Norman retires from quarterfinal at Shanghai tennis
September 26, 2003
SHANGHAI, China (Ticker) - Magnus Norman's campaign to get his career back on track hit another snag Friday at the Shanghai Open.
Norman was forced to retire from his quarterfinal with top-seeded Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic. The two-time champion at this $380,000 hardcourt tournament fell behind 1-2 in the first set before stopping with left hip pain.
Norman said the injury occurred during his second-round match with Fernando Verdasco.
"I had an easy practice but today it was like a knife going through my muscle and was getting worse and worse," the seventh-seeded Swede said. "I'm still going to Tokyo to test if it's OK. If it's not, I'm going home."
The pain is in the same hip that was operated on in 2001. Norman, who was once ranked No. 2 and reached the final at the French Open in 2000, has not been the same since.
"It really is a shame because I felt like my game was coming together and I was feeling comfortable on the court, which I haven't felt for a long time," Norman, 27, said. "I know there is hope. But it's very depressing. I've just got to get through and see the light and get ready for next year.
"If I get another injury at the start of next year, I don't know how I'm going to deal with that. I just really want one more injury-free season to prove to everyone and myself that I can still play."
Novak reached the semifinals for the first time since defeating Wimbledon champion Roger Federer to win the Swiss Open in July. He will play Australian Wayne Arthurs, a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) winner over Croatia's Ivo Karlovic.
"I'm very happy I'm through. It's not happening very often, every week that I reach a semifinal," Novak said. "But I was definitely expecting a tough match because we've played so many matches together. We're the same age and grew up playing the same Satellites, Futures, Challengers. I feel very sorry for (Norman). Every year he's had a different surgery and I just hope he comes back as soon as possible."
Third seed Mark Philippoussis of Australia beat Argentine wild card Guillermo Canas, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), to move into his fourth semifinal of the season. Philippoussis has been to two finals this year, the last coming at Wimbledon.
"I was happy with the way I played," he said. "I could have done a couple of things better. I'm happy with the way I served. My footwork could have been better. I let myself get lazy and missed some shots I shouldn't have."
Canas was playing just his fourth tournament of the season. After losing in the second round of the Australian Open, he suffered a wrist injury that required surgery and was sidelined until earlier this month.
Philippoussis' foe Saturday is 19-year-old Swede Robin Soderling, who saved two match points en route to a 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-1) victory over Australian Scott Draper. The winner of two Challenger events this year, Soderling reached his first career ATP semifinal.
"It was a really tough match," he said.
First prize is $52,000