2003 Nasdaq-100 Open Info

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ATP Review Tues/ Preview Wed.
 


ATP MEDIA NOTES - DAY 8

FOUR FIRST-TIME QUARTERFINALISTS SET IN TOP HALF OF THE DRAW
Veteran American Todd Martin walked onto the court Tuesday with the hopes of
reaching his first quarterfinal in Miami against rising Czech player Radek
Stepanek. Using his experience and on-court savvy, he capitalized when he
needed, winning three of three break points and never losing serve to win
6-3, 6-2.
The fleet-footed Stepanek ran down numerous volleys and retrieved some
fantastic shots for several crowd-pleasing points but he was ultimately no
match for Martin.
"I think he understands how to play real well," said Martin. "I think that's
the main reason he's done as well as he has. He's extremely fast, and he
made me hit a lot of balls... [This week] I think it's been a commitment. I
think it's commitment to a game plan and commitment to competing rather than
trying to win."
Another player whose commitment seems to be putting him back at the top of
the tennis world is Carlos Moya. Last year at the NASDAQ-100 Open, Moya was
seeded 21st, a former French Open champion and World No. 1 who had struggled
with injuries the past few years.
On Tuesday, the fifth-seeded Moya moved into the quarterfinals for the first
time at this event with a straight set victory over Nicolas Escude. Since
capturing the Tennis Masters Series Cincinnati last year and qualifying for
the year-end Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, Moya has once again become one of
the world's premier players -- on any surface.
Against Escude, one of the most aggressive and versatile players in the Top
50, Moya kept the attacking Frenchman pinned to the baseline with deep
groundstrokes and excellent service placement. In fact, Moya hit three aces
in his final three serves of the second set tiebreak - a tiebreak in which
Escude had two set points to extend the match to a third set.
"I'm feeling that I am the player that I was a few years and that includes
when I was No. 1," said Moya. "Those years were great for me, but I'm
feeling it's there for me again. Other players have improved and I think the
most important thing for me is to continue to improve. At 26, I think it's
one of the best ages to play tennis. We'll see what happens, maybe I can get
back to No. 1."
Moya next faces young American Robby Ginepri and he'll likely continue to
wear the sleeveless shirt that has become a staple for him this week. "It's
comfortable and when it's hot out there I expect to keep wearing it."
The 20-year-old Ginepri, from Marietta, Georgia, defeated Korea's Hyung-Taik
Lee for the second time in three weeks to move into the quarterfinals of a
Tennis Masters Series event for the second straight time. He's the only
player to have achieved that feat at 2003 Pacific Life Open and 2003
NASDAQ-100 Open.
"I was sitting in the locker room telling someone how it felt a little
weird, not the whole winning thing but just being here and getting these
matches under my belt," he said. "I'm on cloud nine right now."
"I've been playing well. Last week gave me a lot of confidence coming off
Indian Wells and coming here. I've been playing well, just been serving
really well at big times. It's helped alot.
Moya and Ginepri have never played before.
With the win, Ginepri is expected to move into the Top 50 for the first time
in his career when the rankings come out next Monday.
In the afternoon's other fourth round match, Marcelo Rios had to withdraw
prior to his match against Paradorn Srichaphan with lower back pain.
AGASSI WINS TOUGH TEST AGAINST PHILIPPOUSSIS, QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS
FINALIZED
Andre Agassi came into Tuesday's fourth round match having lost just eight
games in two matches and having barely been tested in his early round
match-ups.
But in front of a packed and enthusiastic crowd, Mark Philippoussis gave
Agassi a tough test, winning the first set and pushing him on every point
until midway through the second set.
After going up a break in the second, Agassi was content to sit back on the
baseline and keep Philippoussis pinned deep for the next set and a half as
he pulled out the win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
"I had plenty of opportunities in the first set, it could have gone either
way," said Agassi. "It was a high standard match and I missed some key
returns in the first set, but I felt like I converted the right points in
the second and third."
For Mark Philippousis the loss ended his best run at a Tennis Masters Series
event since reaching the final at the BNP Paribas Masters in 2000. Since
then, he had failed to advance past the third round at 10 Tennis Masters
Series tournaments. Philippoussis is now 8-3 in his past three tournaments.
"You never feel in control with Mark," said Agassi of his opponent. "There's
always a sense of urgency when you play him, you feel like you need to break
when you have the chance, because it could be your last. I thought he was
moving the ball well. Mark has some of the biggest weapons on tour."
"My game has really picked up," said Philippoussis. "I think I've matured. I
had three great wins here and there are some positives to take away."
Agassi now plays Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui.
"Younes is a great player to watch," said Agassi. "He's 6-5 and actually
moves well. There's alot in his game that can give you alot of problems."
Earlier today, El Aynaoui fought off a spirited challenge from Nicolas
Lapentti in the second set tiebreak to become the first Moroccan to reach
the quarterfinals here in the 19-year history of the event. After blazing
through the first set, 6-0, El Aynaoui faced a set point against him in the
second before putting Lapentti away with a forehand winner of a short ball.
That match on Grandstand was followed by a classic backcourt duel between
Argentina's Guillermo Coria and French Open champion Albert Costa that
lasted almost three hours. After splitting the first two sets, Costa got up
a break early in the third and took control from there.
For the French Open champion, this is the best result he has had on hard
court at a Tennis Masters Series event since reaching the quarterfinals of
the 2000 BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.
And rounding out the quarterfinals in the bottom half of the draw is Swiss
star Roger Federer, who had little trouble dispatching Sjeng Schalken 6-2,
6-3.


