtfulness gave way to threats, starting with one man’s opinion that “80 percent of the top 100 women are lazy, fat pigs” who shouldn’t be allowed on Centre Court. That indiscreet fellow, 11th-seeded Richard Krajicek, later apologized, sort of, for his self-described “stupid statement.” “What I meant to say, actually, is only 75 percent,” he said. “A lot of women are overweight.” Responded Martina Navratilova, perhaps only partly in jest: “I’m going to beat him up.” Navratilova knew Krajicek couldn’t be talking about her – “My body fat is lower than his” – but she acknowledged that some of her colleagues really are fat “as are some of the men’s players.” “I see some pot bellies out there, but that doesn’t make you a great player or a lazy player. You get some baseball players who look like they drink beer all day long, but they hit home runs.” Barbara Ritter, one of the more full-figured women on the tour, took particular exception to Krajicek’s remarks. “I can only answer boetsch_wb92that with a question: Have you ever seen women in the last two years defaulting in a semifinal?” she said, recalling Krajicek’s pullout from the Australian Open because of a shoulder injury before his semifinal against Jim Courier. “It’s really stupid of him. I can’t accept it.” Krajicek, a skinny, 6’4, 20-year-old with a touch of baby fat in his face, said he was sorry. “I’m just trying to make the point that they are complaining all the time that they are not getting equal prize money, and they keep pressing it,” he said. “I think that they should just be happy with what they are making. We are not asking for more and more at this time.” Krajicek held all his service games through four sets against Arnaud Boetsch, but finished as a loser 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-7(5), 2-6.  “I was more or less in the zone, so to speak, for just about all of the match.Pete Sampras said after beating Scott Davis 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 – producing an exactly the same scoreline, Stefan Edberg dismissed ‘lucky loser’ Grant Stafford  (Sampras needed 107 minutes, Edberg 94). The Courier Juggernaut lurched to a halt Saturday, derailed by grass-court demons and a hot opponent. In a basic major upset, Jim Courier, ranked No. 1 in the world, seeded No. 1 at the 106th Wimbledon Championships and halfway to a grand slam, was beaten in the third round on Center Court by Andrei Olhovskiy, a 26-year-old qualifier from Russia ranked 193rd. The scores were 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Courier’s 25-match winning streak disappeared along with his shot at sweeping tennis’ four major tournaments. “I just got outplayed. It’s more what he did than what I didn’t do,” said Courier , the first Wimbledon top seed in the open era (1968-present) to lose to a qualifier. “Some days you win, some days you lose, some days it rains. Unfortunately, it didn’t rain today.” No, Olhovskiy just poured it on with standard, well-executed serve-volley tennis to secure the biggest win of his career and the biggest surprise of the Wimbledon’s first week, which ended Saturday. Olhovskiy is considered a flighty type who rarely plays well on big points. His own coach describes him as a nervous player. Olhovskiy grew up in Moscow and learned his tennis at the Central Red Army Club, primarily on wooden indoor courts that also had lines down for basketball and volleyball. “It’s very fast, you olhovskiy_wb92know,” said Olhovskiy, who received a jolt of confidence by reaching the French Open doubles final earlier this month. The biggest point of the match for Olhovskiy came just before the end. First, Courier and Olhovskiy traded service games, until the fourth set was tied, 4:4. Courier had a game point, but hit a forehand that was called wide. He looked up at umpire John Parry, but didn’t argue the call. A point later came the climax. Olhovskiy had a break point, but Courier looked as though he would survive it when Olhovskiy hit a short ball. Courier ripped a volley, the ball hit the net cord and came down on Courier’s side. From there, Olhovskiy served out the match. Even after losing the first set, Courier seemed OK after breaking Olhovskiy to win the second. He was pumping his fists, figuring he was in control of the match. “There were a lot of points on his serve when he cracked aces consistently,” Courier said. “And plenty of times when I didn’t put the first serve in when I needed to.” Olhovskiy barely made through qualifying third round overcoming Mario Tabares 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(8), 7-6(2), 9-7. John McEnroe still in the tournament and looking stronger every day. The 33-year-old three-time champion, whose five-set second-round win over Pat Cash was the best match of the first week, was in vintage form again Saturday, blitzing 16th seed David Wheaton 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. He’ll face Olhovskiy in the round of 16 Monday – instead of Courier. “I’m playing well,” McEnroe said. “But now it’s a whole different mentality; I’m probably the favorite (Monday). But if this guy’s capable of beating Courier, he can beat me.” The dark clouds were forming over Ivan Lendl again at the All England Club. Sandon Stolle had roared through the second and third sets after losing the first. One more set to go. But Lendl would not go. Lendl may never win Wimbledon, but he will always fight to the end, as he did Friday with a 6-3, 1-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, third-round victory. Miami’s Stolle, the 21-year-old son of former Australian great Fred Stolle, got the message this time, just as MaliVai Washington did last year, when Lendl rallied from two sets down to win their second-round match in five. It was Lendl’s 47th Wimbledon victory, his 11th in the fifth set, and earned him a heartwarming ovation from the Court 1 crowd. ”Once a top player who dominates starts to lose some, they all of a sudden want the old-timer to start winning again,” said Lendl, 32, seeded 10th in his 13th Wimbledon. The fifth set was tense, as Stolle served first. Lendl saved a break point in the second game. Stolle saved a break point in the fifth game. Stolle held for 5:4. One game to go. Four points. Stolle would only get one point. Lendl smashed three aces as he served a love game for 5-all. Lendl broke Stolle in the next game, belting a vicious forehand cross-court and a terrific backhand return for winners. Then, Lendl served it out at love with one more ace. ”They key was when I started serving better,” Lendl said. ”I lost my timing at the beginning of the second set and couldn’t recover it until the end of the fourth set, when I got it back pretty good. When I served well, I was always in control.” The victory was a reversal of fortune for Lendl, who had lost his last three five-setters, including Grand Slam defeats this year to Edberg at the Australian Open and Jaime Oncins at the French Open. ”There is a thing called the law of averages in the world,” said Lendl, who has a 33-21 career record in five-setters. ”I’ve been losing all of them between the Australian Open and now. Until the other day with Kuhnen, I’d lost 11 straight tiebreakers. So it’s time to change around.” Untrue, Lendl lost 11 out of 12 (4 & 7 sequences). Stolle had won two marathon tie-breaks in two previous rounds, 12/10 against Karel Noavacek and 15/13 against Chris Wilkinson. Three-time champion Boris Becker, playing in his 50th Wimbledon match, needed two tie-breakers to subdue Atlanta’s Bryan Shelton, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) on Court 2. Shelton, a serve-and-volleyer whose only tour title came on grass in Newport, R.I., double-faulted on match point. “Another three and a half hour match and it was another struggle,” Becker said. “I didn’t play many matches before the tournament. A hard match was what I needed but now becker_wb92maybe it’s time to win a bit quicker.” On Court 1, Britain’s Jeremy Bates reached his first Grand Slam round of 16, holding off Thierry Champion, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-4. Bates is the first British man since Buster Mottram in 1982 to reach the fourth round. “Something was keeping me standing up, but I’m not really sure what it was,” Bates said. “I was living on the thought that I could win the match. I didn’t have anything else to give.” Andre Agassi passed a potentially tough test with flying colors at Wimbledon, but more importantly for District tennis fans, he accepted a wild card to the Nations Bank Classic, July 13-19, at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center. He is the event’s defending champion. Playing without his lucky baseball hat, Agassi defeated Derrick Rostagno 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-5 to advance to the fourth round against qualifier Christian Saceanu, who stunned in five sets Jakob Hlasek. Goran Ivanisevic defeated Marc Rosset 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-4 in a battle of two of the game’s biggest servers. Ivanisevic also won the war of the aces 22-15. “It’s tough to enjoy that kind of tennis,” said Ivanisevic, who served an ace on every third first serve he hit in. “You don’t have a lot of great matches on grass. If big servers like me and Rosset play, there’s no point; you just play. But I’m playing for myself, not for the spectators.” Henrik Holm, who qualified for his fourth Wimbledon in a row, upset Alexander Volkov, the 15th seed, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(8), to reach the Round of 16 against countryman Edberg. “It would be fun to play Edberg,” said Holm, 23, ranked No. 131, after his biggest victory. Holm is an unusually temperamental Swede and plays in heavy army socks. “It’s nice to run in them because they’re good for the foot holds,” Holm said. “It`s tough if it’s 100 degrees, but on the grass it’s fine.

