Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Slipups for Martin No. 8 Seed to Face Ivanisevic

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Slipups for Martin No. 8 Seed to Face Ivanisevic

Article excerpt

Todd Martin has survived the easy part of Wimbledon, beating three opponents with limited experience on the All England Club grass courts during the first week.

Now the Ponte Vedra Beach resident is looking at a remaining draw littered with either Grand Slam champions or powerful servers, starting with tomorrow's fourth-round showdown against threetime Wimbledon runner-up Goran Ivanisevic.

"At this point in the draw, there are no bad losses to be had, just great wins," Martin said in a phone interview yesterday from his London residence, a few hours after he rallied to defeat Germany's Jens Knippschild 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 to reach the Round of 16.

Martin's victory, which improved his Wimbledon match record to 24-6, sets up a rematch with a long-time nemesis in Ivanisevic, who has beaten Martin twice in the last four years in the Wimbledon fourth round. Both matches were decided in fourthset tiebreakers. Martin is 4-7 lifetime against the big-serving Croatian, who has led the ATP Tour in aces five of the last seven years. Martin, the No. 8 seed, beat Ivanisevic last November at the Paris Indoors in a third-set tiebreaker and his lone win over him at Wimbledon came in a five-set match in the third round in 1993.

"With two guys who serve well and are comfortable on grass, tiebreakers are bound to happen," Martin said. "It's a crapshoot trying to break his serve, so the focus is holding your own serve. You might have one break point opportunity or five in the whole match, but whatever you have you got to take advantage of it. I feel like I've got a pretty good idea about some of Goran's tendencies, and he probably has the same with me. Whoever executes in the big situations will win.

"He's a better athlete and in some ways more talented than I am. If I can bring intelligence more into the match, then I got a pretty good shot."

If Martin knocks off Ivanisevic, the road to his first Grand Slam title figures only to get tougher because all of the top seeds except for 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek are still alive in his half of the draw. …

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