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post #301 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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Re: 1992

Tuesday, June 2, 1992

PARIS -- The honor of American tennis is safe. Jennifer Capriati beat Mary Pierce 6-4, 6-3 at the French Open Monday, and Jim Pierce may have to shut up for a while.

Capriati took that challenge in stride, and now she challenges two-time defending champion Monica Seles in today's quarterfinals at Roland Garros. No longer is anyone suggesting that the Florida teen-ager should have stayed home.

''My motivation is very high, and I'm really excited to play the next match,'' said Capriati, who has won seven of eight matches since a dreadful 8-5 start, during which she tried to balance the demands of pro tennis with the traumas of teen-age life.

Capriati seems to be keeping her chin up again as she prepares for her third big match with Seles in nine months. Seles broke Capriati's heart in the U.S. Open semifinals, winning a third-set tiebreaker, but Capriati got revenge with a 6-2, 7-6 stunner at Lipton in March.

Capriati first played Seles here two years ago when, at 14, she became the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist.

Another rivalry was born on center court Monday, but the eagerly awaited teen tussle had little drama.

Pierce, the 17-year-old French-American girl who plays under the tricolore now, led 3-2, love-40 but then self-destructed.

''I felt I should have won the match,'' said Pierce, whose 45 unforced errors (to 31 for Capriati) was her undoing. ''I played like I wanted to and how I was supposed to, but I made too many mistakes and gave the match away.''

''Three-2, love-40, that was match point right there,'' said Jim Pierce, Mary's father and coach. ''If Mary gets to 5-2, the match is over.

''But Mary lost that game and collapsed mentally. Mary is not mature yet. She should have dominated that match. If she had done what I told her to do the whole match, she would have won. Jennifer won it because of Mary's inexperience.''

Pierce netted a backhand on the first break point, then muffed an easy overhead into the net -- a shot she will have nightmares over -- and let out a pained yelp. When Pierce netted a forehand on the third break point, Capriati was out of danger.

Capriati won 10 of the next 12 points for a 5-3 lead. She served out the first set two games later. Capriati built a 4-1 lead in the second set, then dropped a pair of games. Capriati held at deuce for 5-3, then broke Pierce for the match.

''She played unbelievably, hitting winners, then she would have a lapse,'' said Capriati, who beat Pierce twice in Florida junior tournaments. ''It was hard playing like that, up and down, because I never knew what to expect.''

Capriati managed to stay cool during Pierce's strong start.

''I thought of Mary as just another player, and that helped me not to be nervous,'' Capriati said. ''I just went out and played my game.''

''It was a bigger match for Jennifer,'' Jim Pierce said. ''No way she can lose that match. All those USTA cronies were on their knees, praying that Mary wouldn't beat their girl.

''Mary should have won, and she will win in the future, as soon as she gets mature. No one is going to be able to beat her. She's going to be the dominant player of the 90s.''

Papa Pierce doesn't base his prediction on one match. He said he saw the future when Mary played Seles in Barcelona last month.

''Mary led 4-0, 30-15, then she got a bad call,'' he said. ''Seles rode out the storm and won 7-6, 6-4. Mary doesn't know how good she is, but when she gets mature, she'll be playing like a German shepherd.''

Pierce won't be barking at Wimbledon. She is skipping the tournament to represent France at the Federation Cup and the Olympics.

''Anyone can win on grass,'' Jim Pierce said. ''This is the greatest tournament in the world. Clay is tennis.''

Capriati is the last U.S. hope to win the French Open . In today's other quarterfinals, Steffi Graf takes on Natalia Zvereva, Gabriela Sabatini meets Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario faces Manon Bollegraf.


Jim Pierce added to his hard-boiled reputation when he punched out two French fans during one of his daughter's matches last week.

''They were making fun of Mary and I told then to shut up,'' Pierce said. ''One guy grabbed me and jerked me around, so I drilled him. Two of them went down and I was still standing.''

Then, looking at his left hand: ''My thumb's still swollen.''


The Capriatis, unhappy with media treatment this year, are resisting U.S. television interviews.

Jennifer refused to talk to NBC's Chris Evert after her match Saturday, but after reconsidering, consented to an interview Monday after beating Pierce. The piece will air during Friday's telecast.

Capriati has refused to talk to ESPN's Mary Carillo because Carillo had been critical of her at the Australian Open.
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post #302 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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Re: 1992

TENNIS; Dutiful Capriati Ousts an Old Friend
June 2, 1992
New York Times

PARIS, June 1— Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce, the most famous daddy's girls in women's tennis now that Steffi Graf has become her own person, glared at each other across the net.

Capriati shook her ponytail menacingly; Pierce whipped her python-sized blonde braid in reply. Capriati adjusted her signature-line Diadora skirt. Pierce smoothed the sleeve of her off-the-rack Ellesse shirt.

The crowd muttered and murmured, uncertain about pledging allegiance to the untested Pierce, who has adopted France for a home base, or sticking with Capriati, who riveted the spectators two years ago when she was the youngest semifinalist in French Open history.

Why All the Commotion?

"I didn't feel the drama," said Pierce, currently ranked a career-high 15th in the world, after mental letdowns produced 45 unforced errors that led to her 6-4, 6-3 loss.

But more than just a quarterfinal berth against top-seeded Monica Seles was at stake as the two girls, once friends in childhood but now separated in adolescence by distance and dreams and dollars, tangled under a low cloud cover on center court at Roland Garros.

Would Capriati, the pampered 16-year-old from Florida, a girl with her own B.M.W. in the garage of her brand-new home at the prestigious resort where she trains and attends private school, prevail in her first career meeting against the 17-year-old, who moved to France three years ago because she "didn't have anywhere to practice or anybody to help" her in the United States?

