Rosset rallies to win from two sets down Stich also advances to semifinal round

French Open

June 06, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

PARIS -- He got advice from slam sage Stefan Edberg before his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. He gave his racquet away to Jean-Paul Belmondo at courtside right after making a dramatic comeback that vaulted him into the French Open semifinals. And during the match, he used Pete Sampras' quarterfinal revival from a two-set abyss Tuesday to inspire him to a similar escape yesterday.

A friend of Edberg's, a fan of Belmondo's and a quick study in the Sampras method of torching a timely ace, Marc Rosset was indomitable in a 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-0 Center Court resurgence against Germany's Bernd Karbacher.

"I think the public was really bored during the first two sets," said Rosset, who did too much dawdling behind the baseline, "but after I tried to go up to the net and do beautiful volleys, it was a bit better. I think a little about Pete and what he did, and I tried to be more aggressive."

Rosset's diligence, along with his dozen aces and the 59 unforced errors -- most of them forehands -- by Karbacher, advanced the 6-foot, 7-inch Swiss into the semifinals. There, he will meet another big man who uses a big, bruising serve to gain easy points, 15th-seeded Michael Stich.

Yesterday, Stich fired 16 aces past a frazzled Cedric Pioline, the last French player left in contention, in the course of a businesslike 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory that improved his 1996 record to 13-2 and sent him to his second Roland Garros semifinal.

The top-seeded Sampras takes a 4-1 record against Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov into the other semifinal.

"Obviously the weather has been very, very good to us; it's making our serve much more important," Stich said of the way sunlit skies and fast, hard conditions have played to his, Sampras' and Rosset's strength. Stich said he respects Rosset's serve enough to wish he didn't have to face him today -- both Stich and Rosset won 75 percent of their first-serve points yesterday.

Stich, who outfoxed the defending champion, Thomas Muster, in the fourth round, said: "Here this week we made a lot of free points serving, but still, if you want to win a point, you have to think of a strategy of how to win it, because every opponent plays different. "You always have to think about something new to beat your next opponent."

Men's singles, quarterfinals

Marc Rosset (14), Switzerland, def. Bernd Karbacher, Germany, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-0.

Michael Stich (15), Germany, def. Cedric Pioline, France, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Men's doubles, quarterfinals

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Russia, and Daniel Vacek, Czech Republic (7), def. Donald Johnson, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Francisco Montana, Miami, 6-2, 7-6 (9-7).

Women's doubles, quarterfinals

Lindsay Davenport, Murrieta, Calif., and Mary Joe Fernandez, Key Biscayne, Fla. (4), def. Katrina Adams, Missouri City, Texas, and Mariaan de Swardt, South Africa (9), 6-4, 6-2.

Jana Novotna, Czech Republic, and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Spain (1), def. Nicole Arendt, Gainesville, Fla., and Manon Bollegraf, Netherlands (5), 6-4, 6-4.

Meredith McGrath, Midland, Mich., and Larisa Neiland, Latvia (3), def. Martina Hingis, Switzerland, and Helena Sukova (6), Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-4.

Gigi Fernandez, Aspen, Colo., and Natasha Zvereva, Belarus (2), def. Alexandra Fusai, France, and Mercedes Paz, Argentina, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

Mixed doubles, quarterfinals

Patricia Tarabini and Javier Frana, Argentina, def. Katrina Adams, Missouri City, Texas, and Libor Pimek, Belgium (8), 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Nicole Arendt, Gainesville, Fla., and Luke Jensen, Atlanta, def. Kristie Boogert, Netherlands, and Andrei Olhovskiy, Russia (7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Larisa Neiland, Latvia, and Mark Woodforde, Australia (1), def. Nicole Bradtke and Todd Woodbridge, Australia (6), 6-3, 6-3.

Manon Bollegraf, Netherlands, and Rick Leach, Laguna Beach, Calif. (3), def. Martina Hingis, Switzerland, and Mark Philippoussis, Australia (11), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Pub Date: 6/06/96

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