Fourth round: (AP)

Mixing power and finesse, John McEnroe beat Andrei Olhovskiy in straight sets today to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals. McEnroe posted a 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(10) victory over the Russian qualifier who had upset top-seeded Jim Courier in the fourth round Saturday. With temperatures in the 90s (32 Celsius), McEnroe displayed the form – and temper – that characterized his glory days in the early 1980s, when he won Wimbledon three times. The match ended with a thrilling tiebreaker in which Olhovskiy saved four match points and McEnroe fended off one set point. When McEnroe ended the match with a service winner, he threw up his arms and screamed, “Yeah!” then blew kisses to the crowd. All men’s and women’s fourth-round matches were being played on what was dubbed “Marvelous Monday.” McEnroe appeared uptight from the beginning. After one of Olhovskiy’s serves was ruled an ace in the seventh game, McEnroe protested to chair umpire Sultan Gangji: “How many mistakes are you going to make before we change (officials)?” After he lost the game, McEnroe walked up to the service linesman and asked, “Just let me know if you saw it.” Two games later, after failing to convert a break point, McEnroe screamed and hurled his racket into the rolled-up tarpaulin on the side of the court. He tossed his racket several more times but never received a warning. Later, angry at fans making noise during his serve, McEnroe shouted, “Shut up!” Leading 6:5, McEnroe broke for the first set in the next game – thanks to two glaring mistakes by the Russian. Olhovskiy squandered two game points, blowing a sitting forehand volley and double faulting. On his third set point, McEnroe ripped a backhand serve return past a lunging Olhovskiy. In the second set, McEnroe led 3:0 and 4:1. But Olhovskiy broke and came back to 4:3 as McEnroe threw his racket into the net. But McEnroe broke back for 5:3 and served out the set at love. Olhovskiy had his chances to extend McEnroe to a fourth set during the tiebreaker. It might have made a difference, considering the heat and that McEnroe is 33. But after leading *10:9 in the tiebreaker, Olhovskiy lost the next three points and the match. He later accused the umpire, Sultan Gangji of London, of allowing McEnroe to toss his racket around as it were a Frisbee. He used a few choice words as well, without recrimination. Goran Ivanisevic eliminated Ivan Lendl, who was crippled by a burst of pain in his lower back early in the third set. Lendl, who won the first set but surrendered the next two, abdicated for real after losing his serve in the first game of the fourth set. “That’s enough,” he told umpire Dana Loconto, and then left the grounds without uttering another word, disappointed by Wimbledon for the 13th time. Ivanisevic says Lendl won’t ever win Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam event Lendl hasn’t won. “Sometimes I feel sorry for him because he’s a great athlete, a great tennis player, but he’s never going to win Wimbledon,” said Ivanisevic, who fired 27 aces before Lendl retired trailing 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-4, 1-0. “I tried to make stich_wb92myself seem boring to everyone after Wimbledon, so not much would be written about me,” he said. “I will make sure that attention is not allowed to focus on my private and family life. That will be the only thing I will have to myself.” Michael Stich reveals his very loud game on court. He possesses the fastest serve at Wimbledon this year: 130 miles an hour. He also has a punishing volley and an explosive return of serve. His game can win on all surfaces. In 1991, he won here on grass, a tournament on clay (Stuttgart), on a hard court (Schenectady) and a carpet (Vienna). His only tour championship this year came on grass at Rosmalen, a tuneup for Wimbledon. He won five matches without dropping a set. Against Australian veteran Wally Masur Monday on Court No. 1, Stich lost the opening set. When pushed, Stich will shove back. With a 15-2 edge in aces, he won 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Surprisingly, a crowd of children ran onto the court past security and surrounded Stich, looking for autographs. He appeared unfazed and signed whatever was put in front of him.  Pete Sampras, the men’s fifth seed, kept up his impressive grass-court run with a 6-3, 7-5, 7-6(9) victory over Arnaud Boetsch of France. “Anything can happen now,” said Sampras, adding that he must return well against the hard-serving Stich. “As big as he served and as well as he plays, he’s definitely capable of winning Wimbledon this year, too,”. Boris Becker overwhelmed Wayne Ferreira in the decisive fifth set today to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the seventh time in eight years. In a match that had been suspended by darkness Monday night and delayed by rain for more than three hours today, Becker prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-1. Ferreira, the 14th seed, had the momentum when he won the fourth set tie-breaker Monday. But he appeared helpless today against an all-court onslaught from the fourth-seeded German. The destruction took only half an hour. Becker won eight of the first nine points while racing to a 3:0 lead. He held serve at 15 in the first game, broke at love in the second with two forehand passing shots and saved a break point in the third game with a service winner. Ferreira barely held serve in the fourth game, saving two break points. Becker held at 30 for 4:1, then broke Ferreira with the shot of the day – a running backhand passing shot from deep behind the baseline. He celebrated by pumping his fists and doing a little dance. Becker was serving for the match at 5:4 in the 4th set, when Ferreira gained a break point with a backhand down the line that clipped the net cord for a winner. Ferreira broke Becker with a forehand service return that sped by the charging three-time champion. After each held to send the set into a tiebreaker, Becker blew a 5:2* lead and a match point at 6:5. Ferreira won the next three points, capping the tiebreaker with a backhand return winner that forced a fifth set. McEnroe next faces ninth-seeded Guy Forget of France, who dashed the hopes of the entire host nation Monday afternoon by going the distance with 30-year-old Jeremy Bates only to cruelly cross the finish line ahead of Britain’s best and only hope in the fifth set. The scores were 6-7(10), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3. Bates won the opening set on a tiebreaker, earning the last three points with a searing forehand pass down the line, a touch backhand forget_wb92_pass crosscourt, a delicate volley. He broke Forget early in the third to take a 2-1 lead in sets. His favored opponent was complaining about cameras, complaining about fans, volleying his cap off of the court. The score was *5:4, 30/0 in the fourth set, when Forget mis-hit a backhand off the tape. “That’s the way the balls went,” Bates said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. He got a few more in the beginning of the fifth set. It’s very disheartening, but what can you do?”. The crowd watched the score move toward match point, 40/30, no differently than children waiting for the calendar to reach Christmas. Bates tossed the ball up… and let it drop, disturbed by something. He started his service motion again, then faulted. Second serve. And this time, Forget passed him. And the moment passed Bates. “I didn’t chicken out,” said the first Brit to reach the round of 16 in 10 years. “I threw the ball to serve, and I can’t remember what it was – somebody took a picture or sneezed or something – and I decided not to hit the ball. So I composed myself again. I went for the serve and just missed it, by 6 inches or so. The second serve I don’t remember. Maybe it was too short.” Andre Agassi, No. 12, reached the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year with a 7-6(1), 6-1, 7-6(0) victory over Christian Saceanu. Agassi, never considered a grass-court expert, has won nine straight sets. Quietly – the only way he ever does anything – Stefan Edberg has slipped into the quarterfinals again at Wimbledon. That makes it six consecutive years for the world’s most consistent grass-court player. He’s won the tournament twice (1988 and ’90) and was runner-up once (1989). On Monday, he beat qualifier Henrik Holm, a fellow Swede, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(1), 6-3. The match took place on Court 13, an unusual spot for Edberg, who’s used to playing on Center Court and Court 1. For 24-year-old qualifiers, Saceanu [176] and Holm [131], Wimbledon ’92 was the best Grand Slam tournament of their careers.

Quarterfinals: (AP)