Burly Presence

Their dads were certainly dying to know. Up in the friends' box, Stefano Capriati, a burly man inclined to take offense at the slightest criticism of his daughter, sat four seats away from Jim Pierce, a burly man inclined to bully any person foolish enough to offer the slightest criticism of his daughter.

Capriati kept a poker face while his counterpart, who tends toward histrionics, kept his hands clasped in front of him at the ready to clap or pray -- but not to punch.

Although Pierce later found fault with his daughter's performance, the etiquette observed by both entourages during the match was straight out of Amy Vanderbilt.

Things weren't so convivial out on the court.

Matching Boom for Boom

Jennifer Capriati, a card-carrying member of the power-tennis generation, found herself staring down the barrel of a similar gun today: Pierce, just an inch shy of 6 feet with muscles to match, hits the ball just as powerfully, albeit not as reliably, as Capriati does.

"It didn't seem like she was more powerful than me," said Pierce of Capriati, who didn't deny it.

Pierce boomed forehands to the corners, sent searing backhands down the line, and broke Capriati at love to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set.

"I don't really feel the rivalry between her and I," Pierce said. "I just went out to try and play against the ball, really."

Capriati stormed back by seizing five consecutive games. After claiming the first set when Pierce sailed a backhand long, Capriati broke for 1-0 when Pierce bobbled a forehand volley and used two aces to help her hold serve for 2-0. Pierce tried to fight her way back from a 1-4 hole, but Capriati refused to allow it.

On Tuesday, Capriati will face Seles, who has a 4-2 career edge. When they last met, in March at Key Biscane, Capriati won in straight sets, snapping Seles's dual streaks of reaching 21 finals and winning 27 straight matches.


In the other quarterfinals, the underdogs will be more obvious: second-seeded STEFFI GRAF faces NATALYA ZVEREVA, who hasn't beaten her in eight attempts; fourth-seeded ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO plays unseeded MANON BOLLEGRAF, who upset 12th-seeded NATHALIE TAUZIAT; third-seeded GABRIELA SABATINI, who has lost only nine games in four matches, meets seventh-seeded CONCHITA MARTINEZ.
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Re: 1992

FRENCH OPEN / WOMEN : Capriati Wins on Father-Daughters' Day
June 02, 1992

PARIS — When it was over, after Jennifer Capriati defeated Mary Pierce, 6-4, 6-3, in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday, their fathers shook hands.

Many among the 12,000 spectators at Center Court were expecting something more exciting. But Stefano Capriati and Jim Pierce, excitable fathers who coach their teen-age daughters, were on their best behavior.

That left the daughters, whose lives have been as public as a TV sitcom, to bang away for 1 hour 24 minutes.

In what is regarded as the future of women's tennis, Capriati showed the poise that has helped her rise quickly in the professional ranks, and Pierce showed the promise that could lead to a top-10 ranking soon.

Although Pierce, seeded 13th, fell apart after leading, 3-1, in the first set, she still gave Capriati fits.

"She has gotten a lot stronger," said Capriati, seeded fifth.

The last time they met, they were Florida juniors building reputations--theirs and their fathers'.

Pierce, who rocks on the edge of his seat while watching his daughter, is a volatile fellow. Last Friday, he said, he got into an argument with two fans in the stands and hit them.

Confrontation comes easily to Pierce, a meaty man who dresses in black. He moved his family to France three years ago when the United States Tennis Assn. decided to subsidize Capriati instead of his daughter.

Pierce, 17, said she did not have anyone to practice with in Florida.

"I was just with my brother, my father on public courts," she said.

Because her mother, Yannick, is French, the family was welcomed here. Mary Pierce said the French Tennis Federation supplied her with courts and practice partners, all of which have made the transition easier. Pierce was one of two French women to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros. The other, Nathalie Tauziat, also lost Monday.

As much as Pierce downplays her father's influence, however, it is clear that he distracts her. She often yells at him to be quiet during matches.

"I shouldn't let that affect me, but I mean, we have talked about it a lot," she said. "He doesn't try to distract me, but I guess sometimes he does."

Even more has been made of Capriati's rebellion against her father, who is determined to see her reach No. 1. Sometimes, it seems, he wants it more than she does.

When motivated, though, Capriati is outstanding.

After a slow start against Pierce, she attacked with steady ground strokes. By the time the second set was under way, a frustrated Pierce was lecturing herself after each passing winner.

Pierce had a golden chance to win a second service break and take 4-2 lead when she made the first major error that eventually led to her downfall. Calling it her favorite shot, Pierce flubbed an overhead while leading, 15-40. Pierce, who lives near Nice in the south of France, shrieked after the mistake, then went on to commit five unforced errors in the game to lose it. Instead of leading 4-2, she was tied, 3-3.

Pierce said she played according to her father's strategy, but simply missed some easy shots.

"I gave it away," she said.

Jim Pierce, however, told reporters his daughter did not do what she was told.

Capriati, who lives in Saddlebrook, Fla., was aware that Pierce is fierce when she gains confidence. So it was to her relief that Pierce started missing.

The victory helped Capriati, 16, become the only American to reach today's quarterfinals, where she will face top-ranked Monica Seles, a Yugoslav living in Florida. Seles, 18, holds a 4-2 lead over Capriati, who won in their last meeting at Key Biscayne, Fla.

"I'm very eager to play the next match," Capriati said, sounding enthusiastic for the first time in a week.

Tennis Notes

Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, seeded third, plays Conchita Martinez of Spain, seeded seventh, in a quarterfinal match today. Sabatini is 7-2 against Martinez. The winner will meet the Monica Seles-Jennifer Capriati winner in Thursday's semifinals. . . . No. 57 Manon Bollegraf of the Netherlands eliminated No. 14 Nathalie Tauziat of France, reaching a quarterfinal match against No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain. . . . No. 2 Steffi Graf will play No. 28 Natalia Zvereva of Belarus in the other quarterfinal. Zvereva has won only one set from Graf in eight matches.

