Holm confuses, defeats 3rd seed Lendl in 3 sets in NationsBank quarterfinals

July 18, 1992|By Ashley McGeachy | Ashley McGeachy,Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Ivan the Great became Ivan the Ousted last night in the quarterfinals of the NationsBank Classic at the William H. G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington.

Neither flinging his racket into the net, nor yelling at a fan taking a picture, nor smashing his racket in two pieces with his foot could psych up third seed Ivan Lendl, who lost to 114th-ranked Henrik Holm of Sweden, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Top-seeded Petr Korda survived a scare from eighth seed Amos Mansdorf, getting the service break he needed in game six of the second set to win 7-6 (10-8), 6-2. Also, MaliVai Washington beat Guillaume Raoux, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (10-8).

Holm, whose record is 20-22, 11-7 this year, pressured Lendl in the second and third sets. "I stressed him," Holm said. "He got a little confused and made some mistakes."

Lendl, who has been hampered since late spring by a back injury that caused him to retire from his fourth-round Wimbledon match, broke Holm in the eighth game and served out the set one game later.

But Holm hung tough, standing a few feet behind the service line to return Lendl's second serve.

"I don't do that all the time," Holm said. "It depends on how the guy is serving. If he's serving great, then no. Lendl has a good first serve, but the second is human." Human it was. Lendl, who served 54 percent compared with Holm's 44 percent, served five double faults and only one ace.

In the second set, Holm broke Lendl to go up 4-2. Lendl, who became an American citizen last week, responded by hurling his racket into the net. "I had a lot of chances and didn't take advantage of it," Lendl said. "I thought he played very well. I was hoping I'd return serve better."

Holm served six aces, but had 13 double faults. "If I stick to my game, there will come a few double faults," said Holm, who lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon to Stefan Edberg. "I can take that. But if there are too many, I lose."

In the third set, Holm capitalized on Lendl's erratic play and on his increasing frustration. He broke Lendl in the third and fifth games, after which Lendl shoved his foot through his racket.

For Holm, this was the biggest victory of his career. "Against Stefan [at Wimbledon], 10 minutes before I got nervous in my stomach," said Holm, who has won 10 of his past 13 matches -- his best winning streak. "Today, I felt good."

Holm will make his first semifinal appearance today against seventh seed Derrick Rostagno, who beat Gary Muller, 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5).

Neither Korda nor Mansdorf could break serve in the first set of their match. Mansdorf led 6-4 in the breaker, but could not convert to win the set. At 8-8, Korda hit a blistering backhand down the line passing shot, setting up his first set point. One was enough.

"I was fighting him," Korda said. "I am a fighter this year, never give up.

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