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post #271 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:44 PM
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Re: 1992

Thursday, May 28, 1992

PARIS -- Harold Solomon was back at the French Open Wednesday, sitting in the grandstand at Court 10, cheering on Mary Joe Fernandez, hitting every shot with her.

''I get the feeling that I'm doing it myself,'' said Solomon, after Fernandez defeated Shaun Stafford 6-1, 6-4 in the second round.

''When you coach someone, you live the match vicariously. It's a great feeling when she does well.''

Solomon, one of the fabled Fort Lauderdale clay-courters during the 1970s, enjoyed his greatest success at the French Open, reaching the final in 1976. Now, he is hoping to pass the torch to Miami's Fernandez.

In her first Grand Slam under Solomon in January, Fernandez got to the Australian Open final, losing to Monica Seles. Solomon didn't expect that kind of success so quickly, and knows the task will take some patience -- something that Solomon always displayed plenty of on the court.

''The Australian Open was a nice bonus, but I have no illusions,'' Solomon said. ''This is a three-year project with Mary Joe. She's being transformed into a player who just gets the ball back to a player who plays aggressively. If she wants to be a top player and not just a No. 7 player, Mary Joe has to play aggressively because she is not as quick and as athletic as the others.''

Fernandez played aggressively against Stafford, the former University of Florida star and a former junior rival.

''I went for my shots, but then she started serving better,'' said Fernandez, 20. ''I'm trying to play aggressively. I went for a backhand down the line today, when I would have looped the ball back last year. I do it in practice, but it's harder to play aggressively in a match, especially when I'm winning.''

Fernandez, the sixth seed, advanced to the third round and kept on track for a possible quarterfinal showdown with former French Open champion Steffi Graf, who punished French qualifier Nathalie Housset 6-2, 6-1 in 49 minutes.

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (4), the 1989 French Open champion; Manuela Maleeva- Fragniere (8); Anke Huber (9) and Jana Novotna (10) won their matches, and Nathalie Tauziat (12), the highest-ranked Frenchwoman, struggled to finish off Ginger Helgeson of San Diego. Tauziat broke for a 3-6, 6-1, 4-2 lead when the match was called on account of darkness.

Fernandez lost a pre-tournament exhibition to Graf on Sunday, and heard about it, for about two hours afterward, from Solomon.

''Harold is very intense, he doesn't keep anything inside,'' Fernandez said. ''He told me after the exhibition how Steffi was dictating the points and how I was scrambling around. I have to take it to her. Harold's not mean, and I see things clearer. I trust him a lot because he knows what it is to be out there. Anything positive he's learned can only help me.''

Solomon, who last played the French Open in 1984, tried a comeback last year, but gave it up to pursue coaching. Watching Fernandez is a lot easier on the legs.

''It's hard to replace the feeling of not playing, but coaching Mary Joe has been nice,'' Solomon said. ''When she beat (Gabriela) Sabatini at the Australian Open, I felt like I had won the match.''
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post #272 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:47 PM
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Re: 1992

Friday, May 29, 1992

PARIS -- Sandra Cecchini chipped the lob over Gabriela Sabatini's head. Sabatini raced back into the corner but she could not make a play on the ball, not even the classic between-the-legs shot.

Cecchini raised her arms in triumph. She had the point, she had the game.

Cecchini was down 0-6, 1-3, but she was thrilled. Sabatini had finally lost a game at the French Open.

After winning her first 21 games, Sabatini rebounded from her stumble to finish off Cecchini 6-0, 6-1.

''Was I trying to win the tournament without losing a game?'' said Sabatini, who opened with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Silvia Farina. ''So far, it's been very good. I'm in top form.''

The Big Four women's seeds -- Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Sabatini and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario -- have rolled through the first two rounds without losing a set, but no one has been as near-perfect at Sabatini.

''She's playing really well right now,'' said Seles, the two-time defending champion, who defeated Karin Kschwendt 6-2, 6-2.

The Argentine right-hander could have had another shutout. Sabatini missed two break points, before Cecchini finally won the game.

''It was a lot tougher match than the score,'' said Sabatini, who defeated Cecchini 6-0, 6-0 in their most recent match, in Hamburg earlier this month.

Sabatini is in better shape than she was at the Australian Open, the season's first Grand Slam tournament, where she was upset by Fernandez in the semifinals.

''I lost some weight after the Australian Open, and I'm a little faster,'' Sabatini said.

Jennifer Capriati is also slimmer, having dropped 10 pounds since the Italian Open under the guidance of personal trainer Laurie Schuett, a former member of the Palm Beach Institute of Sports Medicine.

Capriati won her second-round match Thursday, turning back France's Sandrine Testud 6-4, 6-4 and the raucous home fans.

Testud won the first three games.

''I was kind of surprised, I said 'wait a second here,''' Capriati said. ''I had to raise my game a lot and really concentrate on every point, or I would have been in real trouble.''

Capriati fired back by winning five games in a row to take control of the first set. Testud put Capriati to the test again in the second set, building a 4-3 lead.

Capriati took the final three games and lost only one of the last 12 points.

Seles had to wait around all day to play, and the delay showed in her play.

''It was tough going out there because I was watching all these different matches, and you get so nervous whoever is playing, even if you really don't know them,'' Seles said.

Conchita Martinez (7), Nathalie Tauziat (12), Mary Pierce (13), Kimiko Date (14) and Leila Meskhi (15) also advanced to the third round, but several of the women's lesser seeds fell:

-- Anke Huber (9), the promising young German, was shocked by 31-year-old Briton Jo Durie, who won 6-2, 7-5. Durie called it her best clay-court victory.

