Connors no match for Becker's serves
Saturday, AUGUST 22, 1992
INDIANAPOLIS -- The body and spirit was willing, but Jimmy Connors' shots failed him.
Connors committed costly errors in two crucial service games and lost to Boris Becker 6-4, 6-3 in a quarterfinal of the U.S. Hardcourts on Friday.
Defending champion Pete Sampras defeated wild card Thomas Enqvist of Sweden 6-0, 7-6 (8-6), and second-year pro Todd Martin of Lansing, Mich., ousted sixth-seeded Francisco Clavet of Spain 6-1, 6-2.
Becker got all the breaks -- three -- in their first match since 1987. The German won with booming serves that blasted past his 39-year-old opponent.
"Sometimes you can't hit what you can't see," Connors said.
"I wanted to make sure I was always just a little ahead," said Becker, who is 5-0 lifetime against his idol. "He's trying all the time. It doesn't matter what score, against who, doesn't matter what kind of temperature it is. He doesn't let the other guy know he's down. He always puts his head up."
Connors was unable to take advantage of ideal conditions for him -- cool temperatures and low humidity, immense crowd support and a familiar stadium court where he won four U.S. Clay Court titles in the 1970s.
Sampras, the defending champion, raced through the first set against Enqvist in 23 minutes. Enqvist, the world's No. 1 junior last year, regained his composure to force the second-set tiebreak, but Sampras' experience was too much.
Sampras, who has won his last two tournaments, will meet Becker in today's semifinals. He beat the German in three sets in last year's U.S. Hardcourts final.
Martin, a former Northwestern standout, dominated Clavet, who gained his No. 23 world ranking on the strength of his clay-court results.
Martin hasn't dropped a set in reaching the semifinals of a tournament for the first time this year. Sanchez reaches semifinals
MONTREAL -- Monica Seles showed a hint of vulnerability as she and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain cruised into the semifinals of the Matinee International Canadian Open women's tournament with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over France's Nathalie Tauziat.
"Everything is going well," Sanchez said. "I'm serving well and I'm playing great."
Sanchez, the second seed, easily countered the sixth-seeded Tauziat's attacking style to advance to a semifinal meeting today against her doubles partner, Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia.
Sukova, seeded seventh, beat No. 3 Mary Joe Fernandez 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Another serve-and-volleyer, eighth-seeded Lori McNeil of Houston, beat fourth-seeded Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere of Switzerland 7-5, 6-2.
Sanchez, ranked No. 5 in the world, reached her third semifinal in as many weeks. She was beaten in the Olympic semifinals by gold medalist Jennifer Capriati and lost a semifinal to Seles last week at Los Angeles.
Sanchez, who has reached at least the semifinals of 12 tournaments this year, won Olympic bronze medals in singles and doubles.
Sanchez has won all her five career meetings with Tauziat, who is ranked 13th in the world.
Sukova was down a service break at 4-3 in the third set, but roared back to beat a frustrated Fernandez, who double-faulted on match point in the stiff wind.
"I played better than she did," said Sukova, 27. "I think I should have won the second set, but I made some mistakes."
Fernandez won two meetings with Sukova earlier this year, but "this time, I didn't choke," Sukova said.
For McNeil, it was only her second win in eight meetings with Maleeva and her first since 1987 at Dallas and she hadn't even captured a set in their last five encounters.
"The key was that I returned well and served well," said McNeil.
Seles, the top seed, lost a set to unseeded Patricia Hy of Canada before prevailing 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 in an unusually long -- for Seles -- match of 1 hour, 29 minutes.
Hy, ranked 40th in the world, won the first five games of the second set and then broke Seles' serve in the 10th game to win the set, only the second that the world No. 1 has dropped this year to a player outside the top 20.
"I don't know what happened in the second set. My mind went off went off the court," Seles said. "I was not moving. At 5-0, my feet were coming back. Then I lost it again at 5-4. She's a tough player to play. Still, that should not happen in the second set."
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Goran Ivanisevic overcame sloppy play and Marc Rosset's powerful serve to advance to the Volvo International quarterfinals with a three-set victory.
Ivanisevic, the second seed, won 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in 99 minutes.
Other high seeds advanced fairly easily as top seed Stefan Edberg beat 16th seed Paul Haarhuis 6-2, 6-4; No. 3 Michael Chang defeated No. 14 Andrei Cherkasov 6-2, 6-1; No. 4 Petr Korda won over Chuck Adams 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, and No. 5 Ivan Lendl beat Amos Mansdorf 6-2, 6-3.
Ninth-seed John McEnroe was beaten by eighth-seed MaliVai Washington 7-6 (7-0), 6-4 and No. 7 Guy Forget and unseeded Fabrice Santoro also advanced to the quarterfinals with straight-set victories.
Ivanisevic could hardly touch Rosset's first serve as the Olympic gold medalist had 17 aces and won the point on 46 of the 49 first serves he got in.
"It's tough to play a guy like him," said Ivanisevic, who leads the ATP in aces this year. "Every second serve was 127 (mph), 120, 125. You can't see it. It's going too fast. You can't react."