Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Once again, a lot of cackling from the press that "Graf is off her game," yet the opponent sounds jubilant that she won all of five games...
McNeil advances to quarterfinals
Thursday, MARCH 3, 1988
SAN ANTONIO - Third-seeded Lori McNeil of Houston and Patty Fendick of San Francisco, ranked 23rd in the world, are the lone United States tennis players still in contention for the Lynda Carter-Maybelline U.S. Women's Hardcourt Championships.
The other six quarterfinalists are from West Germany, France, the Soviet Union, Japan, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia - giving the $200,000 U.S. Tennis Association-sponsored event a decided European flavor.
During second-round action Wednesday, top-seeded Steffi Graf of West Germany defeated Sara Gomer of Great Britain 6-3, 6-2; second-seeded Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia beat Kathrin Keil of LaJolla, Calif., 6-1, 6-4, and third-seeded McNeil beat Nicola Provis of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
No. 4 seed Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria won over Akiko Kijimuta of Japan 6-1, 4-6, 6-1; No. 5 Natalia Zvereva beat Leila Meskhi 6-2, 6-0 in a match of Soviets, and No. 6 Nathalie Tauziat of France whipped Beverly Bowes of Lubbock 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.
In a battle of U.S. players, seventh seeded Fendick won over Mary Lou Daniels of Chicago 7-5, 6-3.
The lone upset of the day involved Etsuko Inoue of Japan who defeated the third Soviet in the field, eighth seeded Larisa Savchenko, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
Gomer took the title as the happiest loser - in fact happier than some of the winners. The last time she played Graf she only won one game and this time she took five off the No. 1-ranked player in the world.
"I played well. It's pretty hard work to get five games off of her," Gomer said, almost in jubilation. "She was vulnerable to the way I played because I gave her no pace. She wasn't hitting forehands all over the place and I was pleased that I did something to neutralize her forehand.
"Her matches seem to go so quickly because of her forehand, but she didn't have it all her way today. My biggest disappointment was that I didn't take the game to her like I had planned, but I would probably give myself a B-plus for this match."
The match required 68 minutes, in contrast to many of Graf's matches which end in 40 or 50 minutes.
"I had trouble with her first serve. I had so many break points and I couldn't make them," said Graf. "She was slicing and making drop shots. She served well."
Graf declared that she was misquoted following her first-round match when all of the media thought she said she was "rusty." She contended that she had said she was "restless" to play.
Regardless of her meaning, she is still not the sharp 18-year-old who became the world's No. 1-ranked player last August. Her forehands are blistering at times but lack the consistency that won her fame as she captured the French Open and reached the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
McNeil appeared in complete control of her match, which lasted just three minutes less than two hours. She broke Provis in the seventh game of the first set and ran out the string. The first game of the second set went to deuce six times and three times she had break point. But she couldn't convert them.
That seemed to help Provis' confidence and McNeil began to struggle after the sun came out midway through the match. The 10th game went to deuce five times and McNeil was broken by a forehand pass by Provis.
McNeil had a service break in the first game of the third set and survived a series of service breaks to win on her serve in the ninth game.
McNeil said it was a similar match to their third-round meeting at the U.S. Open last year.
"About the only difference was that the third set didn't go to a tiebreaker as it did last year in New York," said McNeil. "My approach shots were good today and I mixed them up well. I didn't play very well, but it was good in that I was able to maintain the momentum."
Edberg wins easily
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Stefan Edberg and Miloslav Mecir rolled to straight-set victories in the $702,500 Champions Cup Tennis Tournament, but Tim Mayotte and Martin Jaite were among four upset victims.
Also eliminated as the second round was completed was 10th-seeded Eliot Teltscher, who lost to Pete Sampras, a 16-year-old junior at Palos Verdes High.
The top-seeded Edberg, of Sweden, overpowered Jimmy Brown 6-0, 6-3, while the second-seeded Mecir, of Czechoslovakia, rolled past Richey Reneberg 6-1, 6-3.
Mayotte, seeded fifth, lost to Johan Kriek of South Africa 6-4, 6-4, while the sixth-seeded Jaite, of Argentina, was knocked out by Dan Goldie 7-6, 7-5.
Sampras, who upset Ramesh Krishnan of India in a first-round match Tuesday, downed the veteran Teltscher 7-5, 6-3. Sampras earned his berth in the tournament by advancing through qualifying play.