-- Elena Brioukhovets, 20, of the C.I.S., who was 1-9 entering the French Open , upset Katerina Maleeva (11) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

-- Sabine Appelmans (16) was ousted by Natalia Zvereva, the 1988 French Open finalist. Zvereva won 6-1, 7-6 (9-7).

-- Brenda Schultz, who along with Zvereva is coached by Boca Raton's Juan Nunez, reached the Final 32 with an impressive 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Amy Frazier, the American who won last week's tournament in Lucerne, Switzerland.

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post #273 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:48 PM
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Re: 1992

Durie surprises herself with defeat of Huber - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Friday, May 29, 1992
From Andrew Longmore, Tennis Correspondent, in Paris

NINE years ago, Jo Durie surprised herself by reaching the semi-final of the French Open, beating Tracy Austin along the way. Yesterday, she was so startled by a spectacular victory over the No.9 seed, Anke Huber, that she had to cancel her evening flight back to England and postpone a grass-court practice session planned for today.

The intervening years have been a catalogue of anguish, punctuated by occasional glimpses of her past, the last at the US Open nine months ago when she knocked out another seed, Helena Sukova. Durie has not fared well at Roland Garros, though. Yesterday's 6-1, 7-5 victory was only her fourth since that quarter-final against Austin, which perhaps explains why the British No.1 considered it the biggest win of her long career.

``Mainly because Huber is very good on clay and this is not my best surface. For a set and a half I just played outstanding tennis," Durie said.

Yet she still had to do it the hard way. She lead 4-1 and 5-2 in the second set and had a match point at 5-3 before the German, belatedly fining some consistency on her ground strokes, began to make Durie do the running, much as she had a month earlier when defeating the British woman for the loss of five games in Hamburg.

Huber levelled at 5-5 but Durie stayed calm, held to 6-5 and missed two more match points before forcing Huber into one last error on the backhand.

``I felt she was uncomfortable and tense today and because I was hitting the ball so well from the first point, she wasn't really able to get into the match," Durie said.

Durie now plays Akiko Kijimuta, but Monica Seles looms in the last 16. ``Don't mention it. I want to enjoy the rest of my day," Durie said.

Sara Gomer briefly threatened another British victory before losing her way in the first set tie-break and losing everything thereafter against Patricia Hy.

There were easy victories for Jim Courier, over Thomas Muster, Andre Agassi, who allowed Gianluca Pozzi just three games, Goran Ivanisevic and Gabriela Sabatini, who has dropped just one game in her first two matches. At that rate, the Argentinian will threaten the record set by Martina Navratilova in 1982 and Billie Jean King ten years before, who both lost a total of 25 games in winning the French Open title.

When rain ended play early for the third day in succession, Stefan Edberg and Ivan Lendl were both in the throes of tight matches against South Americans. The Swede had to save two set points to avoid going 2-0 down to Gabriel Markus, of Argentina, and Lendl uncharacteristically let a 2-0 lead over Jaimie Oncins, of Brazil, slip away. The rain came just in time because his temper was beginning to fray and he will resume today at 5-5 in the final set.

A set and 4-5 down, Edberg enjoyed a stroke of luck he desperately needed. On the first of two set points, a pass destined for the corner struck a net post and lobbed up for Edberg to put away an easy volley. From there, the tide turned. Edberg levelled in the second set tie-break and, when the match was finally called off in the gloaming, he led by two sets to one and 3-1.
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post #274 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Re: 1992

FRENCH OPEN: WOMEN : Capriati Overcomes Tough Foe and Crowd
May 29, 1992

PARIS Jennifer Capriati, the teen tennis prodigy who at 14 became the youngest woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the French Open two years ago, struggled Thursday in a 6-4, 6-4 second-round victory over Sandrine Testud of France.

Capriati lost her first three games, which gave Testud and the partisan crowd reason for hope. Tennis-crazy France is yearning for one of its own to succeed here, and after 1991 Davis Cup hero Guy Forget was upset Wednesday, the fans rallied around Testud, a 20-year-old from Lyon.

Capriati, 16, responded by winning five games in a row, and then closed out the set. Testud, an aggressive attacker who likes to go to the net, almost broke Capriati's serve in the first game of the second set, but a questionable line call saved the Florida teen. Testud played Capriati even until the ninth game, when she blew a 40-0 lead and lost her serve.

Capriati said she was not bothered by the crowd but was surprised to fall behind in the first set.

"I said, 'Wait a second here, it's already 3-0,' " Capriati said. "It really went by fast."

Capriati, seeded fifth, realized that she might have lost to the 92nd-seeded player.

"I could have been in real trouble," she said.

In the end, she was all right, but will have to raise her level of play against more formidable opponents. Although the Court 1 audience was vocal in support of Testud, Capriati said she was unfazed.

"I thought I was pretty patient," she said. "I just thought (Testud) played pretty well."

Also playing well was Mary Pierce, the one-time Floridian who has been living in France. She routed Larissa Savchenko-Neiland of Latvia, 6-2, 6-3. Pierce, seeded 13th, is headed for a fourth-round showdown against Capriati.

Any concerns?

"No, I don't even look at the draw at all," Pierce said.

One who might think about looking ahead is Jo Durie of England, who packed her bags and checked out of her hotel before arriving to play No. 9 Anke Huber of Germany Thursday. Durie had to change her travel plans after scoring a 6-1, 7-5 upset.

Other upsets were recorded when Elena Brioukhovets of Russia rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over No. 11 Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria, and Natalia Zvereva of Russia defeated No. 16 Sabina Appelmans of Belgium, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7).

