Ivanisevic Overcomes Enqvist and Injury To Take Title
by David Law|
Goran Ivanisevic overcame an injury and a dangerous opponent to win the Optima Open in Knokke-Heist, Belgium. After taking the opening set tie-break against Thomas Enqvist, the Croatian pulled a thigh muscle early in the second set. He quickly lost that set, but regrouped for the Champions’ Tie-Break to win 7-6(3), 2-6, 10-6 and take the title.
"That was one of the best (Champions’) tie-breaks I ever played!” said Ivanisevic. “I hit the ball as hard as I could and went for every shot because I couldn't really move, and they all went in! I am so annoyed that I pulled a muscle at the beginning of the second set. I felt it go and I was worried."
In the end, it didn’t matter as he lifted the trophy, and Ivanisevic was a happy man.
“This is one of the best events that we come to on the Tour and this has been another fantastic week, I'm pleased to be back,” said Ivanisevic. “Thomas was a great opponent today, he is a good friend and I love when we play matches together.”
It shoots Ivanisevic up to No.3 in the South African Airways Rankings, with Enqvist moving to No.5.
Elsewhere, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg took to the same side of the court for the first time in their ATP or ATP Champions Tour careers. They combined in a doubles match to defeat Henri Leconte and Mats Wilander. To see photos of the Borg/McEnroe doubles combination, go to our Facebook gallery.
To view the round-robin groups and the order of play for the week in Knokke-Heist, go to results.
After Belgium, the circuit will move on to London for the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, 5th-9th December. McEnroe, Ivanisevic, Leconte, Mark Philippoussis, Wilander, Pat Cash, Tim Henman and Mansour Bahrami are all scheduled to play.