Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
The seeds in the top half are tumbling (although that Martinez kid will prove to be not bad on clay), and soon the bottom half will also be wiped out.
NAVRATILOVA ADVANCES EASILY EVERT MATCH POSTPONED UNTIL SATURDAY BECAUSE OF HEEL INJURY
San Jose Mercury News
Friday, May 27, 1988
Second-seeded Martina Navratilova beat Barbara Paulus of Austria 6-2, 6-2 today and advanced to the fourth round of the French Open tennis championships. Chris Evert's meeting with Spain's Arantxa Sanchez was postponed after the third-seeded Evert underwent a bone scan of her injured right heel.
The test showed no break and Evert, a seven-time French Open champion, plans to play the match on Saturday.
West German Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, the No. 7 seed, started strong against Nicole Provis of Australia, then faded and lost 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.
"I got nervous, but I tried to stay calm and she made mistakes, not me," Provis said. "I'm only 18. I've had no pressure on me."
The men's No. 2 seed, Stefan Edberg, beat fellow-Swede Jan Gunnarsson 6-3, 6-4, 7-6, but only on his sixth match point.
Yannick Noah, the hometown favorite and No. 6 seed among the men, smashed 12 aces en route to a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland. Other men's seeds advancing included No. 12 Emilio Sanchez of Spain, who defeated Guy Forget of France 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, and Guillermo Perez-Roldan of Argentina, who ousted Patrick Huhnen of West Germany 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
Women's seeds Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia, Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union, Zina Garrison of the United States and Sylvia Hanika of West Germany also won third-round matches.
Sukova defeated Mercedes Paz of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, Zvereva beat American Melissa Gurney 6-0, 6-4, and Hanika overcame Isabelle Demongeot of France 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, and Garrison ousted American Michelle Torres 6-1, 6-1. She will face Sukova in the fourth round.
Zvereva, 17, winner of the junior's titles at last year's French Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon, will face Navratilova on Sunday.
Navratilova is projected to meet Evert in one of the semifinals. Teen stars Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini are headed toward a meeting in the other, now that upsets have cleared all other seeded players in their paths.
The two 18-year-olds -- top-seeded Graf from West Germany and No. 4 Sabatini from Argentina -- have romped through their early matches in straight sets, leaving outclassed opponents gasping.
Graf took just 50 minutes Thursday to beat Susan Sloane 6-0, 6-1, then said it was her toughest match of the tournament.
"I wasn't feeling very well, so I'm glad it was quick," said Graf, who was bleary-eyed and red-nosed from a cold.
Sabatini, whose dark beauty combined with tennis skills draws crowds to her matches, had only a slightly stronger test. It took her 61 minutes to whip Masako Yanagi of Japan 6-2, 6-1.
Besides Graf and Sabatini, who are doubles partners when not competing in singles, three women's seeds played Thursday. They all lost.
Helen Kelesi of Canada downed No. 5 Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-2, Brenda Schultz of the Netherlands beat No. 14 Sandra Cecchini of Italy 6-4, 7-5, and 16-year-old Conchita Martinez of Spain upset No. 9 Lori McNeil of Houston 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Clash of teens
Unless Graf or Sabatini is upset in the next two rounds, they will meet next Thursday in the semis.
Graf was asked how such easy matches in the early rounds can prepare her for what is to come.
"That's a good question," she replied. "I try to concentrate all the time and go for many shots."
Sabatini, who in the past weakened in lengthy matches, has toughened her conditioning this year. Graf has lost only twice in 36 matches in 1988, both times in three sets to Sabatini.
"Last year I was very good, and I think this year will be better," Sabatini said after her second-round victory. "I feel good. I'm in good condition physically and mentally."
Asked if she was impressed by how dominant Graf has been in early rounds, Sabatini said, "I think she's had very easy matches. But I know it won't be easy to beat her."
John McEnroe, at 29 the oldest man left in the tournament, next faces 16-year-old Michael Chang of Placentia, who is the youngest. Chang said he has often played against McEnroe in his mind -- and won.
"I kill him, of course. I kill him," Chang said of his dreams of playing McEnroe after winning his own second-round match over Tobias Svantessen of Sweden 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.