wb01ivanisevic_henman

wb01ivanisevic_henman

Total points [ 40-36, 42-41, 4-24, 42-42, 31-25 ]
Points won directly on serve:
43 % Ivanisevic – 74 of 172
40 % Henman – 63 of 154

One of a kind three-day Grand Slam semifinal, stopped because of rain at the beginning of the 4th set on Friday, and again on Saturday with Ivanisevic leading 3:2 on serve in the decider. Something like that cannot be repeated because in the meantime roofs over the main courts have been built at Wimbledon & US Open, meanwhile in Paris the rain has never been such a big factor in the last few days of the tournament.
Ivanisevic [125] played three consecutive return winners to clinch the opener, so he was serving as the first one in the 2nd set, and when the tie-break kicked off he had won three points more in that set, but he lost it 6/8 which made a bad impact on his mood – he basically threw in the towel the 3rd set scoring just four points! He regrouped at the beginning of the 4th set though, and with a quite difficult forehand volley he saved a mini match point at 3:4. In the tie-break he was trailing 1:3*, amazingly it felt like a repeat of his semifinal defeat 11 years earlier to Boris Becker, but he won then an exchange of volleys and delivered an ace out-wide at 5-all. Setpoint. Big forehand return in Henman’s feet made two sets apiece. When the match was halted on Saturday it seemed very probable that on Sunday they would play similarly long set to that in which Ivanisevic overcame Krajicek in the 1998 semifinal, however, Henman [11] didn’t survive the pressure. Admittedly at 3:4 he saved a double break point, but committed a double fault and tentatively served on third break point – Ivanisevic punished him with a copy of his return in the last point of the 4th set. The Croat served the match out after one deuce, forcing Henman’s terrible backhand error off return… The poor Henman disappointed the local crowd again, it was third of his six Grand Slam semifinals, the only one he entered as a favorite having won all previous four meetings against Ivanisevic.

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