Pete Sampras, who had never gone past the second round in three previous appearances, eliminated defending champion Michael Stich 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Goran Ivanisevic served 33 aces to oust two-time champion Stefan Edberg 6-7(10), 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Sampras put on a dominant serve-and-volley performance against Stich. ”He just killed me,” the German said. “He played perfect grass court tennis.” Sampras, the fifth seed, will face No. 8 Ivanisevic in Friday’s semifinals. sampras_wb92Sampras has lost only one set in the tournament. He won the 1990 U.S. Open on hard courts but has never had success on grass until now. ”My one goal in my career was to do well here,” he said. “I always thought the grass was an equalizer and that I could lose to anyone on any given day. The last week I’ve been playing really well.” The start of play was delayed by just over half an hour by rain. Sampras looked comfortable from the outset, while Stich was upset at line calls and the slippery conditions on Centre Court. Stich, the third seed, complained throughout the first set about the footing. He slipped several times, including once when he did a split while reaching for a shot. ”I’ve fallen down five times,” Stich protested to referee Alan Mills at the end of the 1st set. “Every time you step on the lines, you can’t stand at all.” But Mills ordered play to continue. Sampras held at love in the 1st game and broke in the 2nd when Stich double faulted at 15/40 (searching an ace on second serve). Stich complained loudly that the call was late. Serving for the match, Sampras went up 40/0. He double faulted on his first match point, but converted on the second with a deep second serve that Stich couldn’t handle (like 13 other Sampras’ second serves…). As Sampras held up his arms in triumph, Stich refused to shake hands with umpire Jeremy Shales. Sampras served nine aces (three in each set), and committed just two double faults risking the second serve throughout. The Ivanisevic-Edberg match was a chance for the Croatian to show off his mighty left-handed serve. His 33 aces brought his total for the tournament to 133. In the 1st set tie-break, Edberg saved three set points (7:8, 8:9* & 9:10). The key game in the final set came when Ivanisevic broke serve for a 5:3 lead – with a bit of luck. He hit two net cords during one winning point, and got the break on a return that hit the top of the net and skipped past a charging Edberg. Ivanisevic erased three break points in the next game and served out the match. John McEnroe saved six set points in the second-set tie-breaker and went on to complete a 6-2, 7-6(9), 6-3 victory over Guy Forget to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal since 1989. “It’s been a big hump to get here,” McEnroe said. Andre Agassi finished a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over three-time champion Boris Becker to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time. “It’s probably one of the greatest achievements of my career for sure,” Agassi said. McEnroe and Forget had been tied at 5:5 in the second set when play was halted Wednesday. Both held serve to set up the tie-breaker. Forget moved out to a 6:3* lead, giving him three set points. But play was delayed for several minutes as McEnroe argued over Forget’s serve on the ninth point being ruled an ace. “The ball was a foot long!” he shouted. McEnroe was looking dispirited when he walked back to the baseline to serve. But he came to life after hitting a backhand volley that hit the top of the net and dribbled over to save the first set point. McEnroe erased the second set point with a service winner, and Forget squandered the third when he hit a short backhand long. McEnroe saved the fourth set point, at 7:6, with a service winner, and the fifth, at 8:7, with a pretty forehand topspin lob. On the sixth set point, McEnroe served into Forget’s body and the Frenchman slapped the return into the net. McEnroe took his first lead, 10:9, with a service winner down the middle and wrapped up the set on the next point when Forget hit a backhand volley into the net. After an exchange of service breaks in the third set, McEnroe broke for a 5:3 lead when Forget netted a forehand volley at 15/40. McEnroe then served out the match at 15. On match point, McEnroe punched a backhand volley that Forget took on the run, hitting a forehand that hit the net cord and sailed wide. The agassi_wb92_Agassi-Becker match had been suspended by rain Wednesday with Becker leading, 4:3, in the fourth set with a service break. The German came out strongly, holding at love for 5:3 and serving out the set in the 10th game with a service winner down the middle. But Agassi overwhelmed Becker in the final set with his crushing returns and passing shots. The victory was Agassi’s sixth in a row over Becker, but the first on grass. Agassi, who has never won a Grand Slam title, said: “I’m two matches away and I tell you one thing: There are only a few people who show up here to win and I’m one of them. I consider my chances as good as anybody’s.” Agassi moved out to a 3:0 lead after breaking Becker in the second game with a cross-court backhand pass. He broke Becker again for 5:1, rifling a forehand return winner on his second break point. Serving for the match, Agassi moved out to 40/30. Agassi was called for a double fault when chair umpire John Parry overruled the linesman. Agassi couldn’t believe it, shouting, “C’mon” and protesting to Parry, “Let me give you a little advice, not on match point.” Becker saved three more match points in the game and broke serve, then held to make it 5:3, Agassi served out the match at love.

Semifinals: Mike Jensen

During breaks in the demolition, John McEnroe‘s head was either buried in his hands or hanging like a wrecking ball between his knees. Out on the court, Andre Agassi‘s charged returns would flash by, and McEnroe would stop and stare and mumble and tumble. He went down in a heap once and stayed there, able only to cover his eyes. It would have been sweet if McEnroe, approaching the edge of retirement, had made today’s Wimbledon final. But Agassi had no intention of letting that happen yesterday. After the 12th-seeded Agassi won, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, the unseeded McEnroe reasserted his belief that Jimmy Connors is the only other modern player who could return serves as well as Agassi does. “And now he’s taken it to another level,” McEnroe said of Agassi. Playing at the same time on Court No. 1 yesterday, Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic aced his way through a 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2 victory over Pete Sampras, a former U.S. Open champion, and into his first Grand Slam final. Where McEnroe has heroic memories, Agassi has slick, freeze-frame, celluloid hype. He has been to three previous Grand Slam finals and to Grand Slam semifinals on four other occasions. He has never won a Grand Slam tournament. Some have suggested he never will. But Agassi just didn’t have time to think about image yesterday. He kept up his routine of hitting practically flat-footed, producing burning, two-fisted backhands. “I thought I played everything,” McEnroe said. “I tried to hit out wide to his forehand. I tried to hit it into his body. I tried to swing it into his backhand. I tried to take a little off it.” In one stretch, the one that all but decided the match, Agassi broke McEnroe’s serve five times in six tries. McEnroe knew he had to be close to perfect, and he wasn’t. He served six double faults, some at crucial times, and hit the Centre Court net with volleys at important moments. Agassi punctured the nostalgic story line, but he also set up an interesting final. The best returner in the game will be trying to cope with the most punishing server. Sampras never broke serve, never even got more than two points when Ivanisevic was serving, and afterward said: “It was to the point where I had absolutely no idea where it was going, where I ivanisevic_wb92_was debating whether to guess or not.” Sampras decided that guessing wouldn’t have done any good. Ivanisevic, probably the most amusing, charming character in this tournament, served 36 aces. Sampras was asked after the match to come up with a turning point. He mentioned a forehand he hit early in the second set. If it was good, he would have had a break point. It was long. “You know, I think mentally, at that point, Ivanisevic was getting a little bit down,” Sampras said. “He ended up holding serve – and then he served extremely well in the tie-breaker.” Sampras, seeded fifth, never had been past the second round at Wimbledon, and he talked about how he was two matches from winning the tournament this time. “I’m satisfied,” he said. Agassi became the first American to reach the Wimbledon men’s final since 1985, when Kevin Curran, a naturalized American born in South Africa, lost to Boris Becker. The last American to win was McEnroe, who did it in 1984. McEnroe, winner of four U.S. Open titles and three Wimbledon championships, and Agassi [14], who reached a world ranking of No. 4 in 1990 and will be either ninth or 10th after this tournament, have played doubles together. They reached the quarterfinal at the French Open, then practiced together at the All England Club before Wimbledon started. “I think it just made it more comfortable for him,” McEnroe said. “He knows that his game – it can stack up well against me. He knew he was going to have his chances. But, I mean, it still surprised me, how well he played.” The match began with McEnroe double-faulting to give Agassi the first game, but McEnroe broke back to tie the first set at 2:2 with a cross-court volley that touched down on a line. Both players then held serve until McEnroe double-faulted away another game and, really, the set. Agassi went ahead by 5:4 on the break and served out the set. After the match, McEnroe, who was noncommittal about whether he would play at Wimbledon again, was true to his candid form, reflecting on the excitement he had caused during the tournament this year, from his thrilling five-set victory on Centre Court over Pat Cash in the second round to his rout of No. 9 seed Guy Forget in the quarterfinals. “I’m really happy with this tournament,” he said. “I feel great about it. I felt like this tournament’s been exciting, and I’ve been a part of that.”