RIOS WITHDRAWS WITH LOWER BACK PAIN
Marcelo Rios was forced to withdraw from his fourth round match against
Paradorn Srichaphan at the NASDAQ-100 Open Tuesday when the results of an
MRI test on Monday showed that he had a slight herniation of the fourth and
fifth vertebrae in his back.
Rios said he first felt the problem about a month ago, but had been playing
mostly pain free until his third round victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero on
Sunday. After reporting his pain to trainers, the Chilean star had an MRI
Monday afternoon.
Rios, the 1998 Champion at this event, arrived Tuesday morning hoping to
play his afternoon match on Stadium. He warmed up on the practice courts,
but felt that the lower back pain would limit his ability to perform on the
court.
"For sure when you can't play it's disappointing," said Rios. "I'm not able
to move around and hit my backhand and you don't want to play when you are
not 100% fit. I feel fine sitting here, but the moving around makes it
difficult. It will need some rest, stretching and some ice."
ATP trainer Bill Norris said that Rios's game in particular made this a
painful injury.
"The way Rios is such a physical player with alot of torque and body turns
made it especially tough for him," said Norris. "The injury made it painful
on rotation and when he was bending. I think it was a tough decision on his
part, if he had a few days we maybe could have gotten him ready where he
could have played, but he made this decision with an eye toward the future."
While it is still too early to speculate fully, Norris and Rios felt a
couple weeks of rest would be the next step for rehabilitation before
beginning the clay court season.

SRICHAPHAN HONORED ON STADIUM COURT
Before the start of the fourth match on Stadium Court Tuesday at the
NASDAQ-100 Open, the ATP honored Thai star Paradorn Srichaphan with two
year-end ATP Awards presented by Waterford Crystal.
Srichaphan was honored by his peers who selected him for the 2002 ATP Most
Improved Player Award and the 2002 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award.
The awards were voted on by the players at the 2003 Australian Open and
announced the following week by the ATP.
"It is always a real honor to win an award," said Srichaphan. "But it's even
more special to win these awards because they are voted on by the players. I
had a special year in 2002 and I want to thank the players for the
recognition."
In 2002, Srichaphan won the first two ATP titles of his career with wins in
Long Island and Stockholm and reached his first Tennis Masters Series
semifinal at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

WEDNESDAY PREVIEW

Just two men's quarterfinals set for Wednesday with the top half of the draw
taking to the courts to decide who will book their place into the final four
of the 2003 NASDAQ-100 Open. All four of Wednesday's quarterfinalists are
first-time quarterfinalists.