The big favorites breezed, though. Top-ranked Monica Seles used powerful ground strokes to sweep past Karin Kschwendt of Germany, 6-2, 6-2. Gabriela Sabatini, seeded third, overwhelmed Sandra Cecchini of Italy, 6-0, 6-1. Sabatini has lost only one game in two matches. No. 7 Conchita Martinez of Spain defeated Veronika Martinek of Germany, 6-2, 6-0, and No. 12 Nathalie Tauziat of France eliminated Ginger Helgeson, a Pepperdine graduate, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Sabatini, playing exceptionally well in the early rounds, said she has lost weight and has better court movement. Sabatini began a strict diet after the Australian Open.

"I just feel thinner on the court," she said.
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post #275 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:52 PM
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Re: 1992

Canada's Hy uses imagination
The Toronto Star
Friday, May 29, 1992

PARIS (CP) - Patricia Hy of Richmond Hill had Sara Gomer on the run yesterday, sending her British opponent all over the court en route to a 7-6 (7-5), 6-0 victory in second-round women's play at the French Open tennis championships.

Meanwhile, two five-set matches in a row proved to be too much for Chris Pridham of Oakville.

Michiel Schapers of the Netherlands ousted Pridham with a 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win.

Hy, ranked No. 48 in the world, had to improvise against Gomer because she knew very little about her No. 91-ranked opponent.

"I tried to get some hints from players, but no one knew who she was," said the Cambodian-born Hy, who faces another unknown - Elena Brioukhovets of the Commonwealth of Independent States - in the third round.

"I went out and used my imagination. I didn't underestimate her. She had some unbelievable shots."

Hy, at 5-foot-4, was dwarfed by her 6-foot-1 opponent and said she expected Gomer, with her considerable height advantage, "to serve and volley. But she did it maybe three, four times.

"Her tactics were not what I was used to. I was a little tight in the beginning. But in the second set, I made her run more and I won."

Hy had advanced to the second round on Tuesday, when Irina Spirlea of Romania was forced to retire in the third and deciding set with Hy leading 6-2, 4-6, 2-1.

Canadians Glenn Michibata and Grant Connell are still alive in the men's doubles. They beat Frenchmen Thierry Champion and Fabrice Santoro 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round.
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post #276 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Re: 1992

Sabatini's style a winner on and off the court
Friday, May 29, 1992
Doug Smith

PARIS - In a recent French survey, Gabriela Sabatini was voted the most elegant player on the women's tour. In her first two matches at the French Open, she also was the most efficient.

Sabatini, 22, of Argentina defeated Silvia Farina 6-0, 6-0 in the first round. She advanced to the third round Thursday, defeating Sandra Cecchini 6- 0, 6-1.

How does Sabatini, the No. 3 seed, explain winning 24 of 25 games?

``I am playing at a very good level,'' she said. ``Mentally, I feel very good. I haven't done anything special. I have been working just the same. I lost some weight. That might have something to do with it.

``But today's score doesn't say much because I think the match was a lot tougher. I had to play very well to win the way I won.''

Noted primarily for her prowess on clay, Sabatini began showing admirable skills on hardcourts by winning the 1990 U.S. Open. She credits Carlos Kirmayr, who has worked with her since the 1990 Wimbledon, for helping her develop an all-court game.

``He gave me a lot of confidence,'' Sabatini said. ``He helped me become more aggressive, to come to the net, and I think that's the biggest part.''

Sabatini has reached the French Open semifinals four times (1985, '87, '88 and '91) and was a Wimbledon finalist last year, losing to Steffi Graf.
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post #277 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:56 PM
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Re: 1992

Saturday, May 30, 1992

PARIS -- Off in the distance, the Eiffel Tower was blurred behind the heavy morning sky. Gray clouds hung over the damp courts at Roland Garros, creating a somber mood.

Mary Joe Fernandez wished she could have stayed in the hotel and ordered some hot chocolate and a croissant. But Fernandez had to play Sabine Hack, who was serving heavy topspin and plenty of it.

The 22-year-old German's plan was to hit high and deep and keep Fernandez on the baseline, and hope that she would get frustrated and flustered.

The Hack Attack worked perfectly, as Fernandez made 49 unforced errors, paving the way for a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 upset victory for Hack.

With her biggest win, Hack, ranked No. 42, advanced to the women's fourth round with former champions Steffi Graf and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

Graf, the second seed, defeated Amanda Coetzer of South Africa 6-2, 6-1, while Sanchez, the fourth seed, stopped Judith Wiesner of Austria, 6-3, 6-1.

There was one other upset Friday, as Manon Bollegraf of the Netherlands ousted eighth-seeded Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere 7-5, 6-2.

''Mary Joe really didn't know what to do against me, I think that was her problem,'' Hack said. ''She lost her discipline, she lost her mind.''

''The court was a lot slower and I didn't feel real comfortable out there during the whole match,'' said Fernandez, the sixth seed. ''She hits a real heavy ball, with lots of topspin, and she was forcing me way behind the baseline.

''Whenever I saw an opportunity, I was a little late. My timing wasn't quite right for the way she was hitting the ball and I was making a lot of errors.''

Fernandez beat Hack in the second round here last year, and it appeared she would do it again when she took a 5-3 lead in the first set. Fernandez was two points away for the set at love-30 on Hack's serve.

''If I had played a little bit tougher there, things could have changed,'' Fernandez said. ''But she was controlling the points a little bit more than I was.''

Hack held, but Fernandez was two points away again, at 5-4, 30-15. Hack won the next three points, and the set eventually went to a tiebreaker.

Fernandez missed her first four shots and was quickly in a hole.

''Mary Joe was trying to go for winners and she didn't make winners,'' said Hack, who committed 28 unforced errors. ''I didn't go for much. After she lost the tiebreaker so easily, she got a little disappointed.''

