SLOANE QUALIFIES FOR TOURNEY
Monday, February 10, 1986
Been following the career of Lexington's own tennis wunderkind, Susan Sloane?
Well, we've got some good news and some bad news about the 15-year-old.
The good news is that Sloane beat Marianne Groat 6-2, 6-2 yesterday in qualifying action to make the main draw of the Lipton International Players Championship in Boca Raton, Fla.
The bad news is that she's scheduled to play top-seed Chris Evert Lloyd in first-round play Tuesday.
Sloane, still an amateur, has played in several pro events the last eight months, including the U.S. Open and Virginia Slims of Washington , D.C., where she lost to Martina Navratilova 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.
The Lexington native is now living in Bradenton, Fla., at Nick Bollettieri's tennis academy, which also provides for her non-tennis education.
Eighth-seeded Brad Gilbert won his first major tennis title with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) upset of No. 2 Stefan Edberg of Sweden in the $315,000 Volvo U.S. National Indoor Championships yesterday in Memphis, Tenn.
Earlier in the week, Gilbert had knocked off top-seeded Jimmy Connors in a quarterfinal match and then beat No. 3 Anders Jarryd in the semifinals.
Edberg had advanced to the finals by eliminating unseeded qualifier Mikael Pernfors.
Gilbert, a 24-year-old Californian, now has beaten two of the top four players in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings during the last few weeks. A month ago, he beat No. 2 John McEnroe in the first round of the Nabisco Masters in New York.
Gilbert earned $45,000 and Edberg picked up $22,500.
Edberg took a 3-2 lead in the first set before Gilbert's serve kept Edberg deep and off-balance.
"My serve started to pick up at 5-4," Gilbert said. "I started standing a little closer on the returns. I started to really get around on the returns."
Gilbert hit nine aces in the match. He had 40 during the tournament.
"I felt like I was penetrating his serve a little bit," Gilbert said. "He started missing his first serves. I think I started getting a good crack at the ball I started hitting some forehands at 5-4 and 6-5 to win the set.
"I snuck a few forehands down the line. I was fortunate my serve picked up a lot in the second set. Once I started serving, my confidence started picking up," Gilbert said.
"I played all right today," Edberg said. "It was a very tight match."
Edberg, who had won three previous matches with Gilbert, said his opponent's serve seemed to get stronger as the match progressed.
"I rushed a little bit," he said. "But he hit the line so many times.
"I've got to go for it and take some chances," Edberg said. "Maybe I should come in a bit, but it's very hard when he is passing so well."
In addition to his upset victories over Connors and Jarryd and his winner's check, Gilbert was named to the U.S. Davis Cup team and he won an Oriental rug offered to the tournament player who scored the most aces.
In the doubles finals yesterday, Ken Flach and Robert Seguso defeated Guy Forget of France and Anders Jarryd of Sweden 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5).
Joey Blake of the University of Arkansas upset defending champion Dan Goldie of Stanford in the men's singles finals of the Rolex National Indoor Intercollegiate Tennis Championships at Houston.
The unseeded Blake beat Goldie, the No. 2 seed, 3-6, 6-3, 7-7 (8-6).
"I came into the finals just wanting to play well," Blake said. "I am from Virgina and so is Dan so I was very much aware of how good of a player that he is. But as the match went along I felt like that if I could just hang in and play well that I could win the tournament."
In the women's division, No. 3 seed Caroline Kuhlman, a native of
Kentucky, defeated Southern Cal teammate Heliane Steden, seeded fourth, 6-3, 6-1. Last year's champion and the tournament No. 1 seed, Beverly Bowes of the University of Texas, fell to Steden Saturday 7-6 (7-2) 6-1.
"My plan going into the match was to keep the ball in play and wait for Heliane to beat herself," Kulhman said. "I felt that we both knew each other's game."
Top-seeded Joakim Nystrom of Sweden cut down towering Milan Srejber with ease and captured his first Nabisco Grand Prix tournament of the year as he disposed of the Czechoslovakian 6-1, 6-4 in Toronto.
Srejber, the tallest player on the tour at 6-foot-8, had displayed remarkable poise and confidence throughout the week as he worked his way out of the qualifiers and through the main draw. But yesterday, in his first ever Grand Prix finals, he appeared tight and apprehensive.
His big serve, which worked with such devastating efficiency in his semifinal victory against American Peter Fleming when he recorded 11 aces and numerous service winners, was sporadic and inconsistent. Overall, he served just three aces - all of them coming in the second game of the first set - against seven double-faults.