The first match will feature Ft. Lauderdale product Robby Ginepri, whose
grandmother has been here to watch him this week, take on fifth-seeded
Carlos Moya. Ginepri is likely to move into the top 50 when the rankings
come out next week as a result of his quarterfinal appearance and after
going 0-3 in his first three Tennis Masters Series events is now 6-1 at his
past two TMS tournaments. Two weeks ago he reached the quarterfinals at the
Pacific Life Open and he is the only ATP player to reach the quarters of
both Tennis Masters Series tournaments in 2003.

Moya is a former World No. 1, who has reached the fourth round twice here in
the past and was the top seed in 1999. But this is the first time he has
reached the quarters in Miami. He has two career Tennis Masters Series
titles and is playing some of the best tennis of his career since reaching
World No. 1 in mid-March 1999.

The late match will feature American veteran Todd Martin against
Thai-sensation Paradorn Srichaphan. Martin has played excellent tennis this
week, showing off an impressive backcourt game that is not customary for the
hard serving and solid volleying he so frequently demonstrated over the
years in reaching the final at the Australian and US Opens. Martin has never
won a Tennis Masters Series event but he did reach the final at the Tennis
Masters Canada.

Srichaphan was the beneficiary of a little rest today when Marcelo Rios
withdrew from the tournament with a lower back injury. Srichaphan could use
the rest. Towards the end of his lengthy third round match against Yevgeny
Kafelnikov on Sunday, the Thai star battled cramps and was reduced to
hitting his serve over without much speed in the final game of the match
before coming up with some groundstroke winners.

Srichaphan went from 126 to 16 in the ATP rankings last year and on Tuesday
was honored on court by the ATP with the 2002 Most Improved Player Award and
the 2002 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award.

In two previous match-ups, both on grass, Todd Martin came out victorious in
several close sets.

UPDATED ATP CHAMPIONS RACE -- Here is a look at the updated ATP Champions
Race going into the quarterfinals:
Points
1) Andre Agassi 261 (281 if wins QF)
2) Rainer Schuettler 233
3) Roger Federer 192 (212 if wins QF)
4) Lleyton Hewitt 166
5) Andy Roddick 161
6) Gustavo Kuerten 150
7) Wayne Ferreira 118
8) Younes El Aynaoui 105 (125 if wins QF)
8) Juan Carlos Ferrero 100
9) Carlos Moya 97 (117 if wins QF)
10) Guillermo Coria 93

Boldface indicates players remaining in quarterfinals


WILD CARDS IN QUARTERFINALS -- For the first time in the tournament's
19-year history two wild cards -- Robby Ginepri and Todd Martin -- have
advanced to the quarterfinals. The best performance by a wild card was Jimmy
Connors in 1986-87 when he reached the semifinals in back-to-back years.
Here is a look at the wild cards who reached the quarterfinals here:

Wild card Result
2003 -- Robby Ginepri vs. Carlos Moya
Todd Martin vs. Paradorn Srichaphan
2001 -- Andy Roddick lost to Lleyton Hewitt
1995 -- Mats Wilander lost to Jonas Bjorkman
1994 -- Stefan Edberg lost to Andre Agassi
1987 -- Jimmy Connors (SF) lost to Ivan Lendl
1986 -- Jimmy Connors (SF) lost to Ivan Lendl


NEW TERRITORY FOR QUARTERFINALISTS -- All four players in the top half of
the draw -- Robby Ginepri, No. 5 seed Carlos Moya, No. 13 Paradorn
Srichaphan and Todd Martin -- are appearing in the quarterfinals for the
first time. In the bottom half of the draw, No. 9 Albert Costa and No. 19
Younes El Aynaoui are first-time tournament quarterfinalists. El Aynaoui is
the first Moroccan to reach the quarterfinals in Miami.

