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.
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 chances 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 an 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  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 the 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 game 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 Wimbledon ’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 that 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 know,” 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 maybe 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 myself 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 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  and Holm , Wimbledon ’92 was the best Grand Slam tournament of their careers.
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 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-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 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 , 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 through 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 Ivanisevic, 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.”