Final: Jim Sarni

A year ago he was a curiosity. Andre Agassi plays Wimbledon. Sunday he was the champion. Andre Agassi wins Wimbledon. Hard to believe? Agassi could barely believe it as he stood on the baseline and watched Goran Ivanisevic’s last volley plop into the net. Agassi dropped his racket. He fell to his knees, then on his face, flat on his stomach on Centre Court. This is the way Agassi greeted his first Grand Slam title (16th overall) after three disheartening failures in finals. Agassi did not throw his shirt into the Royal Box. He didn’t throw his racket into the air or leap over the net. Ivanisevic, instead, crossed the net and congratulated the winner. “I was – I don’t know, shocked,” said Agassi after the 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory.  “I was just overwhelmed. I did not have time to think I can’t believe he missed it. All I was thinking was ‘It is over!’ ‘It is over!’ Many things were running ivan_agassi_wb92through my mind. I was Wimbledon champion, Grand Slam winner. Lots of months and years of people doubting me, and I thought of all the people who have believed in me.” “He was crying and I told him, ‘Listen, man, you deserve it. You played great all these two weeks,'” said Ivanisevic, a 20-year-old Croatian in his first Grand Slam final Sunday. “I was happy for him because he was really trying. Nobody expected he was going to win Wimbledon.” Agassi defeated three-time champions Boris Becker and John McEnroe back-to-back, then completed his improbable championship by stopping Ivanisevic, the King of Aces. No one has served better in a Grand Slam tournament than the 6-foot-4 left- hander. Ivanisevic slammed 206 aces – a Grand Slam record that may never be touched – in seven matches (17, 34, 22, 27, 33, 36, 37 respectively). “If Goran wants to hit a serve by you, it’s going to go by you,” Agassi said. “It’s just a question of if it is going to go in. I knew he was going to get his aces. I had to take advantage of the opportunities I got.” Ivanisevic is the best server, but Agassi is the best returner, and Agassi’s strength won him the second and third sets after Ivanisevic took the first-set tiebreaker on his third set point (after saving a set point at 6:7 with a second serve-ace). Agassi, who had 16 break points in the match, broke Ivanisevic in the first game in the second and third sets and rode his serve to the finish. Ivanisevic did not have a break point in either set. But in the fourth, Ivanisevic opened with a love game on his serve, then broke Agassi at 30. Ivanisevic broke Agassi again and won the set in 18 minutes. Would Agassi fold again? He had a 2-1 lead in sets against Courier at the French Open last year, his last Grand Slam final, and lost. There was no choke in Agassi this time. “He didn’t have that scared feeling,” said Nick Bollettieri, his coach. “He did not panic on this one.” “I never felt tension,” Agassi said. “I just felt ability. I felt myself overflowing with this desire to want to go out there and hit shots.” Agassi hit a courageous volley to save a break point and hold for 4:3 in the final set. “I was just trying to hold on as long as possible,” Agassi said. “I needed to stay extremely focused because if I didn’t, he would look for any opportunity to break and then serve huge to win the match.” The pressure eventually got to agassi_wb92champIvanisevic, serving to stay in the match. He started the final game with two double faults. Ivanisevic got back to 30-all, but Agassi passed him with a forehand on his second serve. “At love-30, I didn’t hear the fat lady humming yet, and when I got to match point, I still wasn’t hearing anything, because I knew he was maybe three serves away from holding,” Agassi said. “But when his serve went into the net, my eyes lit up and I was really aware that it could be all done with on one backhand return.” “I was thinking where to serve, to the backhand or the forehand, thinking with the ball in the air. That’s why I missed,” Ivanisevic said. “I was probably thinking too much. But how can you not think in the fifth set of the Wimbledon final?” Ivanisevic took his second serve and Agassi got the swing on his backhand return. Ivanisevic was right there, on top of the net, poised for the easy volley. “I don’t know what happened, I just missed it,” said Ivanisevic, who made 21 volleys and missed 24. “I was sure I was going to put it in, but I saw it go into the net, and he was down on the floor and I was still standing. You can miss, especially on points like that.” Moments later, Agassi was standing with the trophy, the first American to hold it since John McEnroe in 1984. “It’s quite an irony,” said Agassi, who won Wimbledon after playing just 13 matches on grass. “I really have had my chances to fulfill a lot of my dreams, and I have not come through. To do it here is more than I could ever ask for. If my career is over tomorrow, I have a lot more than I deserve.” 

*********************************

Wimbledon, Great Britain
June 21, 1993; 128 Draw (16 seeded) – $3,592,425; Surface – Grass

I guess it’s the most substantial major of the 90s. Admittedly Pete Sampras came to London as No. 1 in the world, but with only one Grand Slam triumph, captured three years earlier. Sampras’ right shoulder had been bothering him before the tournament almost forcing to withdrawal, and reminded itself a couple of times in the fortnight, but it wasn’t an obstacle to beat Andre Agassi (defending champion), Boris Becker (three-time former champion) and Jim Courier (the best player of the last two years) in back-to-back matches. It must have been a tremendous injection of self-confidence allowing him to rule at the All-England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in the next seven years.
All scorelines
First round: Charles Bricker

Andre Agassi [13] was looking at Snowball Time and those ”crazy thoughts” were invading his brain Monday afternoon. Thoughts like: You’re about to become the first defending champion to take the big plunge in the first round since 1967. So he did what any self-respecting Wimbledon champ would do. He got hot. Real hot. In the next 60 minutes he blitzed German slugger Bernd Karbacher 7-5, 6-4, 6-0 and, in the process, answered some important questions about his wrist and his rust. Agassi, who has played only one match in the past nine weeks because of an injury (lost the first round in Halle), was trailing *2:5 in the first set when he stuck it to Karbacher with a selection of serves and service returns that brought back stirring memories of his great triumph here in 1992. On the opening day of the 107th Wimbledon, this was a match that worried Agassi. Though ranked only No. 35, Karbacher had been hot lately, dispatching Michael Chang in the French Open on Chang’s favorite surface, clay. But Agassi showed his injured wrist is now strong enough to afford him the luxury of playing his game – sitting on the baseline and pounding ground strokes into the corners. As a reward, he moves on to a much easier opponent on Wednesday – the winner of today’s match between Joao Cunha-Silva of Portugal and Britain’s Ross Matheson. Agassi, seeded No. 8, was joined in the second round by seven of the other nine seeds who played, including No. 2 Stefan Edberg, who had a very lucky day against qualifier [155] Greg Rusedski, No. 3 Jim Courier and No. 6 Michael Stich. The only seeded player to lose was No. 15 Karel Novacek, who was beaten in a five-set come-backer by Luis Herrera 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. It was no surprise. Novacek (7-8) and No. 16 Thomas Muster (0-3) are the only seeded players who entered the tournament with losing records on grass. Twelfth-seeded Michael Chang was leading Paul Haarhuis 3:1 in the fifth set when the match was suspended because of darkness. It will be completed today (Chang won 6-4 in the 5th set). Agassi admitted he was having a crisis of confidence in that first set and the idea of a humiliating early exit was lingering. ”You can’t stop crazy thoughts from entering your mind,” he confessed. ”You’re scared it will snowball and you’re nervous he’ll hit some good serves at the right time, and the next thing you know you’re down two sets. Shot selection and intensity at the right points were still a little foreign to me in the beginning. I wasn’t quite comfortable. Like I was down break-point and I double-faulted, so you know I wasn’t feeling good yet. Then I got a little lucky to get the break back, and when I did, I just went with it.” He got to 5:5 with a blistering service winner on game point. He broke to 6:5 with three crushing service returns, including a forehand down the line at game point off a first serve that was by Karbacher almost before he could pivot. Then he won the set with another big serve at 40/15. It was a serve designed to avoid any recurrence of the once-torn tendon in his right wrist. Instead of dropping the racket back before serving, he now simply raises it over his head and blasts. ”My wrist was so painful after Barcelona, as soon as I took the backswing it would hurt,” he explained. There is no reason to change now. Agassi, playing clean-shaven for the first time in months, swatted 10 aces with it, his personal best and one more than he hit against Goran Ivanisevic in last year’s Wimbledon final. Karbacher came into the tournament with a slight case of bronchitis, but he looked just fine for seven games. ”I was up 5-2. Then it was 5-3. Then he hit a few good shots and I… then you’re under pressure,” he stammered. ”It’s the first time you play in such a stadium, on Centre Court at Wimbledon, and you seem to have a chance to beat someone like Agassi, and then you start thinking a little bit, maybe. Then you make a double fault, and you think too much. And then it’s over. It’s over fast.” Yeah, that seemed to sum it up. As for Edberg, who beat Rusedski 7-6(9), 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-6(5), his game seems to have mysteriously dropped off some time after he beat French Open champ Sergi Bruguera, on clay, for the title on May 2 at Madrid (Edberg destoryed then the future Roland Garros champion playing arguably the best clay-court tennis of his life). He has played three tournaments since and hasn’t gotten past the quarters, which is where he lost to Andrei Medvedev at the French Open and where he lost a week later to little-regarded Jamie Morgan on grass at Queen’s Club. Rusedski had three set points in the first-set tie-break and double-faulted on each of them. He was down 4:5 in the final-set tie-break and missed a wide-open volley at the net. ”The first tiebreak was like a lot of nerve from both sides,” Edberg said. ”Then in the last tie-break I got up 4-0 and he played some good shots. But he made an easy mistake.’ That’s sometimes the difference, a point here and there, where maybe a little more experience will help.” It was Rusedski’s first match at majors.
Pete was painless. Boris was booming. Goran was gutty. It was only the first round at Wimbledon, but in one splendid Tuesday afternoon, the three men produced enough drama and quality to last the opening week. Top-seeded Pete Sampras, not quite certain how his damaged right shoulder would respond under match conditions (he suffered a sensational loss two weeks before to Grant Stafford at Queens Club), smacked Neil Borwick [121] of Australia 6-7(10), 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3 without so much as a peep from his rapidly healing tendinitis. No. 4 seeded Boris Becker, his appetite for the game in question, devoured countryman Marc Kevin Goellner 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. And fifth-seeded Goran Ivanisevic, hammering 27 aces and over-hammering 14 double faults, decided not to kill a linesman and instead strangled Jonathan Stark of Medford, Ore., 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4. Usually low-key, almost shy in his postmatch interviews, Sampras seemed overwhelmed with joy about getting through this match. ”My shoulder felt really good today,” he said. ”There is no tenderness at all.” Sampras wasn’t quite ready to let it rip. His first serve, normally in the 115-120 mph range, probably was down in the 105-110 area (there are no public radar guns at Wimbledon). But his location was phenomenal. ”Location is the most underrated thing about Pete ‘s serve,” said his coach, Tim Gullikson, who was almost as ecstatic as Sampras. ”He played great, just great, under the circumstances. His volleying was exceptional.” Volleying was the key for Sampras. By slowing his serve, he got a split-second more time to reach the net. And when he got there he had to be able to swat down Borwick’s passing shots. With Borwick hitting nine aces in the first set, Sampras didn’t get much opportunity early. But things picked up after that. Sampras slugged 15 aces. Not bad for him. But, he said, “I felt I didn’t play well at Queen’s (two weeks ago) and I hardly practiced last week. I really felt unprepared today. I just came out and was a bit apprehensive, unsure.” He called the third-set tiebreak ”a very big key. Then Neil lost a bit of intensity at the beginning of the fourth and I went from there.’‘ Sampras came off the court thinking he would get today off. He soon found out he would be playing Jamie Morgan this afternoon. It’s just another test for his shoulder, and Morgan is no gimme. He beat Mark Woodforde and Stefan Edberg in succession at Queen’s before losing to Michael Stich in the semis. Goran Ivanisevic has a reputation as a lousy fifth-set player (??? his record was great, 13-4 at the time), but not Tuesday. He was down love-40 at 4:4 in the final set when he came back to win it, fighting off four break points. ”When I won that game, I said, ‘Now is my chance.’ He missed a couple of first serves and I hit two good returns, and then match point.” Ivanisevic, of Croatia, started shakily. ”My friend, the linesman, called me for a foot fault again and again, and every time I hit an ace, he called me for a foot fault. Then I told him something, to say hello to his mother and father. ‘I could kill the guy, but it was only the second set and I thought there was a couple of sets to go, so don’t kill him yet.” Ivanisevic served 27 aces, six more than Stark. For Becker, maybe Centre Court at Wimbledon, scene of so many of his great triumphs, is the tonic his game needs. He lost the first set to the hard-hitting Goellner, who has played excellent tennis this year, but, Becker said, ”I got better and better.” Meanwhile, Becker said Goellner ”played worse and worse. He has an excellent serve and good shots from the back. But his volleys are not that solid.” Becker has not been past the quarterfinals of his past eight tournaments, including Queen’s two weeks ago, where he lost to Stich in straight sets. But he doesn’t seem concerned. ”Michael played better. He won the whole thing. But I had another two exhibitions after that and I played all right there. I’m happy things are going right at this moment. My serve is excellent. I had 20 aces.”