AMERICANS IN QUARTERFINALS -- For the fourth time in the last six years
three Americans have advanced to the quarterfinals of the NASDAQ-100 Open.
Here is a look at this year's trio and in the past:

2003 -- Andre Agassi (Won), Robby Ginepri, Todd Martin
2001 -- Andre Agassi (Won), Jan-Michael Gambill, Andy Roddick
2000 -- Andre Agassi, Jan-Michael Gambill, Pete Sampras (Won)
1998 -- Andre Agassi, Steve Campbell, Jeff Tarango

SPANISH QUARTERFINALISTS -- For the first time in tournament history two
Spaniards (Albert Costa, Carlos Moya) have advanced to the quarterfinals of
the NASDAQ-100 Open. Costa and Moya are the fifth and sixth Spaniards,
respectively, to reach the quarters here:
Spanish Result
2003 -- Albert Costa (vs. Roger Federer), Carlos Moya (vs. Robby Ginepri)
1999 -- Francisco Clavet (SF) lost to Sebastien Grosjean
1998 -- Alex Corretja (SF) lost to Andre Agassi
1997 -- Sergi Bruguera (Runner-up) lost to Thomas Muster
1991 -- Emilio Sanchez (QF) lost to Stefan Edberg
1990 -- Emilio Sanchez (SF) lost to Stefan Edberg
1989 -- Emilio Sanchez (QF) lost to Kevin Curren



WEDNESDAY QUARTERFINAL MATCHES
Robby Ginepri vs Carlos Moya First Meeting


Ginepri FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: The 20-year-old from Fort Lauderdale is playing in
his third NASDAQ-100 Open after receiving a wild card. Notched his first win
here last week in the first round over Australian Wayne Arthurs and then
notched wins over No. 16 seed Alex Corretja, No. 21 seed James Blake and
Hyung-Taik Lee, to bring his record to 4-2 here. Last wild card to reach
quarterfinals here was Andy Roddick in 2001.
2003 In Review: After second round showings in Auckland (l. to Novak) and in
his first appearance at the Australian Open (l. to Lopes), Ginepri went back
to the Challenger circuit and won the title in Waikoloa, Hawaii (d. Godwin
in final). [Previous winners in Waikoloa were Roddick - 2001, Blake - 2002].
Returned to ATP circuit and reached the second round in San Jose (l. to
Davydenko) before advancing to the quarterfinals in Memphis (l. to Roddick)
and the quarterfinals at the Pacific Life Open, where he defeated Lee and
Marat Safin (l. to Hewitt). Is now 11-6 on the year. Only player to reach
the quarters or better at both Tennis Masters Series events to start the
year.
Miscellaneous: His first round victory over Lee at the Pacific Life Open was
his first Tennis Masters Series victory after going 0-3 previously. His best
result so far on the ATP circuit was a semifinal showing in Newport on grass
last July (l. to eventual champion Dent). In juniors, reached US Open final
in 2000 (l. to Roddick). Is expected to move into the Top 50 with his result
here in Miami.

Moya FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: The 26-year-old Spaniard is making his seventh
appearance in Miami. He is 10-6 here following his three wins this week over
Spadea, Verdasco and Escude. Previous best result was 1999 when he was the
top seed and reached the fourth round (d. Sanguinetti, d. Stoltenberg)
before losing to Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean and 2001, when he also reached
the fourth round with wins over Ivanisevic and Clement before losing to
Ljubicic. Was upset last year in the first round by Fernando Gonzalez.
2003 In Review: Moya has an 16-4 record so far this year, losing two of his
matches to Mardy Fish in the second round at Sydney and the Australian Open.
After loss at Melbourne Park, went on a 9-0 run, winning his 12th career ATP
title in Buenos Aires (d. Kuerten in SF, d. Coria in F) and reached the SF
in Acapulco (l. to fellow countryman Mantilla). Also helped Spain win Davis
Cup first round tie 5-0 against Belgium with wins over Malisse and C.
Rochus. At Indian Wells, lost in the second round to James Blake after
notching win over Arnaud Clement.
Miscellaneous: Has won two Tennis Masters Series titles (1998 Monte Carlo,
2002 Cincinnati) and also won Roland Garros in 1998 (d. Corretja). On hard
courts, reached the final at the Australian Open in 1997 (l. to Sampras) and
has won two titles on the surface (1997 Long Island, 2002 Cincinnati). After
losing to No. 1 Hewitt in first round in Indian Wells in 2002, defeated the
Australian in all four of their next meetings later in the year without
dropping a set: In TMS events in Monte Carlo, Rome and Cincinnati (final)
and at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai (round robin). Was one of three
Spaniards to qualify for season ending championships along with Ferrero and
Costa (l. to Ferrero in SF after going 3-0 in round robin).