In men's play, the survivor of the Andre Agassi-Pete Sampras match will play the winner of the Jim Courier-Goran Ivanisevic quarterfinal. . . . In the bottom half of the men's draw, where some of the higher seeded players were upset Saturday, No. 94 Nicklas Kulti of Sweden plays No. 200 Henri Leconte of France. Kulti needed 3 hours 12 minutes to eliminate Diego Perez of Uruguay, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Leconte, a wild-card qualifier, defeated No. 108 Marcelo Filippini of Uruguay, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Petr Korda, seeded seventh, advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Jaime Oncins of Brazil, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Korda will face clay-court specialist Andrei Cherkasov of Moscow, a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) victor over Cedric Pioline of France. . . . Kulti, on facing French favorite Leconte: "It's going to be great fun to play out there. I played Davis Cup in the Philippines and the crowd was pushing. You could say I'm pretty much used to (the noise)." . . . John McEnroe and Andre Agassi, seriously playing doubles for the first time, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over former UC Irvine players Mike Briggs and Trevor Kronemann.

A controversial plan to change the let rule in tennis fell out of court Monday when the International Tennis Federation postponed a decision. The change would allow a serve that clips the net and lands in to count as being in play instead of being replayed. But the ITF's management committee decided not to recommend the change until more discussions are held with representatives of the men's and women's tours.
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Re: 1992

Capriati puts away erratic Pierce
Tuesday, June 2, 1992
Doug Smith

PARIS - Mary Pierce, at 5-10 1/2, is 3 1/2 inches taller than childhood rival Jennifer Capriati.

``In the juniors, she was kind of like, smaller than me,'' Capriati said. ``She has grown!''

But Pierce, 17, showed in a French Open fourth-round match Monday that she has a bit more growing to do before she can compete at the level of Capriati, 16.

The anticipated drama between the tournament's youngest entrants didn't materialize as No. 5 Capriati turned back No. 13 Pierce 6-4, 6-3 in their first meeting as professionals.

Pierce began the match hitting winners from everywhere. She broke Capriati in the fourth game to lead 3-1. After Capriati broke back, Pierce led 40-0, then went on a wild streak, losing the game on five consecutive unforced errors. Pierce's brief bursts of brilliance often were followed by longer streaks of wildness.

``Sometimes (she) just played unbelievable,'' Capriati said. ``And then other times, it is like, she would have a lapse.''

KULTI ROLLS ON: Swedish upstart Nicklas Kulti, who upset former French Open champion Michael Chang last weekend, continued his unexpected run with a 6-0, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory against Uruguay's Diego Perez Monday.

He continued a streak of a Swede reaching the round of 16 every year since 1978. The title has been won 10 times by a Swede.-

AGASSI-MAC ADVANCE: Unseeded Andre Agassi and John McEnroe reached the doubles quarterfinals, defeating Mike Briggs and Trevor Kronemann 6-2, 6-1. Doubles is wide open with the top eight seeds, including defending champions John Fitzgerald and Anders Jarryd, out by the third round. Agassi has worn uncustomary white, including a white baseball cap. ``I haven't won a doubles match in a few years, so I figure it's a lucky hat,'' he said. ... The International Tennis Federation Monday postponed a decision on a controversial change to the let rule. The proposed change would allow a serve that clips the net and lands in to remain in play.
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Re: 1992

American charge led by Sampras, Agassi
The Tampa Tribune
Tuesday, June 2, 1992
STEPHEN WILSON, of The Associated Press

At last, it's time for the marquee matchups at the French Open.

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi won in straight sets Monday to set up an all-American quarterfinal, while Jennifer Capriati advanced to a women's quarterfinal against Monica Seles.

The two matches headline the center court lineup today at Roland Garros.

Playing what he said was the best clay-court match of his career, Sampras beat Germany's Carl-Uwe Steeb 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Agassi, displaying a new-found confidence that he described as arrogance, defeated Emilio Sanchez of Spain 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 in the completion of a rain-interrupted match.

Capriati, the last American in the women's field, outplayed fellow teen-ager Mary Pierce 6-4, 6-3 in the first match of what could develop into a long rivalry. Then she turned her attention to Seles, the top seed and two-time defending champion.

"Right now my motivation is very high and I'm very eager to play the next match,'' said the 16-year-old Capriati, who lives at Saddlebrook Resort. "Yeah, I am really excited to play.''

So are Sampras and Agassi, who have each lost only one set so far and seem to get stronger with each round.

Agassi, who has reached the finals here the past two years, was expected to get this far. But Sampras, who beat Agassi in the final of the 1990 U.S. Open, has never been considered a major threat on clay - until now.

Only six weeks ago, Sampras lost 6-3, 6-3 to Steeb on clay in Monte Carlo.

Sampras, who is seeded No. 3, said he believes he can win the tournament because the balls are light and the clay courts are faster than normal.

"It's a surface you can definitely serve and volley on and be aggressive,'' he said. "I am pretty fond of the clay right now.''

Sampras said his serve remains his biggest weapon. Against Steeb, he served 16 aces, put in 65 percent of his first serves and was never broken.

"My serve is really going to have to come through against Andre,'' he said. "He has one of the best returns in the game. He really steps in and can really crack some serves.''

Agassi did just that Monday against Sanchez, who won the last meeting between the two at Indian Wells, Calif., in March, 6-3, 6-1.

This time, Agassi dominated Sanchez from beginning to end.

"This really illustrates how far my game has come, physically and mentally,'' said Agassi, the 11th seed. "The fact that I won as comfortably as I did really gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the week.''

Agassi, who has often lacked confidence and motivation in regular tournaments, said everything changes when he plays in a Grand Slam event.

"It taps a part of me that I don't see as much as I would really like to,'' he said. "When I play a Grand Slam I am very arrogant the way I feel out there. I feel like I am unbeatable at times.''

