BORG SCARES GORAN IN FIRST EVER MATCH; CASH ECLIPSES MCENROE IN THRILLER
Bjorn Borg gave away 15 years to Goran Ivanisevic, but the great Swede had the Croatian worried throughout their first ever clash at the BlackRock Tour of Champions event in Budapest.
Ivanisevic eventually prevailed 7-6(5), 6-3, but not before Borg raced to a 4-1 first set lead. It was all that the Croatian could do to concentrate on the ball with such a legend on the opposite side of the net for the first time.
“First and foremost it was an honour to be able to play Bjorn because we have never played before,” said Ivanisevic, who currently tops the South African Airways Rankings.
“It was a tough match, very serious. I want to win every match badly and especially playing Bjorn. You don’t play Bjorn every day. I’ve watched him so many times on tv so to play him for the first time officially is a great honour. It’s great that I can say that I played him during my career.”
Borg was happy with his performance, and not hugely surprised to lose his early lead.
“Goran started to play really well,” said Borg, who will face John McEnroe on Friday.
Borg vs. McEnroe –
“We had a long game when he broke me and he started to play better. In the beginning he started a bit slow and then he picked up his game and we had a really good first set. I had a few chances but in general it was a good match.”
Pat Cash was another man to stage an impressive comeback on day one. The Australian lost the first set 6-3 against McEnroe, who continued the form of two weeks earlier when he won the Luxembourg title. But Cash hung in, serving-and-volleying throughout the two-hour match, and ultimately edged the second set on a tie-break. In the Champions’ Tie-Break, the match was still there for McEnroe to win. He forced a 7-5 lead before losing the final five points of the match to an inspired Cash.
“I’m really pleased to have won that but really the difference was just a few points here and there,” said Cash.
“In the first set John was just serving too well and there was no way I could beat him. But then he dropped his level a bit and I picked mine up. It was a real struggle but I’m glad to have come through.”
McEnroe was predictably crestfallen.
“I gave my best but unfortunately I didn’t win the last point. He just played the big points better, but it was a good contest,” he said.
Elsewhere, Sergi Bruguera overcame Guillermo Vilas 6-3, 6-4 and Henri Leconte defeated Thomas Muster, also 6-3, 6-4.
Matches are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner. After all round-robin matches are complete, the top two players in each group will meet in Sunday’s final.
Last week, Richard Krajicek beat Goran Ivanisevic in a thrilling final to win his first ever BlackRock Tour of Champions Title at the AFAS Classics in Eindhoven.
In the final event of the year, Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg will take on McEnroe and Ivanisevic in an eight-man field at the BlackRock Masters Tennis in London, December 2-7.
RESULTS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 9
Sergi Bruguera d. Guillermo Vilas 6-3, 6-4
Henri Leconte d. Thomas Muster 6-3, 6-4
Goran Ivanisevic d. Bjorn Borg 7-6(5), 6-3
Pat Cash d. John McEnroe 3-6, 7-6(6), 10-7 (Champions’ Tie-Break)
Matches won/lost (sets)
Goran Ivanisevic 1-0 (2-0)
Pat Cash 1-0 (2-1)
John McEnroe 0-1 (1-2)
Bjorn Borg 0-1 (0-2).
Sergi Bruguera 1-0 (2-0)
Henri Leconte 1-0 (2-0)
Thomas Muster 0-1 (0-2)
Guillermo Vilas 0-1 (0-2)
Friday, 10th October, 2008
Henri Leconte vs. Guillermo Vilas
Thomas Muster vs. Sergi Bruguera
John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Borg
Goran Ivanisevic vs. Pat Cash
BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION
Winner – 400 points
Finalist – 250 points
3rd place – 200 points
4th place – 125 points
5/6th place – 80 points
7/8th place – 60 points
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after eleven events)
POS. PLAYER PTS
1 Goran Ivanisevic 1220
2 Marcelo Rios 1130
3 Michael Stich 980
4 Henri Leconte 890
5 Sergi Bruguera 810
6 Cedric Pioline 740
7 Thomas Muster 655
8 Anders Jarryd 525
9 John McEnroe 480
10= Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC) 455
10= Fernando Meligeni (WC) 455
12 Pat Cash 420
13= Richard Krajicek 400
13= Patrick Rafter 400
13= Pete Sampras 400
13= Stefan Edberg 400
17 Mikael Pernfors 330
18 Chris Wilkinson (WC) 325
19= Jaime Oncins (WC) 200
19= Johny Goudenbour 200
21 Bjorn Borg 185
22= Guy Forget 125
22= Jeremy Bates (WC) 125
22= Albert Costa 125
22= Michael Chang 125
26= Carl Uwe Steeb 120
26= Guillermo Vilas 120
28= Mats Wilander 80
28= Joao Cunha e Silva (WC) 80
28= Magnus Larsson 80
28= Andrei Cherkasov 80
28= Mansour Bahrami 80
28= Paul Haarhuis 80
34 Yevgeny Kafelnikov 60
34= Jaime Yzaga 60
34= Alladin Karagoz (WC) 60
34= Andrei Chesnokov 60
WC denotes Wild Card.
The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008
Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)
Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors
Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)
Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Rome, Italy – May 10-11
Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic
Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)
Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner
Sao Paulo, Brazil – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)
Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios
Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20
Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni
Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)
Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)
Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic
Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophée Jean-Luc Lagardère)
Champion: Stefan Edberg; Runner-up: Sergi Bruguera
Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28
Champion: John McEnroe; Runner-up: Henri Leconte
Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)
Champion: Richard Krajicek; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic
Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12
Macao, China – November 20 (Special Event)
London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)
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BORG SCARES GORAN IN FIRST EVER MATCH; CASH ECLIPSES MCENROE IN THRILLER