Fernandez lost the first four games of the second set before holding serve. Fernandez had a point for 4-2, but missed it. After that, it was too late.

''I never really thought I was out of it until I saw the last ball go right by me,'' Fernandez said.

She was standing at the net. Harold Solomon, Fernandez's coach, asked her to play more aggressively, and Fernandez kept her promise Friday.

''I definitely tried,'' Fernandez said. ''It didn't work. I made too many errors, but I still feel I'm moving in the right direction. Obviously it's discouraging, but you've got to look ahead.''

Eastbourne and Wimbledon are ahead for Fernandez, who will test her developing game on grass, a surface better-suited to it.

Natalia Zvereva, the 1988 French Open runner-up, is ahead for Hack, who will stick with her game on clay.

''It can work against every top player on clay,'' Hack said.

Fernandez's surprise exit leaves only three American women left -- all in the top half of the draw. Only fifth-seeded Jennifer Capriati is expected to get through her third-round match with Karina Habsudova, an 18-year-old Czech who is ranked No. 40.

The other Americans will be challenging seeds with Lori McNeil taking on two- time defending champion Monica Seles and Ann Grossman meeting seventh- seeded Conchita Martinez.

The bottom half pairings: Graf vs. Jana Novotna; Hack vs. Zvereva; Sanchez vs. Kimiko Date; and Natalie Tauziat vs. Bollegraf.


-- MEN: Jim Courier (1) d. Alberto Mancini 6-4, 6-2, 6-0; Ivan Lendl (10) lost to Jaime Oncins 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-8.

-- WOMEN: Steffi Graf (2) d. Amanda Coetzer 6-2, 6-1; Mary Joe Fernandez (6) lost to Sabine Hack 6-7, (1-7), 2-6; Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere (8) lost to Manon Bollegraf 5-7, 2-6.


-- WOMEN: Monica Seles vs. Lori McNeil.

-- MEN: Stefan Edberg vs. Andrei Cherkasov.
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Re: 1992

TENNIS; Fernandez, More Out of Sorts Than Outplayed, Loses
May 30, 1992
New York Times

PARIS, May 29 Progress as a professional seems to be a luxury Mary Joe Fernandez has yet to enjoy, especially at the French Open.

Fernandez, seeded sixth, was eliminated in the third round, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, today by the same player she beat here in last year's second round, Sabine Hack of Germany.

The upset had far less to do with the tactics of the 42d-ranked Hack, who merely concentrated on keeping the ball in play, than with the errors made by Fernandez, who sprayed her usually reliable ground strokes round the periphery of Court 1 as if she were using a garden hose instead of a racquet.

"I just made too many errors," said Fernandez, who made her earliest exit from the French Open since 1987. She enjoyed her best year in Paris in 1989, when she reached the semifinals, and she went as far as the quarterfinals in 1990 and 1991. Still Vulnerable

While Fernandez's technique has been sound, the killer instinct has apparently continued to elude her, a problem that leaves her open to exploitation by opportunists like Hack.

Another seeded woman, No. 8 Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, a four-time quarterfinalist here, fell to 57th-ranked Manon Bollegraf of the Netherlands, 7-5, 6-2, but that was the extent of the major upsets on the women's side.

Steffi Graf, seeded second behind defending champion Monica Seles, breezed into a fourth-round match with 10th-seeded Jana Novotna after downing Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, 6-2, 6-2 in 59 minutes.

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who won the final here as a 17-year-old in 1989 but who hasn't earned a Grand Slam title since then, defeated Judith Wiesner, 6-3, 6-1.

The Team of Agassi and McEnroe

In twin goatees and tennis whites, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe made their Grand Slam doubles debut, defeating Todd Nelson and Jason Stoltenberg. Agassi, little known for his doubles prowess, prowled all points of the court with a vicious equanimity and later said he would like to team with McEnroe on a more regular basis. Since both are members of the United States Davis Cup team that is scheduled to face Sweden on clay in the semifinals in September, they indicated that this could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

McEnroe has already said that his singles career will not continue after this year, but he said tonight that he would not bother playing doubles for the rest of this season unless he had a partner of Agassi's caliber. "I need someone like Andre to spark my interest," said McEnroe.

McEnroe also addressed the issue of his $7,500 fine for verbal abuse during his first-round loss here, an infraction that could cause further penalties and a possible suspension from the two remaining Grand Slam events this year, Wimbledon and the United States Open.

Please Don't Listen In

"I wish it hadn't happened, and hopefully I can be forgiven," said McEnroe, who took issue with the practice of allowing courtside microphones at tennis matches, something few other sports allow.

"If you put a microphone in the middle of a football field," he said, "you'd be hearing what I said every day on every play."
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Re: 1992

Fernandez Sees More Unseating of the Seeded
May 30, 1992
Los Angeles Times

PARIS Mary Joe Fernandez, one of the better and brighter young women on the professional tennis tour, said here Friday that it is getting more difficult for seeded players to cruise through Grand Slam tournaments.

Many say that the Women's Tennis Assn. lacks depth, that only a few players have a real chance of winning the tournaments.

But Fernandez's theory might get more attention, at least at the French Open, where sixth-seeded Fernandez fell to No. 42 Sabine Hack of Germany, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, and eighth-seeded Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere was ousted by No. 57 Manon Bollegraf of the Netherlands on Friday. Neither Hack nor Bollegraf had previously reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam event.

However, some of the other top women breezed in third-round matches. Second-seeded Steffi Graf of Germany defeated Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, 6-2, 6-1. Graf, a two-time winner here, took 59 minutes to win, and has not lost more than three games in a set in her three matches here. Fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain defeated Judith Wiesner of Austria, 6-3, 6-1.