Agassi said he was surprised that Sampras had gone this far and questioned whether he could continue his run all the way to the final.

"To play clay for two weeks consistently, I am not sure he is up to that,'' he said. "But I am not going to take it lightly. It's going to be a very tough, intense match. If I don't stay focused, I guarantee you I won't be going to the semifinals.''

The Capriati-Pierce match was nearly as interesting for the contrast between their fathers in the guest box as for the tennis.

Jim Pierce, clad in black T-shirt, shorts and dark sunglasses, rocked back and forth, clutching his knees nervously throughout the match. He held up his hands in applause for his daughter's winners, and covered his face with his hands after her errors.

Stefano Capriati sat impassively nearby. The two men never looked at each other until the match was over, then shared a quick handshake.

The turning point in the match came when Pierce, leading 3-2 in the first set, failed to break serve after going ahead 0-40. On one of the break points, Pierce misplayed a relatively easy overhead.

Capriati won seven out of eight games to go up 2-0 in the second set and cruised the rest of the way.

It was the first pro match between the two since they played each other in the juniors in Florida.

"I felt like I should have won,'' said Pierce, a former Tampa resident. "I played like I wanted to and how I am supposed to. I just gave away the match. I made too many mistakes.''

The statistics bore her out. She committed 45 unforced errors, compared to 31 for Capriati.

Pierce teamed with Saddlebrook's Jared Palmer to win a second-round mixed doubles match over fifth-seeded Gigi Fernandez and Kelly Jones, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

Brian Dunn of Brandon lost his second-round match in the boys junior event, falling 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to Bjorn Jacob of Germany.
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Re: 1992

Capriati, Pierce unfazed by their first pro meeting
St. Petersburg Times
Tuesday, June 2, 1992
Author: Compiled from Wire Reports

Neither Jennifer Capriati nor Mary Pierce was too excited about their match Monday, won 6-4, 6-3 by Capriati.

The two had met in junior tournaments in Florida but this meeting was their first as pros.

Capriati, 16, who trains at Saddlebrook in Wesley Chapel, called it "just another match.''

"That's the way I wanted to think of it. That's what helped me not to be nervous,'' she said. "I just thought she is another player and you just still go out there and play your game.''

Pierce, 17, a part-time Tampa resident, agreed.

"I really didn't feel the drama,'' she said. "I thought I played just like I was supposed to.''

The match between the youngest players left in the field drew plenty of famous fans. Defending men's champion Jim Courier watched the match from start to finish, as did Chris Evert, on hand as a commentator for NBC.

Capriati is ranked sixth in the world, Pierce 15th. But Pierce isn't sure: "I can't really see a very big difference.''

Pierce-Capriati, part II

ESPN commentator Mary Carillo had this to say about the fathers of Pierce and Capriati during the cablecast Monday: "These are two of the most difficult and dangerous fathers in tennis. And there have been some lulus.''

"In many ways, there is a tragedy going on here,'' said Carillo, saying the lives of the two teenagers have been dominated by their fathers.

During the match, the two fathers - Jim Pierce and Stefano Capriati - sat in the same row overlooking center court and were separated only by Capriati's agent, John Evert. The dads didn't speak but briefly shook hands when it was over.

'Let rule' change postponed

A plan to change the let rule was tabled when the International Tennis Federation (ITF) postponed a decision until more talks are held.

The proposed change would allow a serve that clips the net and lands in to count as being in play instead of being retaken.

But the ITF's management committee decided not to recommend the change until more discussions are held with representatives of the men's and women's tours.

Many players have criticized the proposed rule change, originally put forward as a way to speed up the game.
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Re: 1992

Ivanisevic and Seles split on their political role - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Tuesday, June 2, 1992
From Andrew Longmore

THE people of Croatia have other things on their mind at present, but not even the destruction of civil war can spoil their sport. This afternoon, on the centre court in Roland Garros, their champion, Goran Ivanisevic, will play Jim Courier for a place in the semi-final of the French Open. As much of Croatia that can find a television set will forget the troubles and watch.

``Everyone not on the front will see it, even if they are huddled in basements and burnt-out buildings," Milo Dusanovic, head of sport for Croatian television, said. ``The Serbs have destroyed seven out of nine of our transmitters, but we have still managed to operate duringthe war. We have tricked them."

With a virtual news black-out in Croatia, Ivanisevic's tennis and his unequivocal support for the cause has been an important factor in the struggle for independence.

Ivanisevic, who is from Split, and his compatriot, Goran Prpic, have taken every opportunity to talk about the war and, while they have consistently condemned the carnage, they have left nobody in doubt which side they are on.

Monica Seles, on the other hand, has sat firmly on the fence amid the troubles, an attitude that has riled Ivanisevic and strained their long-standing friendship. Two days ago, Ivanisevic suggested that Seles ``didn't care" about her country and when asked in a radio interview who he thought Seles played for, allegedly replied ``for her black hair".

Seles has maintained a silence that is either dignified or craven, depending on your outlook.

``She must know what is going on and she must take some responsibility for talking about it," Dusanovic said. ``She is the best player in the world and she must say something. We are very disappointed with her."

Seles, though, is in a more delicate position than Ivanisevic. She is from Vojvodina, a small enclave within Serbia that enjoys enough independence to run its own police force and which accommodates at least 30 different ethnic minorities, including Hungarian. Her father, Karoly, is Hungarian and Seles speaks Hungarian within the family, but is also fluent in Serbo-Croat. Vojvodina has largely stayed free from the troubles and, with relatives still in her home town of Novi Sad, Seles is understandably war of stirring up trouble unnecessarily.

Underlying Ivanisevic's criticism, though, is the widespread feeling that, like Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl, Seles will forsake her country and take US citizenship. She has been living in Florida for the past six years and would qualify for a passport soon on the grounds of residency.

