A volley by Stefan Edberg at the AEGON Masters in London
from ATP Champions Tour.com
It was a revenge of sorts for Pat Rafter when he took on Goran Ivanisevic at the AEGON Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Saturday. In 2001, he lost 8-6 in the final set to the Croat in a classic Wimbledon final, but this time Rafter emerged victorious only because his opponent was forced to retire with an injury when serving for the opening set at 5-3.
Eight and a half years after the Croatian’s victory in his fourth Wimbledon final - a day that Ivanisevic credits with ‘saving his life’ - the pair stepped on court together for the first time since. For half a dozen games, the memories came flooding back. Serving at 4-2, 30-30 though, Ivanisevic aggravated an existing hamstring injury when making an approach to the net. He came to a juddering halt.
After a short consultation with the tournament trainer, Ivanisevic made a valiant attempt to continue with the match. However it soon became clear that the Croatian’s movement was severely hampered, and serving at 5-3 the pain became too much for him and he was forced to admit defeat. Ivanisevic was understandably disappointed.
“I think the luck God gave me in 2001 I couldn’t ask for again!” said Ivanisevic.
“It’s a shame I couldn’t finish today because it was great tennis we were playing. I felt great, there was a great atmosphere and everything was just right. The day was right, the hour right, the moment right. Everything felt right except for my right leg.”
“It will always be special between me and Pat though,” he continued. “Everyone will always remember that final. I definitely will, that day changed my whole life.”
Rafter was also disappointed at the manner of his victory.
“It’s not the way you want to win,” he said. “We were actually having a really good match out there. We both went at it really hard. I was really pumped up and we both wanted to play really well. It was just one of those unfortunate incidents that happen with old men.”
Rafter will now meet two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg in Sunday’s final. Edberg was already assured of his final place going into Saturday, by virtue of his impressive record so far in the event. The Swede is yet to lose a set at the AEGON Masters Tennis after beating Greg Rusedski 7-6 6-3 on Saturday evening.
- Edberg: A great idea to promote junior tennis
- Edberg Honoured In London
- London Finals, night of awards for Federer and Edberg
- Federer celebrates 11th Sportsmanship Award with... Edberg
- Becker doesn't like Federer's sneaky attack
- Edberg to play in Zurich next week
- Team Europe defeated in Gold Group final
- Edberg, Chang dazzle Hong Kong
- Winning start at the Hong Kong Classic
- Rafter Wins Classic Final
- Stefan won first two matches at ATP Champions Masters
- Tennis exhibition draws big stars
- Wozniacki teams up with Edberg
- Stefan Edberg third in Paris tournament
- Chang and Enqvist To Clash In Paris Final