Fernandez, 20, of Miami, Fla., was leading in the first set, 5-3, when her game fell apart.

"I didn't feel real comfortable out there," she said.

Fernandez had defeated Hack twice, once in last year's French Open. But Hack tried a new approach, hitting the ball with a lot of topspin, and that kept Fernandez from moving in.

"She lost her mind," Hack said.

Fernandez, usually a steady player, started making unforced errors and could not recover.

"It's just tougher (now)," Fernandez said. "There aren't any easy matches, like there used to be."
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Re: 1992

Top women maintain order in French Open Seles, Sabatini sail to third-round victories.
The Kansas City Star
Sunday, May 31, 1992
The Associated Press

PARIS - While the top men faltered, the top women continued to avoid major upsets Saturday in the French Open. No. 1 Monica Seles, No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini and No. 5 Jennifer Capriati all advanced to the round of 16.

Seles needed just 45 minutes to beat Lori McNeil of the United States 6-0, 6-1; Sabatini downed France's Julie Halard, 6-1, 6-3; and Capriati survived two foot blisters and rallied to beat Czechoslovak Katrina Habsudova, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Capriati's victory sets up a match today in which the two youngest players left in the tournament will play: Capriati, 16, against Mary Pierce, 17, each pushed hard at an early age, each looking for a Grand Slam breakthrough to join the Big Four atop women's tennis.

The two teen-agers played twice as juniors, and Pierce says Capriati won both times. Pierce has come on strongly in the last six months, improving her world ranking from 42nd last year to 15th now.

For fifth-seeded Capriati, it's a chance for a shot at defending champion Monica Seles, a chance to quiet the talk that she's struggling after two full years on the tour. No. 13 seed Pierce, a Montreal native who now plays for France, says it's probably the biggest match of her career.

Pierce's American father, Jim, is acknowledged as one of the hardest-driving, most ambitious parents of any young pro. In interviews, he has to fend off allegations that he has struck his daughter during grueling training sessions which he supervised.

"I've never hit her," he told the French sports daily L'Equipe.

"When she was a little younger, she would cry sometimes, but now that rarely happens." Nonetheless, in her third-round 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 victory over Andrea Strnadova of Czechoslovakia, Pierce occasionally told her father to be quiet.

Pierce, whose mother is French, grew up in Florida and was introduced to tennis at age 10 by her father. Within two years, she was winning big-time junior events.

Capriati, whose debut on the pro tour as a 14-year-old attracted global media attention, has shown slight signs of losing some zest for the tiring, high-pressured pace.

Only once this year has she gotten as far as a semifinal, losing in Key Biscayne to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

Pressed by reporters to discuss the possibility of burnout, Capriati said she sometimes resents the pressure.

"I go to school and I have all my friends and stuff, so I feel pretty normal," said Capriati, who defeated Karina Habsudova on Saturday despite playing with blisters on her left foot.

The two teen-agers played twice as juniors, and Capriati won both times. But Pierce has come on strongly in the past six months, improving her ranking to 15th.

"She's been playing well," Capriati said. "I'll just have to be on my toes."

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Re: 1992

Edberg flops as big guns bite the dust - French Open
The Sunday Times
London, England
Sunday, May 31, 1992
Sue Mott

THREE top seeds lost their taste for Beaujolais yesterday. The merest whiff of the stuff will remind Stefan Edberg, the world No2, of a centre court contest against the 21-year-old Russian, Andrei Cherkasov, which he lost in straight sets as Paris was going to dinner last night, still feasting on Henri Leconte's sumptuous victory over Michael Stich.

But any thoughts of dinnerwere soon spoilt with the surprise demise of No5 seed and former Open champion, Michael Chang, in a marathon five-set defeat by the Swede, Nicklas Kulti.

By the time Edberg's backhand volley slumped into the net as he tried to save the fourth match point, Stich, the reigning Wimbledon champion, was already jetting away from the 1992 French Open in search of a consolatory grass court.

Stich had been the unfortunate victim of an inspired Leconte in the third round, losing 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. To complete a trinity of outlandish results, spectators were treated to the sight of the 1989 French Open champion in full retreat. Michael Chang, the youngest ever to win the Open, struggled, defended and wrestled his way through a late-finishing epic 7-6 2-6 6-3 3-6 8-6, against the tall and powerful Kulti, who won the world junior title three years ago.

But Edberg had suffered a fate equally cruel. He feared he would not sleep last night as the memory of the loss replayed in his mind. Having saved two match points, he had skirmished his way back into the third set to the delight of a demonstrative audience. But during the crucial tie-break, an overruling by the American umpire presented Cherkasov with three match points.

``The ball was clearly on the line, right on the corner," the Russian said. ``Of course it was important because it gave me three match points, but I think it was the right call."

Edberg was philosophical: ``There's no point in talking about the calls. It was one of those days I didn't have the bit of luck I needed. But what can you say? It's gone. It's history. But at the time you feel like you want to sink into the ground."

The crowd howled and whistled at the prospect of the No2 seed being ejected from the tournament by a dodgy decision. But Edberg merely put his finger to his lips and tried to carve enough peace in the bedlam to continue. His next serve was unreturnable but the respite was temporary.

Despite wild shrieks from one Scandinavian supporter, wearing full Viking regalia, Edberg lost 6-4 6-3 7-6, and was also in search of green pastures by the end of an extraordinary day's play at Roland Garros.

As Chang saved four match points in the 10th game of the fifth set, it seemed only night would stop play. But as improbable drama mounted, the American went on to save four more match points before finally failing to shovel a volley over the net after four hours, 39 minutes of play.