Second round: Steve Wilstein

Ivan Lendl, the oldest man in the Wimbledon field, and teen-age sensation Andrei Medvedev were knocked out in the second round today by two Frenchmen in the tournament’s first major upsets. Lendl, 33, has been striving for years to add a Wimbledon title to his crowns in the other three Grand Slams. But Arnaud Boetsch, a 24-year-old with a solid all-court game, thwarted the No. 7 seed, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Medvedev, seeded 10th at his first Wimbledon, was eliminated by Cedric Pioline, 6-7(7), 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-4. Second-seeded Stefan Edberg, the oddsmakers’ favorite to capture his third Wimbledon title, won his second-round match over Israel’s Amos Mansdorf, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Their career head-to-head record is now 8-0. Medvedev advanced to the semifinals of the French Open earlier this month, routing Edberg along the way. But he was plagued by errors and lapses of concentration today. Afterward, the 18-year-old Ukrainian attributed the loss to a recent setback in his personal life. He repeatedly refused to elaborate, but – when asked if he was sad replied, “Yes, absolutely. Very sad.” Pioline, ranked 23rd in the world after repeated strong showings this spring, reached the third round here for the first time in three tries. Michael Chang, seeded 12th, survived his second-straight five-set match with a 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Australian Todd Woodbridge in three hours, 44 minutes. Not renowned for his grass-court play, Chang was knocked out in first round here the past two years. Now 16-5 lifetime in five-setters, Chang will play next against David Wheaton, who won an all-American battle with Brian Shelton, 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-4. The No. 13 seed, hard-serving Wayne Ferreira of South Africa, survived a grueling match with clay-court specialist Carlos Costa of Spain, 2-6, 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 8-6…  Fans gasped at the revival of Pete Sampras‘ 120 mph aces and went gaga over Andre Agassi‘s shaven torso on a day of tennis and titillation at Wimbledon. Boris Becker, the three-time champion and No. 4 seed, downed Alexander Volkov 7-6(3), 6-1, 6-3. And No. 6 Michael Stich, the 1991 champion, beat Sandon Stolle 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4. Yet nothing was more stunning than the power Sampras showed in his quick recovery from a shoulder injury, and nothing excited the crowd more than Agassi posing unabashedly to reveal his newly sheared chest and belly during his victory. Sampras, the No. 1 seed, served 17 aces with a top speed of 122 mph in beating a tough grass-court player, Jamie Morgan of Australia, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-4. “I wasn’t apprehensive today,” Sampras said after his second match in two days without any pain in the tendon that had flared up last week and threatened to keep him from playing Wimbledon. “I wasn’t scared to really hit it at 120 miles per hour. I felt 100 percent fit and strong and felt that I may as well go for it. As it turned out, I served much better today than I did yesterday. I really don’t think it’s a problem anymore. I didn’t feel it at all, and even more importantly, in my mind I feel there’s no problem at all.” Sampras had been granted a delay of his first-round match until Tuesday, and he started off the tournament restraining his serve, going more for placement than power. He expected to have Wednesday off to rest his shoulder but didn’t let the back-to-back matches bother him. Even when he was in danger of dropping a set, trailing 5:4 with Morgan ready to serve twice in the second-set tiebreaker, Sampras seemed at ease. Morgan, who recently beat Stefan Edberg on grass in a tuneup tournament, flubbed his first serve softly into the net. Sampras jumped on the short next one to drive a backhand perfectly down the line for a winner. Sampras made it 6:5 with a low backhand barely over the net cord that Morgan scooped up on a half-volley and knocked back into the net. Sampras then ended the set with a service winner that ticked off Morgan’s outstretched racket. In those three points, and in the set that followed, Sampras showed not only his health but his increasing confidence on grass as he seeks to improve on a semifinal finish last year – his best at Wimbledon. This was only his third match on Centre Court in five years, and he reveled in the experience. “Centre Court, out of all the Grand Slams, is the most enjoyable and peaceful,” he said. “Behind the court it’s dark, so you can pick up the ball really easily. It’s really a great court to play on. I feel my grass-court tennis is getting better. This is the biggest tournament in the world. If you ask 90 percent of the players on the tour, they will say Wimbledon is the one tournament they would like to win, and I’m one of those people.” The key to him winning, he said, is less in his serves than in his returns. He’ll get his aces if he’s healthy, but he’ll have to improve on his ability to handle the low, hard, skidding serves of the top grass-court players. “Look at the past champions,” he said. “Agassi won it last year. His return of serve is the best in the game, and that’s a good example of how important the return of serve is. “I didn’t lose my serve at all today, but could have lost the second-set tiebreaker. The return of serve, if I am going to win it here, that’s the shot.” Agassi displayed that same return-of-serve prowess – and more – in his 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Joao Cunha-Silva. At the end of the second set, Agassi pulled off his shirt, exposing a newly shorn midsection. In England They call him “Never Borin’ Goran,” and “Ivan-ACE- evic.” He calls himself “maybe a little crazy.” But call him what you will, nobody serves aces at Wimbledon like Goran Ivanisevic, and few have played two more dramatic matches than he did in losing in the ivanisevic_wb93_baileyfinal last year and winning in the second round Thursday. After all the fuss this week over Andre Agassi’s depilatory adventures, Steffi Graf’s obsessed heckler and Pete Sampras ‘ miraculously cured shoulder, Wimbledon witnessed simply superb tennis from Ivanisevic and a British wild card named Chris Bailey [263]. Ivanisevic saved himself with one gutsy ace on a second serve late in the fifth set, then he ended it with his 34th ace to crush the hopes of long-suffering British fans in the most riveting match at Wimbledon since last year’s final. Ivanisevic lost that final to Agassi despite a record 37 aces. But in Thursday’s drama on Centre Court, he survived a match-point against him to beat the No. 263-ranked Bailey 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 6-4, 9-7. ”Already I saw myself at the airport tomorrow, checking the luggage somewhere,” Ivanisevic said. “But then I say, ‘I think it’s too early to check your luggage, so go back, put your mind together and break him.’ And I just did.” But first Ivanisevic had to hold serve, and he followed that nervous let with a bold ace up the middle to tie the set 6:6. Why would he go for such a big shot so close to the line at such an important juncture? Why, especially, when he had 14 double-faults in the match? ”Why not?” he responded. “I have to give it a try. If you hit a slow serve and he hits a great return, then you think, ‘Why didn’t I go for something big?’ If you do double-fault, bad luck. I was lucky. But not everybody can go for that kind of shot.” The setting orange sun dropped below the green rim of the stadium during that game, but play continued under a marbled, light blue sky. There are no tiebreakers at Wimbledon in the fifth set, so the players would have to go on until darkness or until one of them capitulated. Bailey, who had crashed into the woman net judge in a desperate and futile chase for a ball in the fourth set, fought back from a break-point against him to take a 7:6 lead. After Ivanisevic held at love to 7:7, closing out that game with an ace, he finally broke Bailey. It wasn’t easy. Bailey battled from a love-40 deficit to push the game to two deuces, but went out on two superb points. Ivanisevic gained the advantage with a running forehand lob in the corner that Bailey stared at helplessly, then won the game on a flash-quick exchange at the net that ended with Bailey missing on a forehand volley.

