Paris, just crazy

An article from: La Repubblica
by Gianni Clerici

At Roland Garros the top two seeds out at the first round: Bruguera and Ivanisevic through

Edberg and Becker knocked out, favourite needed.

This is a day I will tell my nephews gathered around the fireside, in front of an old bottle of Barolo '58 (ann. kind of Italian red wine). Never in Grand Slam history the two top favorites had lost in the first day. If you don't believe me, please believe Tommasi and, most of all, the computer database, that nowadays leaves nothing to our doubts.

Both Edberg and Becker were put out by two 19-year-old guys, Sergi Bruguera, Catalan, Goran Ivanisevic, Croatian. Edberg's match wasn't even thrilling: Stefan was a break up, but then collapsed as if someone had taken his horse from beneath him.(...)

Bruguera had some problems with his father, but at least they were productive quarrels, because dad Luis is not an intellectual, but a former tennis player, Spain's number 8. Maybe Luis had pushed Sergi too much after the semifinal in Rome and the fourth round in Paris 1989, that had led the young in the high rank. Since then, like Ivanisevic, Bruguera had won less, and it was difficult to say if it was just a stop, or a technical limit, more than an athletic one.

The Catalan, in the past few months played few matches and bad, victim of a psychological trauma for a double defeat in Davis Cup, and of a fight against Sanchez family, who didn't want him in the team. He explained to us he had lived for four weeks with some bad problems, now fortunately solved.

Serious and sober, then, he released a diabolic statement: "When I lose once, my father and I study the opponent. We learn how to face that opponent, and I rarely lose again". According to Sergi's innocence, to be a little more into the court and neutralize Edberg's first serves would be enough to solve every trouble.

Unfortunately for Stefan, his fourth accident seems to have not only limited his serve, but to have even left deep unconscious marks. In today's tennis you don't see net players with little serve. And at the end we saw Edberg from the baseline, and the excited Catalan at the net. It was as the world turned upside down...

(...) This tournament, that was already a kind of roulette, now becomes a real lottery. Some faithful fans of the little Chinese whispered Chang could win again. Another, an American reporter, has just called Lendl, to ask him if he didn't regret to have chosen grass and not Paris clay. "If we don't have Ivan, at least we have Ivanisevic", smiles, on the desk next to mine, my old mate Bud Collins. Tomorrow, we'll try to find a new favorite.

Paris, just crazy