Top-seeded Ivan Lendl needed more than two hours to win a service battle with Magnus Larsson yesterday in the first round of the Milan Indoor tennis tournament. Lendl broke serve in the final game of the first and third sets for a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 victory over the 20-year-old Swede.
Lendl was less than impressive but was consistent and determined in the decisive moments. Both players served a string of aces and alternated beautiful passing shots with unforced errors.
Goran Prpic won an all-Yugoslav clash against second-seeded Goran Ivanisevic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. It was Prpic's second victory over Ivanisevic in three weeks, following a third-round win in the Australian Open.
Prpic scored a decisive service break in the 10th game of the final set with precise backhand passing shots to earn a second-round meeting with Pat Cash.
Lendl next takes on rising Italian star Cristiano Caratti, a surprise quarterfinalist at the Australian Open (he lost to Patrick McEnroe).
Aaron Krickstein and Jakob Hlasek, both one round ahead of Lendl, advanced to the quarterfinals.
Sixth-seeded Krickstein advanced when Thierry Champion defaulted following a sudden illness after losing the first four games.
Hlasek, seeded fifth, survived a third-set scare before downing Anders Jarryd, 6-3, 0-6, 6-4.
Volvo-San Francisco: Third-seeded Brad Gilbert beat Alexander Mronz, he of a 115 mph serve, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the quarterfinals. No. 1 Andre Agassi played Udo Riglewski in another second-round match.
In a three-hour match between ex-Stanford stars, Dan Goldie fought off match point and upset fifth-seeded Tim Mayotte, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-5.
Gilbert controlled his match with hard-serving Mronz.
"He has a big serve and it's hard to break," Gilbert said. "Sometimes you can be unlucky on the service. So you never take anybody like that lightly.
"But I was dictating play and I have been striking the ball well for the past couple of weeks."
For Goldie, it was his first win over Mayotte in four meetings.
"It was an important match for me," said Goldie, who was down 6-5 in the tiebreaker. "I have a lot of respect for him as a player. The difference was my return of serve and that he didn't make a high percent of first serves. It helped me a lot."
Kevin Curren advanced to the quarterfinals over Luis Herrera, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, who earlier had upset eighth-seeded Gary Muller.