Third round: AP

Five days of tennis have turned this year’s All England Lawn Tennis Championship into one of the most competitive in history. Top-seeded Pete Sampras of Tampa and 1992 champion Andre Agassi, who had been in questionable health before Wimbledon, proved again that their injuries could sustain match play Friday as they advanced into the fourth round. Sampras, showing no signs of the inflamed rotator cuff that bothered him last week, bounced Byron Black, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. The only thing that bothered him was a nosebleed. ”I must have blown it too hard,” he said. ”I thought I played about as well as I could,” Sampras said. ”The whole tournament is pretty wide open. There are half a dozen guys capable of winning it here, and I’m one of them.” Agassi, seeded No. 8, eliminated Patrick Rafter, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-3. Agassi said the injured tendon in his right wrist is old news. “I’m hitting the ball as hard as I want,” he said. In fact, he’s struggling with hitting the ball too hard. ”I’m trying to zero in and get my game sharp right now so power isn’t a problem,” Agassi said. Their victories led a group of four other seeded players and defending champions into the fourth round. The qualifier Rafter [178] never won a match in his previous seven tournament at the main level before Wimbledon ’93. Boris Becker, seeded No. 4 and a three-time champion, overcame Jakob Hlasek, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Sixth-seeded Michael Stich, with a boatload of break points at his disposal, whipped Christo Van Rensburg, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Van Rensburg, who plays with a happy face stenciled on his racket, could not have been too happy with his performance because Stich served himself out of trouble the entire match. Richard Krajicek, seeded No. 9, had some shaky moments but slammed 20 aces to defeat Laurence Tieleman, 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. ”The way I was playing at the end, I’m not really ready for Andre (Agassi),” Krajicek said. ”But if I can keep up like I was playing in previous matches and in the first set today, I think I will be.” Petr Korda, seeded No. 11, stuffed Derrick Rostagno, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Also into the final 16 are Henri Leconte, who defeated Boca Raton’s Aaron Krickstein, 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-2. Victory-starved English fans saw Andrew Foster get a break. Foster, who entered the tournament as a 5,000-1 shot, held a 6-3, 6-5 lead over Andrei Olhovskiy when the Russian became too ill to continue play. Foster’s reward was a fourth-round match with Sampras, probably Monday. American Todd Martin, usually as composed as a professor with his fluffy brown beard and quiet demeanor, let loose a primal scream Saturday that shattered the sleepy silence of Wimbledon. Just when it seemed that nearly all the big names would march jauntily and tediously into the second week, Martin’s howl punctuated a 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-0 upset of last year’s runner-up, Goran Ivanisevic. It came after two improbable winners: a scooping backhand lob over the towering Ivanisevic, and a lunging clunker off the frame that spun crosscourt as if in slow motion before touching down inches from the sideline. Those two shots broke Ivanisevic’s service for the second time in the final set, gave the unseeded Martin a 4:0 lead and demoralized the No. 5 seed. “That was probably as loud as anybody gets,” said Martin, 22, a former All-American at Northwestern who is tall and lanky like a young Abe Lincoln from Illinois. “I had to take some extra time, actually, after that point to regain my composure because I got just too much adrenaline pumping at once.” Martin, playing in only his second Wimbledon, settled down to hold serve at love with the help of his 16th ace, then watched Ivanisevic double-fault for the 15th time to lose the match. Ivanisevic, who had 34 aces in his previous match but “only” 23 this time, stormed away and was fined $2,000 for spurning the post-match interview. He lost another $500 for throwing his racket and cracking it during the match. Martin’s victory was “certainly his biggest moment in tennis,” said his coach, Tom Gullikson. A pro since 1990, Martin won his first tournament last month at Coral Springs, Fla., but even that doesn’t measure up to this achievement. “To beat a (defending) finalist at a prestigious event like Wimbledon, after being down a few times in the match, shows character, fighting spirit and a greater self-belief,” Gullikson said. At 30/30 in the fourth game, Ivanisevic followed up his serve with a half-volley that sat up for Martin, who had plenty of time to think about what to do. With Ivanisevic standing in the middle of the court, Martin could have driven a backhand to either side and risked a volley by Ivanisevic. Instead, Martin flicked a lob that the 6-foot-4 Ivanisevic couldn’t touch and could scarcely believe. The crowd delighted in the surprise, but there was more to come. Ivanisevic hit two good volleys trying to get to deuce and seemed to have Martin out of position as he ran forward. The 6-6 Martin lunged with a forehand and the ball caromed off the frame behind Ivanisevic across the court, ever so slowly, and fell in by about six inches. That’s when Martin bent back, pumped both arms repeatedly and bellowed above the crowd’s roar. “It was the only shot he had and it was made in desperation,” Gullikson said. “He just fluked it in. Once he was up those two breaks, he had Goran.” In the 4th set Ivanisevic wasted a triple mini-match point leading 4:2. Martin goes into the round of 16 next week against fellow American David Wheaton, a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 winner over No. 12 Michael Chang in a dramatic 4-hour, 22-minute marathon. Both, Ivanisevic and Chang played 15 sets in the first three rounds of the Wimbledon ’93.

Fourth round: AP

Former champions Boris Becker and Michael Stich set the stage for an all-German quarterfinal showdown at Wimbledon with impressive fourth-round victories today. No. 2 seed Stefan Edberg and No. 3 Jim Courier also advanced. Becker, the No. 4 seed, beat Henri Leconte of France, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and Stich, seeded sixth, overpowered 11th-seeded Petr Korda of the Czech Republic, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-6(3). Becker has won three titles here but lost to Stich in the 1991 final, one of the most painful defeats of his career. After a close first set, Edberg, a two-time Wimbledon champion, had no trouble with American journeyman Richard Matuszewski, winning 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-2. Courier, a baseline player with four titles in other Grand Slams, overcame serve-and-volleyer Wayne Ferreira of South Africa, the No. 13 seed, 4-6, 7-6(8), 7-5, 6-4. ”It was a bit of a scary match for me, but I survived,” Courier said. He plays next against one of his best friends on the tour, Todd Martin, who again pulled off a five-set upset to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Martin beat fellow American David Wheaton 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4, rallying as he did Saturday to upset Goran Ivanisevic. Wheaton served 17 double faults; in the 4th set Martin trailed 0:3 with two breaks down! Maybe Barbra Streisand had it right and Andre Agassi really is the Zen master of tennis. Zoning in amid the giddy atmosphere of Centre Court, wind and gossip swirling all around, Agassi ran down seemingly unreachable balls and hit winners from off the court. He played “in the moment,” as Streisand once said, and psyched out killer-server Richard Krajicek to win 7-5, 7-6(7), 7-6(8) and pass a crucial test Monday in defense of his Wimbledon title. Two years before at Wimbledon, Agassi outlasted Krajicek in straight sets with two tie-breaks required as well (7-6 6-3 7-6). Krajicek performed like a one-trick pony – serve and volley, serve and volley – and when it worked he was superb. But Agassi was more of a circus show horse, doing it all, staying back, coming in, attacking, reacting. Agassi did not have his actress pal Barbra at court-side as promised – everyone from the photographers to the royal guests were looking – but he’ll have his not-so-friendly pal, top-seeded Pete Sampras, across the net in the quarterfinals. Sampras, sore-shouldered again and short-tempered for a change, had an easier time winning, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(6), against a lesser player, and Britain’s last hope, Andrew Foster [332]. But in contrast to Agassi’s deliriously happy departure, Sampras stormed off in a rage at the British fans packing Court 14, cursing them or shouting sarcastically, depending on whom one asked. Sampras cursed as he hit a ball high into the crowd, according to courtside photographers. “I said, `Thank you very much, and God bless you,’ “ Sampras claimed. “You know, `See you later. Hasta la vista.’ I got the hell off the court.” was all rather routine, though, compared with Agassi’s show on Centre Court. Krajicek, seeded just behind the No. 8 Agassi, is one of the hardest servers in the game. Agassi has perhaps the best return of serve. Krajicek served 23 aces, but Agassi chose his spots, breaking him at key moments. “When a guy can hit a first serve 125 miles per hour, really there isn’t much you can do except hope it’s near your racket,” said Agassi, who survived 37 aces in the final last year against Goran Ivanisevic. “That’s what I was doing. When he cranked up the first serve, I did have to guess. But a couple of times he took a little off it. Then you have to make sure you make him pay for it, so he feels pressure to get the big one in.” When it was over, Agassi pumped his fists, shook hands, blew kisses to the crowd, then went to the middle of the court for a long, deep bow. He didn’t share the stage with Barbra Streisand this time, but hinted he might soon. “I want to keep everybody in suspense,” he said.

