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post #2815 of (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Not a bad call on Arantxa's potential. I wonder how many other players would deliver a lose-only-five-points smackdown set but yet still see a future champion.

August 25, 1988
Sydney Morning Herald

NEW YORK, Thursday: Ivan Lendl gave himself a rave review yesterday after winning the first act of his dress rehearsal for next week's US Open.

Lendl, top seed for the $US190,000 ($A232,500) Hamlet Challenge Cup at Jericho, New York, as he will be at Flushing Meadow, eliminated unseeded Swiss Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland 6-2 6-3 in their first-round match.

"If I'm not ready for the Open now, I never will be," Lendl said after winning in 61 minutes. "I'm playing in the Hamlet here to get more match play on the same type court and with the same type tennis balls we'll have in the Open."

Lendl, winner of the past three US Open titles, has won only three tournaments this year and his world No 1 ranking is under threat.

Australian Tony Roche, the former tennis great who now coaches the Czech, says Lendl has been working hard with him over the past 10 days.

"Ivan is in top shape physically now and he's ready," Roche said. "He's moving better now than ever before. We've worked three to four hours a day in the mornings on certain drills.

"Lendl's serve has always been a big weapon and it's working very well now. Hopefully it will continue in the Open."

Hlasek, ranked 28th in the world, played erratically and was forced into many errors by his opponent's crunching ground strokes.

Lendl, however, complimented Hlasek's service.

"He served well. His second serve had a high kick to it," said Lendl, who now meets eighth-seeded Swede Anders Jarryd. "But I played very quick and this had him off balance too."

In Mahwah, New Jersey, Steffi Graf started the day behind but left no doubt about the outcome by rattling off 12 of the last 13 games to beat Spanish teenager Arantxa Sanchez at the Mahwah Classic.

Graf, the world's No 1 and top seed for next week's US Open, overwhelmed the 16-year-old Sanchez 6-2 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals.

The match had been halted because of rain after Sanchez had broken Graf in the opening game of the match.

"I didn't lose any sleep about being behind when the match was called off," said Graf, who will try to complete the grand slam by winning the women's title at the US Open.

"It was a new match when we started and I felt good. I was able to move into the ball well," added Graf, who said she had no problem concentrating on her matches and "pushing the grand slam out of my mind".

Sanchez, a claycourt specialist, was out of her element on the hardcourt and lost all eight of her service games. She won only five points in the second set.

Graf, 19, predicted Sanchez, who upset Chris Evert in the third round of the French Open, would be a player to be reckoned with in two or three years.

"She will get more experienced and become much stronger physically," said Graf.
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