Paradorn Srichaphan vs. Todd Martin Martin Leads 2 - 0
00 London / Queen's Club (England) Grass R64 Todd Martin
7-6(4) 6-4
01 Wimbledon (England) Grass R128 Todd Martin 6-3 6-4
6-7(4) 6-3

Srichaphan FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: Went 1-1 in his NASDAQ-100 Open debut last year with
a win over Michael Chang in a third-set tiebreak. Lost to top seed Lleyton
Hewitt in second round. Is now a combined 3-1 at this event following his
two wins this week so far.
2003 In Review: Started the year off with third ATP title in Chennai at Tata
Open (d. Vacek, d. Van Lottum, d. Sargsian, d. Lisnard, d. Kucera). Reached
quarterfinals in Sydney at adidas International and lost to Mark
Philippoussis in five sets at Australian Open second round. Went 1-4 since
Australian Open at ATP events until winning his first two matches here at
Key Biscayne. Is now 13-6 on the year after wins over Acasuso and
Kafelnikov, and a walkover against Rios, who withdrew with lower back pain.
Miscellaneous: Winner of ATP's Most Improved Player award last year,
Paradorn Srichaphan rose from a year-end No. 126 to 16 in the ATP Rankings
last year as a resultof winning his first two ATP titles in Long Island and
Stockholm and finals in Washington and Chennai, India. Shocked Agassi in the
second round of Wimbledon for his biggest career match win to date. Was 12-9
in Tennis Masters series events prior to Miami including a semifinal run at
BNP Paribas Masters where he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in three sets after
having him on the ropes with break points to go up in the third set.

Martin FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: Is now 11-7 here with his four wins this week (d.
Zabaleta, d. Pavel, d. Roddick, d. Stepanek). Had not played particularly
well in Miami, going just 6-7 here in seven previous career appearances.
Best result before this year came in 1996 when he reached the fourth round
(l. to Sampras).
2003 In Review: Playing just his fourth tournament of the season (1-2 prior
to NASDAQ-100 Open) after reaching second round in San Jose and losing to
Sanguinetti in Memphis and Blake in Indian Wells. Only win on the year
before this week came against Brian Vahaly. Is 5-2 after four consecutive
wins here.
Miscellaneous: Became a father for first time on Jan. 21 when son Jackson
Dale Martin was born. Twice a Grand Slam finalist (1994 Australian Open,
1999 US Open), Martin also reached the Tennis Masters Series final in
Montreal 10 years ago. Won the TMS doubles shield with American James Blake
in Cincinnati last year.


THURSDAY QUARTERFINAL MATCHES
Albert Costa vs. Roger Federer Federer Leads 2 - 0
01 Vienna (Austria) Hard R16 Roger Federer 7-6(1) 6-2
01 Basel (Switzerland) Carpet R32 Roger Federer 6-3 6-3

Costa FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: Is 10-7 at this event including his three wins this
week over Rochus, Massu and Coria. Was just 1-3 here the past three years
but has had success in the past reaching the fourth round in 1999 (l. to
Sampras) and 1998 (l. to Agassi)
2003 Review: 2002 Roland Garros champion started year with a 4-5 record
prior to NASDAQ-100 Open, but is now 7-5. Opened year with win against
Andrea Gaudenzi in Doha before losing to Andreas Vinciguerra in second
round. Won four set matches against David Prinosil and Scott Draper in first
two rounds of Australian Open before losing five setter against Felix
Mantilla in third round. Lost to Nicolas Escude in first round at Rotterdam.
Had excellent win against Richard Krajicek in Indian Wells before losing to
Olivier Rochus, whom he defeated in second round here. Has played all 12
matches this year on hard courts.
Miscellaneous: Achieved highest ever ranking in 2002, reaching No. 6 in the
world after winning Roland Garros. Became ninth Spaniard to finish season
with year-end Top 10 ranking. His 35 wins in 2002 were the most since he
finished year with 40 in 1999. Qualified for year-end Tennis Masters Cup
Shanghai, notching a win over Marat Safin and nearly making the semifinal
round.