Quarterfinals: Mercury News

Barbra finally arrived and Andre abruptly departed. But he didn’t go without a fight. Defending champ Andre Agassi, with friend Barbra Streisand leaping from her seat to cheer, overcame a two-set deficit only to watch three aces fly past in the final game and lost, 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, to Pete Sampras in today’s quarterfinals. Jim Courier defeated close friend Todd Martin, 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-3, in another quarterfinal match. No. 4 seed Boris Becker won an all-German duel against 1991 champion Michael Stich, coming from behind to win, 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4. Becker never lost serve during the match (saved 9 break points), which lasted 4 hours and 14 minutes. Agassi, who sat out most of the spring with a wrist injury, was rusty when this tournament started but gained momentum as the crowd tilted heavily in his favor. But with his shoulder aching and the Centre Court crowd wildly cheering for his opponent, Sampras kept his cool and held on for a five-set victory to reach the Wimbledon semifinals. The top-seeded Sampras , who was treated several times by his trainer for the inflamed tendon in his right shoulder, staved off a furious comeback by Agassi to win in 2 hours 48 minutes. Two-time champion Stefan Edberg, the oddsmakers’ favorite, swept past unseeded Cedric Pioline of France, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 (the Frenchman led 4:0 in the 2nd set). Sampras overcame considerable adversity in order to beat Agassi. Besides his shoulder problems, he had the overwhelmingly pro-Agassi crowd to contend with. Even Sampras’ errors drew wild cheers. Agassi’s fans included Streisand, who sat in the players’ box and frequently jumped to her feet to lead the applause. After winning a key point, Agassi would often pump his fists and look over at his entourage. Agassi appeared to have the momentum after winning the third and fourth sets, but Sampras regained the advantage when he broke for a 3:2 lead in the final set. Sampras had two match points at 5:3, but Agassi saved both. In the next game, however, Sampras served out the match at love. He hit three consecutive aces in the game – his 20th, 21st and 22nd of the match – and finished with a good 2nd serve (pretty good for a man who was supposed to serve at 65% according to ATP’s trainer Bill Norris) that Agassi returned wide. Agassi – and the crowd – looked dazed during the first two sets as Sampras dominated thoroughly, serving and volleying with authority and playing steady if unspectacular shots from the baseline. Sampras took the pace off the ball, and Agassi couldn’t find his rhythm or timing. ”I felt just an inch away from hitting offensive shots,” Agassi said. “I don’t know if it was my feet or nerves.” Agassi made his move at the start of the third set when he broke serve for the first time for a 2:0 lead. At that stage, Streisand and many other fans gave Agassi a standing ovation. ”I was just determined to fight until I could pull things together,” he said. “Once I got the break on him, it allowed me to believe I could do it.” Pumped up, Agassi swept through the third and fourth sets, punctuated by a crushing inside-out backhand passing shot to break Sampras and force a fifth set. But once Sampras got the service break, he was in charge – even though he took a painkiller and winced as the trainer treated his shoulder during the changeovers. ”Pete is the kind of player who steamrolls players,” Agassi said. “When he got up that break, it didn’t seem like he slowed up at all. He raised his game a level, and I couldn’t answer. That’s the bottom line.” As for Streisand, Agassi said, “It’s always nice to have a close friend be here to share in a victory or a defeat.” Courier has won the French Open and Australian Open twice. But he has never had much success on grass, reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals once. He said he’s enjoying himself this year as never before. ”The fun started a while ago, but this is where it gets really exciting,” he said. “No one was thinking that I had any chance, but I’ve got to go out there and swing away and see what happens.” The 6-foot-6 Martin got to the quarterfinals on the strength of a big serve-and-volley attack, but Courier managed to keep him at the baseline with his strong ground-strokes. When Martin did come in, Courier was often ready with passing shots. Courier also capitalized on Martin’s double faults on several key points. Martin’s one chance to make the match interesting came when he earned a set point with Courier serving at 4:5 in the second set. But Martin squandered the opportunity on the fourth shot of the rally, when he sailed a forehand way beyond the baseline. Courier held serve, and in the subsequent tiebreaker, hit a forehand return winner down the line to win it, 7/5. Courier dominated the third set. Stich, the 1991 champion, served 20 aces to Becker’s 16 but also had 13 double faults. The match was a total contrast to the last time they met at Wimbledon, the 1991 final, when Becker agonized over almost every point that went against him and lost the psychological battle. This time he stayed in control, and it was Stich who moaned whenever a close decision went Becker’s way. “Compared with the final in 1991, when he was arguing against himself, this time Boris did not say a word,” said Stich, who registered the fastest serve of the tournament (128 mph). “He was totally concentrated.” Whenever he faced a break point, Becker came up with a big serve inches inside the service line. Stich only rarely got it back. “I think we both played our best tennis on the same day, that’s why it came out a good match,” Stich said. “We both wanted to win very badly, not to beat each other, but to get to the semifinal. He was just a bit better today.” Becker broke Stich in the 11th game of the opening set and again in the opening game of the fourth. In between, the No. 6 seed turned the match around by winning tie-breaks in the second and third sets. But Stich was overpowered in the fourth as Becker broke him twice. In the final set, Becker survived two break points in the second game and then broke Stich’s serve for a 2:1 lead. Stich saved a match point in the 10th game of the final set and then had a break point when Becker double-faulted. But Stich netted a backhand and Becker won when Stich misfired on a service return.

Semifinals: AP

Wimbledon will have an all-American final on the Fourth of July. Pete Sampras and Jim Courier upset two former Wimbledon champions today and reached the final of the Grand Slam tournament for the first time. Sampras, playing flawless grass-court tennis, took apart three-time champion Boris Becker 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. Courier, counter-punching from the baseline, came from behind to beat two-time champion Stefan Edberg in four sets. It’s the first all-American final since John McEnroe beat Jimmy Connors for the title in 1984. The biggest surprise was Courier, who has won the French Open and Australian Open twice but has never had much success on the grass at Wimbledon. He was a decided underdog against Edberg, perhaps the game’s most natural grass-court player. But Courier used his attacking baseline game to keep Edberg off balance, not allowing him to control the game with his serve and volley. Courier kept up the pressure on Edberg’s serve, winning key points with crushing cross- court returns. Courier was down a set and 0:2 when he started his comeback. He broke Edberg three times to win the second set and twice to capture the third. The two were even on serve in the fourth set until Courier broke at 5:4 to finish the match. He squandered four match points before ripping a forehand return winner on the fifth. Sampras, meanwhile, rode a brilliant serve-and-volley game to a surprisingly one-sided victory over the man who has virtually owned Centre Court for nearly a decade. ”Today, I thought I played about as well as I could and Boris was just a little bit off on his serve,” Sampras said. “I think this was my best match so far on grass.” Showing no signs of the shoulder injury that nearly forced him to skip the tournament, Sampras served 12 aces and never lost serve during the match. He saved six break points, four in the first set and two in the last game. The match ended in appropriate fashion – Sampras ripping a big serve down the middle and putting away a backhand volley. Even though he was the top seed, Sampras was not the favorite to win the tournament or to beat the No. 4 Becker, who won here in 1985, 1986 and 1989 and was runner-up three times. But Sampras put on the performance of a champion today, serving powerfully, volleying cleanly and returning well enough to break Becker twice. He was especially dominant at the net, where he won 24 points, compared to just 10 for Becker. “Today he played no loose shots,” Becker said. “He didn’t give me any free points. If he plays the way he did today, he can win the final.” Sampras’ superiority had Becker muttering and screaming at himself in frustration. At one point in the second set, Becker lost his temper over a line call and shouted at chair umpire Wayne McKewen, “You have to watch a little bit. You’ve called them all wrong.” While Becker had 14 aces, his serve also let him down at crucial moments as he hit 12 double faults. ”I didn’t have the best timing on my serve today,” Becker said. “The problem was my legs. They weren’t as strong as they were in other matches.” Becker said he suffered an emotional and physical letdown after his five-set quarterfinal victory Wednesday over Michael Stich, a match which lasted more than four hours. “I was a step slow today,” he said. “I didn’t move as well as I have been in the last couple of matches. The match with Stich was too tough maybe. The whole tournament was tough for me. From the first round, I had tough opponents.” Becker said it was “very hard to believe” that Sampras had a shoulder problem. Indeed, the American served at an average speed of 113 mph, with a top serve clocked at 124 mph. “I was not feeling any pain out there today,” Sampras said. “I now know that I’m going to be fine for Sunday.” The first set was dominated by the serve, with both men holding with ease. In the tiebreaker, Sampras gained a mini-break on Becker’s serve when he hit a good return and the German’s low backhand volley sailed long. With Sampras leading 6:3, Becker saved two set points but mis-hit a forehand serve return on the third. In the second set, Sampras got the only service break when Becker double faulted three times in the third game. With Sampras serving for the set at 5:4, he double faulted to go down 15/40 and give Becker two break points. It was at that stage that Sampras played perhaps his best tennis. He won the first point with a forehand putaway volley and, on the second, he followed his serve to net and knocked off a forehand cross-court volley. At deuce, Sampras scored with a sharply-angled backhand cross-court volley, and he won the set on the next point with a serve and backhand volley which Becker couldn’t handle. The match was essentially over when Becker gave away the first game of the third set with two more double faults. Becker did put up a fight with Sampras serving for the match at 5:4, but Sampras saved two break points and reached match point with a stretch forehand stop volley, then finished it off with another serve-and-volley.

