Ivanisevic, Henman Win Statoil Masters Tennis Openers
Goran Ivanisevic got the first of what he hoped would be two victories on Wednesday, as he defeated Greg Rusedski 7-6(2), 7-6(6) at the Statoil Masters Tennis, held at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Half an hour later, the 2001 Wimbledon champion was on the way to the Hawthorns, hoping to see his favourite football team, West Bromwich Albion, pull off a famous victory over Manchester City. However, on Ivanisevic’s first time at the Hawthorns, the ‘Baggies’ went down to Manchester City 3-2.
Goran will return to London on Wednesday night, before entertaining the crowds at the Royal Albert Hall once again on Thursday when he partners Sergi Bruguera against Mark Philippoussis and Fabrice Santoro in the afternoon session.
Wednesday’s evening singles match came to an abrupt end after Mark Philippoussis was forced to retire with a back injury. The Australian trailed Tim Henman 4-5, and injured his back in his service motion to start the 10th game.
Henman entertained the crowd at the Royal Albert Hall as he knocked up with the ball girls, a member of Il Divo who was in attendance and a member of the audience. But after several minutes of treatment, it was deemed Philippoussis was not fit to continue.
"It was really unfortunate," said Henman. "It's a great new surface this year and I think it really benefits the players. You feel like you can construct rallies out there. I think we played some good tennis at times. To end like that is really unfortunate for Mark, hopefully he can recover quickly."
Philippoussis said, "Obviously it’s not the way you want to finish on the court, especially for such a beautiful cause. It's a great event so it's incredibly disappointing. I was having a great time out there, it's a great court, so I hope I can rest it for a couple of days, and hopefully see if I can get out there on Friday."
In the Legends Tournament, former World No. 5 Henri Leconte defeated Jeremy Bates 7-6(2), 7-5 in Group B.