TENNIS: Sanchez Vicario Upset By Halard of France
New York Times
June 25, 1992
WIMBLEDON, England, June 24— Just three years ago, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario took a look at Wimbledon's green lawns and longed to be back on the red clay in Paris, where she made professional history and a personal breakthrough as the 17-year-old French Open champion. Grass, she sneered, was meant for cows.
Today, Sanchez Vicario, seeded fifth and confident that her all-court game would carry her through to a respectable round, was upset, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, in the second round by an astonished French underdog, Julie Halard.
"I'm not very disappointed, because anything can happen on this surface," said Sanchez Vicario, who was undone by Halard's confident serves and razorlike forehand.
"You really have to concentrate 100 percent, and probably today I was not there 100 percent, and this is why I lost the match," said the normally dogged Spaniard, who surrendered the match by pumping a pair of forehands out of bounds at break and match point.
"It was better for me to play her on grass instead of on clay, because on clay she can win but on grass she has less confidence, and today she didn't go to the net," said the 21-year-old Halard, who not only worked on her own serve-and-volley technique before this event but wasn't afraid to put her practice to its intended use. Sukova Is Next
On her first competition on grass, Halard reached the final of the junior tournament here in 1987 without a vibrant serve and with a nonexistent volley. "I just hit the ball hard, but this time it's going to be different because I can serve-and-volley," she said. Halard, ranked 23d in the world, will face a veteran of that style, Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia, in the third round.
Sanchez Vicario, now bound for the Olympics and her favorite surface, was the first seeded woman to lose, but she was soon followed by 15th-seeded Kimiko Date, the first Japanese woman ever seeded at Wimbledon. Unseeded Gigi Fernandez defeated Date, 6-1, 6-3. Top-seeded Monica Seles and seventh-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez moved into the third round without incident, but nine-time champion Martina Navratilova had just been forced into a third set by 87th-ranked Kimberly Po when darkness suspended their match.
On the men's side, Andre Agassi lost his shirt -- which he snaked over his head and hoisted to a lucky recipient in the gallery of fans emitting most un-Wimbledonlike shrieks -- but managed to tame Andrei Chesnokov of Russia in four sets. The match had been interrupted by darkness Tuesday night after each player had won a set. When the contest resumed today, Agassi double-faulted on game point in the fourth game to fall behind, 3-1.
But Agassi broke back and, helped along by a multitude of errant backhands from the 31st-ranked Chesnokov, advanced, 5-7, 6-1, 7-5, 7-5 to face a posse of British tabloid reporters intent on proving his white baseball cap is actually a decoy for a receding hairline.
"It's my lucky white hat from Paris," demurred Agassi, who wore it there to commemorate his first Grand Slam doubles effort alongside John McEnroe, who tutored him in the daring airborne volleys he released today.
Goran Ivanisevic, seeded eighth and set to face a fellow sonic server, Marc Rosset, in the third round, pelted Mark Woodforde of Australia with 34 aces, four of them in a single game, during an occasionally farcical 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (7-4), 6-3 victory.
By the third set, Woodforde had despaired of returning Ivanisevic's serve in the conventional manner, so he tried using his racquet handle. When that didn't work, Ivanisevic attempted to serve that way, missed the ball, and then switched to his right hand and sent Woodforde the slowest serve of the tournament, a 37 mile-per-hour floater.
The defending men's champion, Michael Stich, recovered from a slow start against Amos Mansdorf and posted a 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-3 victory. Stefan Edberg needed two tie breakers in downing Gary Muller in straight sets, and Pete Sampras endured three tie breakers, fumbling away two match points in the third set, before subduing Todd Woodbridge, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-9), 6-4. Ivan Lendl termed his match with big-serving Arne Thoms "basically a shootout," and outaced the German, 16-13, in a 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 7-5 victory.
Members of the Wimbledon seeding committee were able to heave a somewhat smug sigh of relief Wednesday when 10th-ranked CARLOS COSTA of Spain, whom they ignored in their seedings, lost to Sweden's 37th-ranked MAGNUS LARSSON, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 in the second round.