His surprise defeat caused the death-by-cinders of every entrecot and chips in Paris as the crowd and huge television audience hung on every last, suspenseful shot. We should have known. From the moment John McEnroe uttered the immortal words: ``I am more the norm", referring to his on-court behaviour, it was obvious this French Open would take a turn for the bizarre.

Cherkasov's victory was only one part of the puzzle. Richard Krajicek, the Dutchman who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year, suffered a serious shoulder injury that may keep him out of Wimbledon, and Aaron Krickstein retired with a blister.

As for Jennifer Capriati, likewise plagued with a blister, her sudden loss of form may be explained by the fact she shares the same training techniques as the Scottish Cup finalists, Airdrie FC. Both went to see the film Basic Instinct replete with sex and violence as part of their plan to relax. She was far from comfortable in her 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Czechoslovakia's Karina Habsudova. Capriati now faces the 13th-seeded Mary Pierce in a potentially absorbing battle of big-hitting 16-year-olds.

Even a Briton was almost feted as a winner. Jo Durie left the court with a McEnroe-style salute. Not the type that gets the maverick American fined a few thousand pounds at selected Grand Slams, but the one-hander with which he farewells to the adoring crowds.

Few were openly adoring in Durie's case, but she deserved every ripple of sympathetic applause for a gruelling defeat that took her deft little Japanese opponent, Akiko Kijimuta, almost 2 1/2 hours to resolve.

A Briton losing in the first week of the French Open was not a radical departure from tradition, but the manner of Durie's 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 loss was far from pitiful. The Bristol City supporter, aged 31, suffered more crises than her football club last season, but still offered hope of victory until the final two exhausted games slipped to her rival.

``I can be proud of my performance today," she said. Absolutely true, despite the somewhat dispiriting fact that Kijimuta had entered the tournament having won only two games all year.

``I would have liked to play Seles before I retire," Durie said wistfully afterwards. As it is, Kijimuta will have that dubious honour, and can look forward to losing in the same time it takes Linford Christie to sprint 100 metres.

Against Durie, Kijimuta maintained a repetitive, prodding game with a dogged double-fisted backhand and the sort of aggression you would expect find at a Japanese tea ceremony. She had never before progressed beyond the third round of any Grand Slam. Although ranked 100 places above Kijimuta on the computer, the clay court favoured her fleet-footed rival. Durie knew it, ijimuta knew it, and eventually logic won out, although Durie's saving of five break points in the fifth game of the final set ranked as a temporary moral victory.

``Jo fought very hard," Durie's coach, Alan Jones, said, ``but her body language was bad." Fortunately, the strictures of world tennis do not yet include fines and bans for unseemly body language, nor for impersonation. Good news for Seles, who arrived in Paris disguised as a brunette. The manner of Seles's 6-0, 6-1 victory over Lori McNeil in 45 minutes, however, left little room for identity doubts. It was line-clipping tennis of enormous power and precision.

And so, the norm continues to be upset at Roland Garros this year. Leconte would be happy if it stayed that way. ``Who would you like in the final?" he was asked by a press person, bearing the sporting physique necessary for a life at the typewriter. ``You!" Leconte said.
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post #282 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 11:13 PM
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Re: 1992

Sunday, May 31, 1992

PARIS -- Jennifer Capriati meets Mary Pierce for the first time in the pros today, and what better place for the former Florida junior rivals to play than the French Open. This is Pierce's country now.

The 17-year-old, who has an American father and a French mother, left the United States two years ago, fed up with the USTA. She chose to represent France.

Jim Pierce predicted his daughter would become a star. Mary is ranked a career-high No. 15, seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam and in the perfect position to show up the USTA by beating Capriati.

''This is the biggest match of my career,'' Pierce said, after she defeated Andrea Strnadova 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in the third round Saturday.

''She's going to be tough. I have to be on my toes,'' said Capriati, 16, after she wore down Karina Habsudova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 for career victory No. 100.

Two-time defending champion Monica Seles, third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini and seventh-seeded Conchita Martinez also advanced to the Round of 16.

Seles smashed Lori McNeil 6-0, 6-1; Sabatini routed Julie Halard 6-1, 6-3 and Martinez downed Ann Grossman 6-2, 6-2.

The eliminations of McNeil and Grossman left Capriati as the lone American in the final 16 -- the lowest American representation in the Open Era (post- 1968).

And there was some doubt about Capriati after she lost the first set to the 40th-ranked Czech teen-ager and developed blisters on her left foot in the second. Capriati took an injury timeout for treatment after she won the second set, and she received further attention from trainer Kathleen Stroia of Boca Raton after she was broken at 2-1 in the third set.

Capriati quickly rebounded, winning the next four games easily to regain control of the match.

''I felt the blisters earlier, and then they just popped,'' Capriati said. ''Have you ever had a blister? It hurt a lot. It was a difficult match. She was hitting the ball so well and hitting it hard in the corners. I was defending myself a lot and hitting short. I think I'll have to play better (today).''

Capriati beat Pierce twice in the juniors.

''Jennifer was always playing the age division above me because she was too strong for the younger division,'' Pierce said. ''We used to be very good friends.''

Pierce has been trying to catch up to Capriati all her life.

Capriati won all the junior titles, turned pro and became a millionaire with endorsements before she hit a ball in a match. Capriati reached the final of her first tournament and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 13. She reached the Top 10 in her first season.

Pierce made Sports Illustrated, but she was the subject of a controversial story about a father with questionable motivational methods. Jim Pierce, a self-proclaimed Miami Beach bum before his marriage, never apologized for screaming at his daughter and coaching her like Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka. (Pierce reportedly got into a fight with a fan Saturday.)

