Andrea Gaudenzi’s fast-rising game reached Center Court at Roland Garros Stadium in the fourth round of the French Open Monday, and it was full of surprises if not success.
Gaudenzi provided a touch of humor and drama on an otherwise drab day of tennis while losing to No. 5 Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Battling the last remaining seeded player in the lower bracket, Gaudenzi fought for every point in every way he knew.
The Italian, playing in his first French Open, even climbed the umpire’s stand and sat in the chair when Zoltan Bognar went to the bathroom between the third and fourth set.
An umpire leaving the chair during a Center Court match in a Grand Slam tournament might have been a first, but Gaudenzi seized the moment. Talking into the umpire’s microphone, he said in French: “ Reprise ,” meaning to start play. Then in English, he said: “Game, set, match, Gaudenzi.”
Perhaps it was wishful thinking, because Gaudenzi became angry in the fourth set when a line call went against him. He received a warning for uttering an audible obscenity, and after Ivanisevic finally put him away, Gaudenzi said: “Bognar should be fined.” Then on the way to the locker room, he complained to Ed Hardisty, a supervisor of officials for the Assn. of Tennis Professionals.
Ivanisevic will face Alberto Berasategui of Spain, who advanced to the quarterfinals when Javier Frana of Argentina retired because of a pulled stomach muscle while trailing, 6-2, 6-0.
“I have to come in a lot (to the net) against Berasategui, otherwise I’m going to die,” Ivanisevic said.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals was German teen-ager Henrik Dreekmann, who is studying to be an industrial salesman when he is not batting tennis balls around clay courts.
Dreekmann, who two years ago lost in the first round of the French Open junior competition, advanced past Aaron Krickstein, who self-destructed in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss. Now Dreekmann, ranked No. 89, faces Magnus Larsson of Sweden, who breezed past Jaime Yzaga of Peru, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
Dreekmann, 19, has never won a tournament and lost in straight sets in the first round of the Australian Open this year, his only previous Grand Slam event.
“He doesn’t look like a great player,” Krickstein said. “But he’s in the quarters. He must be doing something right.”
So is Ivanisevic, who is in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the third time. His fourth-round match will not be one to remember as the players made 133 unforced errors.
Ivanisevic relies on a big serve, and when it goes astray, so does the left-hander’s game.
“It was tough to serve because it was so windy,” he said. “But when I needed it, I got the ace.”
Gaudenzi, who reached the quarterfinals of four clay court tournaments this year, did not blame the call in the fourth set for his loss.
“The guy up there was very nervous,” he said. “He made many other mistakes. But I didn’t lose the match on one ball.”
But Gaudenzi did not deserve the warning, although clearly yelling an obscenity when arguing a baseline call during the fourth game of the fourth set. Bognar did not cite him for that outburst, but warned him a few minutes later.
“But I just said, “Fudge,’ ” Gaudenzi said.
Jim Courier is trying for his fourth consecutive appearance in the French Open final, but will have to overcome top-ranked Pete Sampras today in the quarterfinals. Sampras is trying to win the one Grand Slam title that has eluded him and become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four major events consecutively. He has a 10-2 record against Courier and has defeated him twice this year in straight sets, including a semifinal victory in the Australian Open. The last time Courier defeated Sampras was in November of 1992 at Frankfort, Germany. . . . No. 6 Sergi Bruguera will play No. 4 Andrei Medvedev in another quarterfinal today.