``She doesn't need a US passport," Alex Pasternak, editor of a sports magazine in Slovenia, said. ``As Gary Kasparov, the chess player, says, `Why should I change when I can have the best of east and west?' She is not closing the door if she wishes to come back."

It is a faint hope that she will be persuaded to return to Yugoslavia, even when she has retired. But the threat that the UN sanctions might spread to individuals as well as teams could finally persuade her that becoming a US citizen would be the safest option.

Meanwhile, Dusanovic is convinced that banning the Yugoslavs from the European football championship, the Olympics and national team events in tennis such as the Davis Cup and Federation Cup will have an immediate and dramatic effect on a people who love their sport. ``It is better than stopping the oil, because that is in the future. Sport is now," he said.

``They don't have a lot of things, but they care deeply about their sport. It's like the Roman Empire. Bread and games. The government is now not giving them either, so pressure will come to change the government."

Tonight, the Croatian and Yugoslav press corps have a dilemma of their own. Do they boycott the special dinner organised by the International Tennis Federation to honour the year's champions, Stefan Edberg and Monica Seles? Some are threatening to do so.
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Re: 1992

Downpour Strands Motorists in Paris
Tulsa World
Tuesday, June 2, 1992

PARIS (AP) - The city of light was darkened Monday as a springtime downpour cut off electricity and halted public transport throughout the French capital. Even President Francois Mitterand's office was without power for a time.

A campground in the verdant Bois de Bologne park west of Paris was under 5 feet of water. About 140 people were stranded in cars and tunnels, and hundreds were evacuated from flooded homes.

Train tracks at the Gare du Nord were flooded, disrupting commuter rail and subway service into the late afternoon. Service was also cut at the waterlogged Gare Saint Lazare station.

About 25,000 homes and offices lost power, including the presidential Elysee Palace and the U.S., British and Japanese embassies, Electricite de France said.

Service to these priority clients was restored about 8 a.m., but more than 7,500 homes and offices remained without electricity hours later, the utility said.

The weather service said about three inches of rain drenched Paris between dusk and dawn. In one two-hour period, 1.7 inches of rain fell, it said.

Meteorologists said such storms occur in the region about once a decade.

The heavy rains followed scattered showers throughout last week that poured into the Seine, causing a massive fish kill. More than 300 tons of dead fish had been retrieved by Monday, authorities said.

Flooding and mudslides cut several major highways leading to the capital, including the roads connecting Paris to Lille, Beauvais and Amiens. Most roads were reopened by the afternoon.

Electricity was interrupted several times at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium outside Paris, but play continued Monday. Rain had delayed play during the previous five days.
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Re: 1992

Wednesday, June 3, 1992

PARIS -- This hasn't been Jennifer Capriati's year, and this wasn't her French Open.

Capriati's only 1992 highlight has been beating Monica Seles at Lipton, and the No. 1 player in the world wasn't going to let that happen again, not at Roland Garros, her red-clay throne.

Seles, the two-time defending French Open champion, whipped Capriati 6-2, 6-2 Tuesday to reach the semifinals with a familiar supporting cast.

This year's semifinals are the same as last year's: Seles against Gabriela Sabatini and Steffi Graf against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

The top four seeds will play Thursday, but it wasn't always a done deal on a day when there was more rain than tennis.

Two men's quarterfinals were scheduled, but only one started. Defending champion Jim Courier led Goran Ivanisevic 6-2, 6-1, 2-6 when play was suspended by darkness. The Andre Agassi-Pete Sampras match was postponed.

The French Open hopes to complete the entire men's quarterfinal round today, but more rain is possible.

Sabatini and Graf, last year's semifinal losers, were both extended to three sets. Sabatini, the third seed, won 12 of the last 14 games to turn back seventh-seeded Conchita Martinez 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

''I was a little bit tense and that didn't help much,'' said Sabatini, who was down 0-3 in the second set. ''Then I started to move her around more and attack more.''

Graf, the second seed, outlasted unseeded Natalia Zvereva 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3.

The Sabatini and Graf morning matches began and finished in a light rain. The other two quarterfinals went on four hours later, around 5:30 p.m.

''I felt real fresh and excited to go out,'' Capriati said. ''When it rained, I got tired from just waiting around and I got a little unfocused.''

Capriati led 2-0 in each set, but Seles sped past her each time. The match was over in an hour and a minute.

''It was such a quick match, not like the other ones,'' said Capriati, who battled Seles through three titantic sets at the 1991 U.S. Open, their last Grand Slam match. Capriati beat Seles 6-2, 7-6 at Lipton.

''I started well, but after that I don't know what happened. Like that (Capriati snapped her fingers), it was over.''

It was over because Capriati committed 37 unforced errors to 19 for Seles, who played it safe in the heavy conditions.

''I tried to play different than I did at Lipton,'' Seles said. ''This week, my ground strokes and hitting hard have not gone well. I knew that I am probably not going to outhit her.

''From the Akiko Kijimuta match (Seles was down 4-1 in the third set before winning the final five games) and before, I said, 'try to keep the ball in play and run down a lot of balls.' It was good that I was able to run down a lot of balls today.''

''Monica didn't have to do that much,'' Capriati said. ''She kept the ball in play and waited for me to make a mistake, and eventually I would.''

After being upset by Martinez in the Round of 16 last year, Capriati was seeded to reach the quarterfinals this time and did, but her performance was unimpressive. She was stretched to three sets by German Beate Reinstadler in the first round, and then again by Czech Karina Habsudova in the third round. Capriati stopped Mary Pierce, but Pierce had command of the match before she folded.

This time, Seles was not the magic potion to her troubled season.

''It's disappointing, because I know I've beaten her before,'' said Capriati, who lost to Seles in the semifinals two years ago in her Grand Slam debut.

''To lose without a real battle. I wanted to do better and I thought I could.''

