MILAN, Italy - Goran Ivanisevic won his first singles match in eight months, hitting 25 aces in a 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (3) victory over Bohdan Ulihrach at the Milan Indoors on Tuesday.
The 2001 Wimbledon champion has been hindered by shoulder, elbow and knee injuries. His last tour singles match was a first-round loss to Jan Vacek at the Queen’s Club tournament in June.
“I really surprised myself and perhaps also my opponent. ... I served very well and nothing hurts. I feel no pain,” said Ivanisevic, a wild-card entry at the Milan tournament, which he won in 1996-97.
On Monday, he teamed with Andreas Seppi to defeat Raemon Sluiter and Martin Verkerk 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in doubles.
Ivanisevic faces third-seeded Tommy Robredo in the second round.
Another major champion returning from injury, Thomas Johansson, also reached the second round, while top-seeded Jiri Novak pulled out with a strained calf.
Johansson, who won the 2002 Australian Open, eliminated Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4. It’s Johansson’s second tour event since missing all of the 2003 season after left knee surgery.
In other first-round matches, Mario Ancic beat Australian Open doubles champion Fabrice Santoro 6-2, 6-3, and Gregory Carraz got past qualifier Vincenzo Santopadre 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-3.
Rafael Nadal is currently ranked fourth in the world, but has had a dominant run lately as he has won seven of the last eight French Open titles. Mary Carrillo thinks we’re in store for a Nadal-Djokovic final.
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