Whatever the price, Pierce has progressed, moving from No. 106 at the end of 1990 to No. 26 last year to her current position.
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Re: 1992

Unseeded Hy rolls along Canadian advances to fourth-round date with Sabatini
The Toronto Star
Sunday, May 31, 1992

PARIS (CP-AP) - Patricia Hy of Richmond Hill moved into the fourth round of the French Open tennis championships yesterday and set up a meeting with Gabriela Sabatini.

The unseeded Hy played a smart match en route to a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Elena Brioukhouvets of Ukraine. The 26-year-old Canadian will face Sabatini, the No. 3 seed, today.

Hy is the last remaining hope for Canada in singles. But success also came in doubles as the two-week tournament nears its halfway point.

Jill Hetherington of Peterborough and American partner Kathy Rinaldi defeated the Australian team of Louise Field and Kirrily Sharpe, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 in the second round.

Hetherington also teamed with Glenn Michibata of Toronto to beat Florencia Labat and Javier Frana of Argentina, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round of mixed doubles.

Helen Kelesi of Richmond Hill, who isn't playing in this Grand Slam event, reached the quarterfinals of the 1988 and '89 tournaments here. A win over Sabatini, a difficult task, would put Hy into the quarterfinals.

"This is the farthest that I've been in a Grand Slam," said Hy, ranked No. 48 in the world. "I've been playing better each match."

Hy had a few problems after sweeping the first set.

"It was a struggle," she said. "I had a few match points and couldn't close it earlier. I'm happy it's over."

Sabatini has only lost five games in three matches here, but Hy said she's looking forward to facing the Argentine star.

"My next opponent is the favorite, but I've played her a few times and I'm not going to be overwhelmed," Hy said. "I'll just have to find a better strategy against her."

Playing in front of what's expected to be a crowd of 8,000 doesn't bother Hy.

"I love show courts," she said. "The more people watch me, the more I love it.

"I know what to expect. People will probably be cheering like crazy for her (Sabatini). But I'm pretty good at switching that back to me."
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Re: 1992

The Tampa Tribune
Sunday, May 31, 1992

To help fine-tune her already formidable game, defending French Open champion Monica Seles says she likes to watch Jim Courier and other top men's players on television - but only in limited doses.

"It's good to watch him,'' Seles said Saturday. "But the problem with me is if I watch whoever, let's say Courier, I will pick up his style of backhand. ... I don't like to watch them too long. I just like to watch a few certain shots.''


Seles had no plans to shop until she dropped in the trendy stores of Paris.

The 18-year-old Yugoslav had plenty of time for an afternoon's worth of strolls past the shops after her 45-minute victory over American Lori McNeil on Saturday in straight sets.

But Seles denies she is clothes-mad.

"I think I really got a reputation - which was wrong - that I always went shopping in every city,'' she said. "I do like to go out and look at stores.

"I can't always stay in the hotel room and watch other matches on TV. I get too nervous.

"Paris is a great city to walk in. Since I changed [to a darker] hair color, not too many people recognize me. But I think that the shopping stories were taken out of context.''


Everyone knows Paris is a great place for nightlife and cultural diversions. So what is Jennifer Capriati's idea of an outing in the City of Lights? A racy movie.

Asked Saturday to describe the most fun thing she had done while in town for the French Open , she blushed, giggled, paused, looked nervously at her father in the back of the interview room, and confessed, ""I saw a movie - 'Basic Instinct.' ''

She didn't elaborate. But the version of the erotic thriller showing in Paris is unexpurgated, with 45 seconds of sex and violence that were trimmed from the U.S. version.


The stenographic system used to record players' post-match comments at the French Open can be fairly hard on players who hem and haw or lack full command of English.

Japan's Akiko Kijimuta, who beat Britain's Jo Durie on Saturday to reach the round of 16, was asked how she had managed to turn around her game after struggling through most of the season.

"I don't know,'' she said. "I don't know either. I don't know. Maybe - I don't know. I don't know that, sorry.''
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Re: 1992

French remembered WWI flying ace when they named their Open stadium
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Sunday, May 31, 1992

To Americans, it is the "French Open" or more familiarly "The French." But for Parisians of any generation, this increasingly hallowed tournament is known by one name and one name only: "Roland Garros."

"We've never called it anything else," said Simone Forterre, 77. "But I'm not certain that everybody remembers who Roland Garros was."

He was not, as trivia buffs on either side of the Atlantic may already know, a tennis star, although he did play recreationally. Roland Garros was an aviator.

Born in 1888 on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, Garros attended a prestigious university in Paris, then embarked on a barnstorming tour of the United States in 1910. He was billed as the pilot who "shook hands with death," and his high-altitude derring-do earned him the monicker "Cloud Kisser" from the American press. He returned home, and in 1913 became the first to fly from France to Tunisia.

Five years later and only five weeks before an armistice ended World War I, Garros was killed in action near the Ardennes. He remained just another French war hero until 1927, when one of his former classmates insisted the tennis stadium soon to be built on the western outskirts of Paris be named in his honor.

Today, Stade Roland Garros is the site of the world's most famous claycourt tournament -- a Grand Slam event that remained aloof from the American public for years before drawing its attention in the 1980s.

The images most Americans guard of the French Open are not as rich as those from Wimbledon, nor as encyclopedic as those from Forest Hills and Flushing Meadow, but they have burgeoned rapidly in number and power: Yannick Noah flying exultantly into his father's arms; soulmates Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova trading victories; John McEnroe at the height of his powers losing his edge against Ivan Lendl; Michael Chang fighting off cramps and older, stronger men to shock the world; Andre Agassi and Jim Courier unleashing Bollettieri Academy forehands of remarkable force.