Capriati returns to Florida today, after a tiring European stretch that started with an early loss to Amanda Coezter at the Italian Open. She will regroup and practice on the new grass courts at Saddlebrook in preparation for Wimbledon in 2 1/2 weeks.

Capriati had an incredible summer last year, reaching the Wimbledon and U.S. Open semifinals and winning tournaments in San Diego and Toronto.

Capriati must do equally well just to keep her ranking points and preserve her No. 6 status. It won't be easy.

''I don't think I'm stepping back,'' Capriati said. ''I've proven to myself that in other matches, in other tournaments, I have beaten top players.''
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post #310 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2013, 06:04 PM
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Re: 1992

Seles breezes past Capriati to join summit meeting - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Wednesday, June 3, 1992
From Andrew Longmore, Tennis Correspondent, in Paris

IT TOOK Monica Seles just over an hour yesterday to answer the recent questions about her form. After struggling desperately to beat a player ranked 150 in the world in the previous round, the defending champion lost just four games in outplaying the No.5 seed, Jennifer Capriati, in a quarter-final of the French Open tennis championships.

On a day interrupted by heavy rain, the other three top seeds joined Seles to make this year's semi-finals in the women's singles Steffi Graf v Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Gabriela Sabatini v Seles a carbon copy of 12 months ago. Last night, Seles was presented with her award as the official world champion for 1991. Two more victories here and she can surely book her seat for next year.

It will do Capriati's flagging morale no good to recall that she lost to Seles by the same 6-2, 6-2 scoreline on her debut in Paris two years ago. She has beaten her twice in five meetings since, but any chance of a repeat performance on the centre court at Roland Garros yesterday evaporated into the damp afternoon air as soon as the champion had realised the conditions would reward consistency more than power.

When the pair did emerge after a delay of nearly four hours, Capriati was quicker off the mark. She won the first two games in each set, then lost the next six and, by the end, was a disconsolate figure, unable to stop the match from slipping rapidly away.

``It all happened so fast," Capriati said. ``It was not like other matches we have had. She wasn't hitting as hard as she usually does, but she didn't have to do much. Whenever I attacked, I missed."

Nasty thoughts must have accompanied Natalia Zvereva on to court one for her third grand slam tournament quarter-final. Not only has she failed to beat Graf in eight matches, she had suffered the ultimate embarrassment of a 32-minute whitewash four years ago in the final of this event.

``I choked big time that day," Zvereva said. ``I just put too much pressure on myself." She is a genuine eccentric, one reason her talent has yet to be fulfilled. She will rarely choose the easy shot if she can find a more difficult one and takes a perverse pleasure in playing her best only when she has to.

Down by a set, with Graf serving for the match at 5-3, Zvereva took advantage of a rare double fault to level at 5-5 and produced two backhands, one down the line, one cross court, to win the tie-break 7-4, only the second set she had won off the German.

Typically, she basked in her glory for a precious second and by the time she had regained her concentration, Graf led 4-0 and was home if, as the rain became heavier, not quite dry.

The two Spaniards enjoyed contrasting fortunes. Sanchez Vicario predictably ended the challenge of the Dutch player, Manon Bollegraf, the lone unseeded quarter-finalist, and Conchita Martinez did everything right to lead Gabriela Sabatini by a set and 3-0 before losing nine successive games as the Argentinian attacked the net.

In the only men's quarter-final to get on court, Jim Courier led Goran Ivanisevic 6-2, 6-1, 2-6 before bad light ended play. The champion could not wait to get off court after losing his first set of the tournament. ``Hey, Goran, it's dark out here, isn't it?" he called. Ivanisevic, though, was just beginning to enjoy himself, but he will need to get into his stride rather quicker today.
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post #311 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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Re: 1992

Sabatini grits out road to semifinals
Wednesday, June 3, 1992
Doug Smith, Richard Finn

PARIS - Gabriela Sabatini plays every match with a single thought always in mind.

``I know that until the last point, the match is not finished and I am going to give everything I have,'' she said.

The Argentine showcased her resolve Tuesday, when she battled back after losing the first set and going down 3-0 in the second to beat Spain's Conchita Martinez 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and reach the French Open semifinals.

``She knows she can come back, no matter how deep she is down,'' said Carlos Kirmayr, Sabatini's coach the last two years. ``All the players on her level have to have that spirit. That is a mark of a champion.''

Not so long ago, Sabatini might have reacted differently in a similar crisis.

``I had heard she quit a lot,'' Kirmayr said, ``but I have never seen her quit.''

No. 3 Sabatini, 22, is in the semifinals for the second consecutive year and fifth time in eight years. No. 7 Martinez was trying for her first grand slam semifinal.

REMATCH: On her way to winning the 1988 grand slam, Steffi Graf beat Natalia Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in the French Open final in barely half an hour. Zvereva was a far more difficult opponent Tuesday in a French Open rematch. No. 2 Graf advanced with a 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 victory in a 2-hour, 15-minute match played in a drizzle.

``(The match) ended just as it was a little bit too much to play,'' Graf said. ``We all wanted to just get the match over.''

Germany's Graf plays No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in Thursday's semifinals. The Spaniard beat unseeded Manon Bollegraf of the Netherlands 6- 2, 6-3.

Zvereva won the second set from a 5-4 deficit, with Graf serving, then rallied in the third after falling behind 4-0.

``My game is better when I'm down,'' she said. ``For some reason, when we're even, I play a bit too safe.''

Was she bothered by the rain? ``I was really into the match. I didn't care if the heavens fell on me.''

Zvereva, although 0-9 against Graf - winning just two sets - took heart from her performance.

``My coach says I have an elephant on my back because I haven't beaten her,'' she said. ``After this match, maybe half of it is left.''

INSPIRING: Andre Agassi, who plays U.S. Davis Cup teammate Pete Sampras in a rain-delayed quarterfinal today, says grand slams bring out the best in him.

