NEW YORK -- His stomach hurt. His head ached. His serve creaked.
Goran Ivanisevic was in trouble yesterday at the U.S. Open. It was hot. He was sick. And the Wimbledon finalist was on his way to a 6-4, 6-0, 6-3 third-round loss to Alexander Volkov.
But all Ivanisevic could talk about was food. Fast food.
"If you eat those McDonald's cheeseburgers you go to the hospital forever," Ivanisevic said. "But they got used to them here because they are eating them all their life."
Something was wrong. The food. The air. The travel. Ivanisevic couldn't quite understand why he felt so lousy, why doctors were telling him he had some sort of virus, why his one month in the United States had turned into a health hazard.
"I don't know what. I don't hate -- I like America, but I don't know, I was sick every day," he said. "I had some problems here. I don't know why."
With Ivanisevic, the No. 5 seed, ousted, the top half of the men's bracket became a shade less dangerous. Volkov will next meet Brad Gilbert, who fought off two match points and defeated Tommy Ho, 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-0). No. 13 Guy Forget defeated David Wheaton, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. Pete Sampras, the 1990 champion who is seeded third, played a third-round match last night against Todd Martin.
"I'm disappointed because I had a good draw," Ivanisevic said. "But what can I do? I have to go check what is wrong with me."
For Ivanisevic, the best place to look might be his schedule. After Wimbledon, he played in the heat of Barcelona, Spain, at the Summer Olympics, and then rejoined the tour in the United States.
As his health deteriorated, his power game was shorted out. And then, he came up against Volkov, no stranger to Open upsets. Two years ago, Volkov shocked Stefan Edberg in the opening round.
"My legs felt heavy," Ivanisevic said. "I couldn't run. I was serving badly because my arms were so heavy. Since I came to New York, I can't sleep. I am waking, like, five times a night. When I wake up in the morning, I have bad stomach. Cramping. So I
can't eat. I am like dead man."
That about says it all.