Federer FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: Is 12-4 at this event since first playing in 1999.
Reached quarterfinals in 2001 (l. to Rafter) and finals last year with wins
over Morrison, Portas, Henman, Pavel and Hewitt. Lost to Agassi in four sets
in his first Tennis Masters Series final last year.
2003 In Review: Leads the ATP circuit with 24 match wins on the year
including his three wins here. Captured two titles in February with
victories indoors in Marseille (d. Bjorkman) and on hard courts in Dubai (d.
Novak). Also reached semifinals in Rotterdam (l. to Miryni) and fourth round
at the Australian Open (l. to Nalbandian). Started off the year with a
quarterfinal showing in Doha (l. to Gambill).
Miscellaneous: Has talked of his desire to be No. 1 this year to the Swiss
press and is currently a career-high No. 4 in the ATP Rankings and No. 3 in
the ATP Champions Race. Won his first Tennis Masters Series title last year
in Hamburg on clay.

Younes El Aynaoui vs. Andre Agassi Agassi Leads 3 - 0
95 Roland Garros (France) Clay R16 Andre Agassi 6-4 6-2
6-2
99 Paris Indoor (France) Carpet R32 Andre Agassi 6-4 6-3
02 Cincinnati TMS (USA) Hard R64 Andre Agassi 6-4
4-6 6-4

El Aynaoui FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: Playing for his fifth time here. Has never advanced
out of the second round at the NASDAQ-100 Open until this year. Following
his three wins this past week over South American players (d. Calleri, d.
Nalbandian, d. Lapentti), he is now 4-4 at this event.
2003 In Review: Began the year with a 7-2 record, reaching the semifinal in
Doha (l. to eventual champion Koubek) and the quarterfinals at the
Australian Open for the second time. Defeated Hewitt in four sets in the
fourth round before losing to Roddick in epic quarterfinal lasting five
hours. The 21-19 fifth set was the longest in Grand Slam history, while the
83 games in the match tied it with the Philippoussis-Schalken Wimbledon
third round match in 2000 for the longest since the inception of the
tie-break in 1971. After that, he has won one of his next five matches,
losing in the opening rounds in Milan and Marseille, reaching the second
round in Dubai and losing in the second round in Indian Wells after holding
three match points against Lleyton Hewitt in their first round classic. He
is now 11-6 on the year.
Miscellaneous: In 2002, El Aynaoui captured a career-high three titles in
Doha, Casablanca and Munich before finishing at No. 22. After winning the
title in Doha, he received a call from Morocco's King Mohammed VI, and El
Aynaoui donates $100 to the King's charity (Foundation Mohammed VI) for
every ace he serves. He has won five career ATP titles, and the next one
will put him at equal 10th in the Open Era Over 30 Title Leaders chart.
First Moroccan to reach the quarters here in the 19 year history of the
event.

Agassi FastFacts
Tournament Highlights: Is playing in his 17th tournament here at Key
Biscayne having won the event five times (1990, 1995, 1996, 2001 and 2002).
Accomplished the Indian Wells/Miami double in 2001. Became the oldest winner
here when he captured the title last year for a record fifth time. Comes
into Thursday's quarterfinal match with a 52-11 record at Key Biscayne. Has
won 15 consecutive matches at the event.
2003 In Review: Started out with a 12 match winning streak on the year with
titles at the Australian Open and indoors in San Jose. Lost to Thomas
Enqvist in three sets in Scottsdale before withdrawing from the Pacific Life
Open last week with a sore right shoulder. Is now 15-1 on the year.
Miscellaneous: With 500 points to defend in the ATP Entry Rankings, Agassi
cannot overtake Lleyton Hewitt for No. 1 in the ATP Rankings no matter how
well he does here. Agassi has won three tournaments five times: Miami,
Washington and San Jose, but has not won any tournament six times.



 

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