``When you get to the grand slams, you get the best in the world, and I think it taps a part of me that I don't see as much as I would really like to,'' he said.

``It's weird. In normal tournaments, even when I'm playing well, I always feel like an underdog. When I play a grand slam, I'm very arrogant. I feel like I'm unbeatable.''

No. 11 Agassi has beaten No. 3 Sampras twice on clay and knows that another victory will be easier if the 1990 U.S. Open champion has an off day serving.

``He can hit a 120 mile-an-hour serve down the center or wide - and that is not easy to return,'' Agassi said. ``If his serve is working, he is extremely tough to beat, to say the least.''

No. 1 Jim Courier dropped a set for the first time in his five matches but led No. 8 Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia 6-2, 6-1, 2-6 when darkness halted play.

Also: French hero Henri Leconte will be backed by a partisan crowd against Swede Nicklas Kulti and No. 7 Petr Korda of Czechoslovakia plays Russian Andrei Cherkasov.
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Re: 1992

After long delay, Seles wastes little time in advancing
Wednesday, June 3, 1992
Doug Smith

PARIS - A near four-hour rain delay left Monica Seles a bit disoriented when she took the court against Jennifer Capriati Tuesday in a French Open quarterfinal.

``When I got on the court, I became dizzy, I guess from waiting a long time,'' she said.

But when the match ended an hour later, Capriati, not Seles, was in a daze.

Two-time defending champion Seles, 18, lost the first two games of each set, then performed almost flawlessly, defeating No. 5 Capriati 6-2, 6-2. Seles' consistency, more than her usual sharp-angled groundstrokes, made the difference against her error-prone rival from Saddlebrook, Fla.

Capriati, 16, committed 37 unforced errors and lost her serve twice on four of five double faults in the second set.

``I think she just kept the ball in play and moved me around, waited for me to miss it,'' Capriati said. ``I just wasn't moving my feet on the shots, which made me hit it late.''

Seles said Capriati's intensity wavered.

``When I was up at 4-2 and serving at 30-0, she made two easy errors,'' Seles said. ``Then again she hit two shots that zoomed by me. I didn't even see them. She hits and if they go in, you really don't see the shot. Sometimes, it doesn't happen because they all go out.''

Capriati has lost some of the focus and eagerness she displayed last year, particularly at the U.S. Open, where she lost to Seles in a three-set shootout.

``We played an excellent match there, but it's hard to play at that level of the game, not just on her part, but on my part, too,'' Seles said.

Capriati split with coach Tom Gullikson shortly after the U.S. Open. She worked with Pavel Slozil, Steffi Graf's former coach, for four months and now is being coached by her father, Stefano.

USTA President Bob Cookson said Gullikson and the Capriatis recently talked about resuming the relationship, but John Evert, Capriati's agent, said no agreement has been reached. A new coach won't be named until after Wimbledon, Capriati said.

Seles, 36-2 this year and two victories away from winning a fifth grand slam title, also is coached by her father, Karolj. No changes are planned there.

``I have always had a wonderful relationship, not just with my father, but my whole family,'' she said. ``When I was growing up, they'd always say, `Oh, wait till she gets to 14 and then 16, then 18, she will have trouble with her parents.' I keep waiting for that, but it really hasn't happened.

``When I go on the court with my dad, I look at him as a coach, not as a father. We might have an argument about something, but I don't bring that to the court with me. I leave it at home.''
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Re: 1992

Graf struggles, but gains semifinals
Wednesday, June 3, 1992
Doug Smith

PARIS - On her way to winning the 1988 grand slam, Steffi Graf beat Natalia Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in the French Open final in about half hour. Zvereva proved to be a more difficult foe Tuesday in a French Open rematch.

No. 2 seed Graf advanced to the semifinals, defeating Zvereva 6-3, 6- 7 (4-7), 6-3 in a two hour, 15 minute match, played in a drizzle.

``(The match) ended just as it was a little bit too much to play,'' Graf said. ``We all wanted to just get the match over.''

The match would have ended in the second set if Graf, leading 5-4 had held serve. The 22-year-old German also had trouble Sunday in the previous round closing out Jana Novotna.

``I'm not concerned about that,'' Graf said. ``(Natalia) was really playing well. I had some trouble with the serve, but I don't think I have problems closing out matches. I just wish I would have played better at that moment. It made me a little bit crazy. Otherwise, I won the match, so it doesn't hurt.''

Graf led 4-0 in the final set, but Zvereva broke Graf's serve twice, closing to 4-3.

``I was not taking enough time between points,'' Graf said. ``She always had a good answer on a fast shot.''

Said Zvereva: ``I have a feeling that my game is better when I'm down. I'm able to come back and get back in the score. For some reason, when we're even, I play a bit too safe.''

Was she bothered by the rain?

``I was really into the match, I didn't care if the heavens fell on me,'' she said.

Zvereva, 0-9 against Graf, has won only two sets. Her performance Tuesday helped offset the embarrassing wipeout against Graf in the final four years ago.

``I choked big time,'' she said.

``My coach says I have an elephant on my back because I haven't beaten her. After this match, maybe half of it is left.''
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Re: 1992

The Wichita Eagle
Wednesday, June 3, 1992
Marilyn August, Associated Press

PARIS Jennifer Capriati started the day fresh and eager for a big win. After a four-hour rain delay, she could only come out slow and sluggish and ended up a dejected loser.

Capriati lost 6-2, 6-2 to top seed and defending champion Monica Seles in the French Open quarterfinals Tuesday. Capriati, who beat Seles in their last meeting in Key Biscayne in March, blamed the rain delay for her lackluster performance.

"Before the match, after I warmed up, I felt real fresh, you know, excited and focused," Capriati said. "Then it rained, and you get tired from just waiting around, and I got a bit unfocused."

Though center court is covered as soon as the rain falls, Capriati said conditions worked against her.