And then, of course, there is the clay: red and thus exotic. Staring at it on television, we imagine it as smooth and slightly damp, like the clay we molded in elementary school. The surprise in person is that the surface is loose and granular: nothing much more than Har-Tru gone red.

The French, for their part, don't call it clay; they call it "terre battue" (beaten earth), which seems logical enough considering the surface is made of crushed brick. Experts like Gilles Delamarre, the author of the definitive French-language history of the Open, claim no definitive proof exists to date the origins of terre battue in France. But stories circulate nonetheless.

The most credible concerns the Renshaw brothers, Englishmen and former Wimbledon champions, who constructed the first grass courts in the Mediterranean city of Cannes in 1878. When the dry climate caused the grass to turn brown, then die, the brothers allegedly decided to make the best of a bad situation and covered the courts with red dust to add color.

The extremely thin layer of red brick serves much the same purpose today. The 2-inch layer of white limestone underneath it is what actually determines the court's bounce and quality, but white would never do as a surface because it reflects the sun and would impair the players' vision. Crushed red brick is easier on the eyes and more conducive to long, graceful slides.

Though terre battue is the court of choice at Stade Roland Garros, it does not hold the same status in France. Of the nation's 34,000 courts in 1991, only 5,900 were clay. The rest were hardcourts or rubberized indoor surfaces: a testimony to the country's increasing year-round passion for the game. In 1975, there were 311,382 registered players in France. Today, there are more than 1,300,000 -- a number that is likely to keep increasing in the wake of the nation's emotional Davis Cup victory in December.

"The sport has experienced a remarkable boom," Delamarre said. "And that boom has translated into a more popular tournament."

As recently as 1984, it was possible to walk up and buy a ticket for the men's final on the day it was played. That is no longer remotely possible. This year's tournament was sold out before it began, and scalpers were asking 450 francs (around 80 dollars) for Court Central tickets during the first round.

"Twelve years ago or so, there was no one here early in the first week," remembered Richard Evans, a spokesman for the ATP Tour. "Now you've got to fight your way through a crowd to get to an outside court."

Elbow room is indeed a problem at present-day Roland Garros. Lines are long for crepes, sandwiches and T-shirts. Narrow passageways teem with upwardly mobile fans in wide-brimmed hats and designer sunglasses (French fans are thankfully less inclined than Americans to attend matches in their favorite tennis outfit). The few open patches of grass are covered with reclining bodies.

"It takes them just two weeks to undo 11 months of work," said gardener Robert Grignard, who since 1965 has lived in a small cottage on the Roland Garros grounds. "We planted 20,000 flowers before this tournament, and we'll have to do it all again next year. But I don't mind. That's the price of success."

For Philippe Chatrier, the influential president of the French Tennis Federation, expansion has long been the only solution. With only 15 acres, Stade Roland Garros is 30 acres smaller than Wimbledon and five acres smaller than the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, N.Y. Though the Court Central here seats 16,000, the stadium's second show court, Number One, has a capacity of only 4,500. Beaucoup francs

Profits, however, continue to grow. Total earnings climbed from 146 million francs in 1988 to an estimated 240 million ($44 million) in 1991. The tournament is now televised live in nearly 70 countries, among them Indonesia, Zaire and Peru. The downside to all this success is commercialization. Boutiques and corporate booths are ubiquitous.

"It's lost a little bit of its charm," admitted Australian journalist Alan Trengrove, who first covered the tournament in 1962. "But of the four Grand Slams, it's still my favorite."

The players aren't arguing. In a magazine poll published last year, a majority named the French Open the best organized and most enjoyable of the big four. And why not? Aside from the usual complimentary transport and lodging, the French Open was the first Grand Slam to provide a nursery for players' children and an on-site hair stylist.

Paris certainly does no harm to the tournament's popularity, either. Located on the southern outskirts of the huge public park, the Bois de Boulogne, Stade Roland Garros is within minutes of the heart of the city. The Eiffel Tower is visible from the upper reaches of the Court Central.

"The intimacy may be missing now, but the setting remains so pretty here next to the Bois de Boulogne," said San Diego tennis promoter Racquel Giscafre, a women's semifinalist here in 1975. "I still prefer red clay and a ham sandwich to grass and strawberries and cream."

Contrary to popular belief (even in France), Stade Roland Garros is not a private club. Nor is it open to the public. The complex serves as headquarters of the French Tennis Federation, and the only people who can play here without an invitation are members of the Davis Cup and national development squad. A handful of promising juniors actually live on the grounds -- just as Noah did years before he won the tournament.

"I remember Noah and Henri Leconte running around here as teen-agers," said Grignard, the gardener. "They'd come back and look at my flowers once in a while."

Besides Grignard and the juniors, the only other permanent residents at Stade Roland Garros are a small group of workmen of Algerian origin who are experts at claycourt (make that brickcourt) maintenance.

"They all come from the same village in Algeria," Delamarre said. "The first one arrived about 30 years ago, and his cousins and brothers are still here."

It bears remembering that Stade Roland Garros would not exist at all if four young Frenchmen hadn't taken the tennis world by storm in September 1927 in Philadelphia. It was there that Jacques Brugnon, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste won their nation's first Davis Cup title against the United States. A rematch was scheduled in France the next summer, and because of the immense interest, a new stadium had to be built in less than a year.

The Four Musketeers are still present at Roland Garros: Their bronze statues rim a circular square outside the Court Central. The square is normally empty, but this year is different. Glittering magnificently inside a showcase is the Davis Cup, finally regained after 59 years of frustration.

"We might not all remember Roland Garros," said Grignard, "but I know we'll never forget the Musketeers."
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