Final: Dale Robertson

The heavy burden of proof rested solely upon Pete Sampras‘ broad back Sunday. He held the No. 1 ranking – disputed by most everyone except the computer that put him there – and owned a game that was made for Wimbledon’s lawns. Jim Courier, second-ranked despite winning the Australian Open and barely losing the French, had limited aspirations, certainly, going into the fortnight. He admitted assuming he would be sweating on a Florida golf course instead of on Centre Court the day the men’s championship came to be decided. Instead, Courier fought his way into this all-American Fourth of July final and, in his words, “gave a pretty good representation,” hammering away relentlessly from the baseline. But Sampras, oblivious to the pressures and oblivious to the expectations, did exactly as he was supposed to. He gave a better representation. Save for two aberrant serve lapses in the third set, Sampras taught Courier a graduate-level class in grass-court tennis. The score was 7-6(3), 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3 and resolved the who’s-No.-1 controversy. “There’s been a lot of controversy over the computer, about how come I’m No. 1 with what Jim did in the Australian and the French,” Sampras said. “But he can’t take this title away from me. I don’t think there will be anymore controversy.” None was forthcoming from Courier, who could have regained the top spot by a hair had he won. “I guess it would (validate) his ranking, wouldn’t it?” he said. “I mean, Wimbledon’s our biggest tournament. He was ranked No. 1 and he won it, so I guess that does it.” Courier’s reaction to losing his second Grand Slam final in four weeks? “It stinks,” the 22-year-old third seed said. “Yes, it stinks twice now. It’s been a rough month for me. Paris and here are equally painful for me. But there were no “would-haves’ or “could-haves’ in this match. I felt the same way in Paris (where Sergi Bruguera upset him in a gripping five-setter). I did what I thought was right at the time, and it just didn’t happen for me. I got outplayed, and it’s not any easier to take because of that.” Sampras became the first No. 1 seed since John McEnroe in 1984 to make it through Wimbledon unscathed. He’s the 21st American to win here and, at 21, the youngest American winner of the Open era. McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and last year’s champion, Andre Agassi, all ascended to England’s tennis throne at 22. In 1990, Sampras set a record for being the most callow U.S. Open champion in history. But that happened so far ahead of schedule he said he didn’t appreciate Flushing Meadow as much as he’s going to relish Sunday’s triumph. “Now, being a top player for a couple of years,” he said, “I can kind of appreciate what it takes to win a Grand Slam. In my mind this is the biggest one in the world, and now that I’ve done it I feel as happy as I’ve ever felt.” Sampras’ formula for success was basic. He cracked his serves, the second ones almost as fiercely as the first. He punched his volleys deep or angled them sharply, and he put away every smash. The match was as emotionless as it was technically proficient, but that’s the Sampras style. The driest champion in memory would fittingly reign over the first bone-dry Championships in 15 years. Sampras did, however, get a laugh in his press conference for the way he responded to the news that Lady Di, who hadn’t visited the Royal Box since 1991, was on the edge of her seat pulling for him at the end of the match. “Maybe,” he said, “she has a crush on me.” If aces and service winners impress the Princess of Wales, she must be smitten with Sampras. He blasted 22 of the former – three on second serves – and 54 percent of his thundering deliveries proved unreturnable. Courier didn’t force Sampras even to ‘deuce’ until finally breaking him the second game of the third set. But Sampras answered right back, and seemed to be comfortably on course to at least force a third tiebreaker when two careless errors let Courier break again in the eighth game. Courier subsequently served out the set at love, bashing an ace for the concluding point. At that juncture, Sampras could have gone either way. He admitted his “shoulders were feeling a bit heavy,” but, faced with the grim prospect of seeing a match he seemingly held safely in hand leveled by Courier, he jump-started himself. “I got my second wind,” he said. “I had to. Jim, he’s not going to give up. I could have gone five sets if I’d had to… but fortunately things worked out in the fourth.” He scored the break he needed in the sixth game with a volley placement deep to the corner, then put away the match with relative ease. Courier saved one break point in the final game when Sampras botched a backhand volley, but Courier penned an undramatic end to the 2-hour, 58-minute struggle by netting a forehand. “I thought I played pretty well,” Courier said in his defense “I didn’t drop serve very often. I played maybe six loose points on my serve, all of them in the two games I got broken. When I had my chances to break him, I generally did. It was just grass-court tennis… roll the dice. If he starts hitting his second serve around 95 to 100 mph, putting it in the corners, it’s pretty unstoppable. But the match could have gone either way. I could have won the second-set tiebreaker and then, of course, I won the third set. If that happens, things are a lot different.” Sampras lost four service points in the entire second set, but, because he couldn’t successfully pressure Courier, either, he found himself staring down a set point against him at 5:6 in the tie-break. Although he hit what Courier called “a choke volley” there, the ball floated down deep in the corner for a winner. Given the reprieve, Sampras easily won the next two points. “It was a very tense moment,” Sampras said, referring to the almost fatal volley. “I admit I didn’t get all of the ball. Winning the second set was huge. I liked my chances against Jim on grass. I would have been very devastated to lose to him here. It would have taken me six months, a year, to get over it.” A moot point. No. 1 is his. Wimbledon is his. And he’s only 21. Sampras’ 18th title (2nd major). Courier became the first man since 1969 to play Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon finals within a season. This feat (with better general outcome) was repeated 13 years later by Roger Federer. Stats of the final

7 Responses to 1992 – 1993, Wimbledon

  1. Joca says:
    Goran lost 1992. final with just 4 less points win, we will have same margin in 2001. final but than he won 154 to 150 Rafter’s points
    Youngest Open era Wimbledon final at that time, and second youngest after 2002.
    For the second time in Open era, players in Wimbledon final looked for first Major, we had that situation in 1985.
    In 1/4 he had 7 past or futures Wimbledon champions, and Forget who made 3 1/4’s in 4 years
    For the first time since 1951 none of first 4 seeds made semis
    For the first time since 1982. Americans had 3 players in semis
    Andre played only 6 ATP matches on grass before this tournament
  2. Voo de Mar says:
    Thanks for the input Joca! :)

    I’m planning to add majors with higher frequency from now on, so I count on your watchfulness 😉

  3. Joca says:
    I made point by point analyse of this match, so I wanted to know interesting facts :)

    Here’s points won by the lenght of rallyes :

    110 Rallyes 1-4 (241) 131
    41 Rallyes 5-8 (61) 20
    5 Rallyes 9-12 (13) 8
    7 Rallyes 13+ (7) /

  4. Voo de Mar says:
    “110 Rallyes 1-4 (241) 131”

    What do 241 and 131 mean?

  5. Joca says:
    I can’t make it nice in this comment box, but sorry I wasn’t clear :)

    There was 241 points with rallyes between 1-4 shots, Andre won 110 and Goran 131
    61 rallyes between 5-8 shots, Andre won 41 and Goran 20
    13 rallyes between 9-12 shots, Andre won 5 and Goran 8, little surprise
    Only 7 rallyes with 13+ shots, Andre won all of them

    Thats 163 points for Andre and 159 for Goran

  6. Voo de Mar says:
    I thought 110 Rallyes of 1-4 shots, thus my confusion.

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