''I don't think either of us was hitting harder, like other matches we've played," she said. "I think it had a lot to do with the rain. The court was very slow and the balls were very heavy, and so that made it slower.

''Everything was just heavy and slow, even the way I moved."

Capriati started strongly, winning the first two games of the first set. But it was all downhill after she squandered a 40-0 lead with a string of errors to go down 4-2.

''I'm pretty disappointed to lose with not even a real battle," she said. "I wanted to do better, and I thought I could."

Capriati said she just "hung out, trying to relax, going in and out of the locker room" during the four-hour wait.

Some players killed time playing backgammon, chess and cards, writing letters and reading newspapers. Others took long lunches in the players' restaurant which serves gourmet food all day.

Asked what she learned from the match, Capriati giggled and said, "I guess, during the rain, keep more focused."

Capriati now heads home to Florida to make up school work and practice for Wimbledon.

And who will win the French Open?

''I don't care," she said, smiling. "I don't have a favorite."
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post #315 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2013, 06:14 PM
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Re: 1992

An ominous harbinger of things to come in the blurb at the end...

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Wednesday, June 3, 1992
Larry Eichel

For Jennifer Capriati, the scenario was an all-too-familiar one, even at the age of 16.

In this French Open, she advanced to the quarterfinals, a performance in keeping with her ranking as the sixth-best women's tennis player in the world.

That far, but no further.

The end of the line for Capriati came late yesterday afternoon on Center Court at Roland Garros Stadium, at the hands of Monica Seles, the top seed and two-time defending champion.

It was not pretty. And it did not last long.

After a rain delay that consumed much of the day, Capriati, who later described herself as lacking in focus, came out and took the first two games. Then she lost the next six. In the second set, she did exactly the same thing. An hour was all it took, 6-2, 6-2.

Compared with the relentlessly consistent Seles, the young Floridian looked outclassed. She made numerous unforced errors and committed five double- faults. At times, she played as if she were eager to be done with it.

When it was over, she rejected any suggestion that her development as a player has stalled, or that she is moving in the wrong direction. The devastation, though, showed in her face.

"I just felt everything was heavy and slow out there," she said, referring to the dampness, "including me, the way I moved. . . .

"I'm pretty disappointed. I know that I could beat her. I have beaten her before. But to lose without giving her a real battle, it's hard to take."

Seles, with her victory, led the march of the four top seeds into the women's semifinals tomorrow.

The 18-year-old Yugoslav will meet third-ranked Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, who made a remarkable recovery to salvage victory yesterday against Conchita Martinez of Spain. In the other semifinal, fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain is paired against second-ranked Steffi Graf of Germany, who got a scare from Natalia Zvereva.

In a men's quarterfinal, Jim Courier of the United States lost his first set of the tournament, to Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia, but led by two sets to one when the slugfest between two of the game's biggest hitters was suspended by darkness.

"Pretty dark out here, eh, Goran?" the defending champion muttered loudly enough for everyone in the stadium to hear, giving officials a not-so-gentle hint that quitting time had arrived. A few minutes later, when Ivanisevic took the third set, the officials yielded to Courier's judgment.

Courier, who leads by 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, has won 20 consecutive matches this year and 12 straight in Grand Slam events. This helps explain why he is rated No. 1 on the computer.

The Courier-Ivanisevic match, and the three other men's quarterfinals, will be completed today, rain gods permitting.

Among the advancing women, Sabatini had the most difficult time of it. For a while, she looked like a goner.

At the outset of her match, on a cool, breezy, cloudy morning, the young Argentinian seemed unhappy with the balls, the court, herself and her opponent, not to mention the weather. In no time, she had dropped the first set, 6-3, and was down in the second, 3-0. Martinez was in complete control.

So what happened? Sabatini won the next nine games, taking the second set by 6-3 and giving herself a 3-0 lead in set three. And from there, she rolled to victory, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Both women had explanations, of sorts, for what so altered the contest in the middle of the second set.

"Gabriela totally changed her tactics," Martinez said later. "She became much more aggressive, and I didn't react well. I played more passive."

"I decided to try to move her around more, to attack," Sabatini agreed. ''I was angry at myself. I wasn't doing anything."

The match ended in a cold, steady rain, which Martinez hoped would save her. But the officials declared that play should continue, and the Spaniard slipped and slid out of the tournament.

Graf, for her part, also had a tough day, although she never seemed in real danger of losing. Her problem was more a matter of putting away her opponent.

She won the first set routinely, 6-3, and was leading by 5-3 in the second when, by her own assessment, she got impatient, tried to finish off points too quickly and let Zvereva force a tie-break, which the Belarussian won.

The third set featured more of the same. Graf jumped ahead by 4-0 and had several chances, on her serve, to make it 5-0. But she let her unseeded rival off the hook once more. Zvereva rallied to 4-3, and was serving to tie the match when she made a few bad shots and handed the initiative back to Graf. The score line read, 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3.

"I wish I would have played better," said Graf. "It made me a little bit crazy, the way I served. But I won the match, so it's not too serious."

With her victory, Graf builds on a remarkable record of consistency. In the 94 tournaments she has played since October 1985, she has reached the semifinals 90 times.

What was her verdict on everyone's favorite subject, the rain? "You get wet, you get cold, you don't feel very good on the court," she said.

The rain, which has interrupted this tournament repeatedly, has come at a time when concern about a drought, allegedly one of historic proportions, is deepening across France and over much of Europe.

So the rain here is good news, unless you are trying to run a Grand Slam tennis tournament, or watch one, or play in it.


An unidentified fan of Steffi Graf stood in the pouring rain for three hours outside a hospitality tent Sunday, hoping to recite a love poem he'd written in German. "She's the love of my life, and I'll do anything to get near her," he said. "Even if it means going to prison." Steffi was unmoved, and left through a side entrance while security guards escorted her unhappy admirer to the exit.
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