View Full Version : Seles Breaks Pain Barrier in Pan Pacific Win

Jan 29th, 2003, 09:18 AM
Monica is still hurt.....

Seles Breaks Pain Barrier in Pan Pacific Win

TOKYO - Held together by sticky tape and a fierce will to win, top seed Monica Seles grunted and grimaced her way to a 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 victory over Ai Sugiyama at the Pan Pacific Open Wednesday.

The former world number one, who sprained her left ankle during her second-round defeat to little-known Czech Klara Koukalova at the Australian Open, squandered four match points with Sugiyama serving at 4-5 in the second set.

But Seles, her movement clearly restricted after her Melbourne mishap, dipped into her vast reserves of experience in the final set and broke twice before sealing victory on her sixth match point when Sugiyama swatted a forehand return wide.

"Every once in a while I feel pain and obviously I'm not as ready as I would have wanted," said the 29-year-old Seles, a winner of nine grand slam singles titles.

"It's been a tough two weeks after the Australian Open. After not practicing much, I was not that comfortable with my game. I just tried to hang in and fight for every point."

After receiving a bye in the first round, the Croatian-born American next plays the winner of the all-Russian clash between Lina Krasnoroutskaya and Elena Bovina, who beat Israeli seventh seed Anna Pistolesi 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Organizers of the $1.3 million event are hoping that Seles does not suffer any relapse this week after Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati and Anna Kournikova all pulled out with injuries before the start of the tournament.


Meanwhile, fourth seed Chanda Rubin opened with a 6-4, 6-0 drubbing of Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik in her first match in Tokyo since 2000.

Former champion Iva Majoli, a first-round loser in Melbourne, quickly got her game back on track with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 victory over American Alexandra Stevenson, who never looked comfortable on the fast indoor carpet.

The Croatian, who won here in 1996, the year before she captured the French Open title, will play third seed Lindsay Davenport in the second round Thursday.

The American, chasing a third Pan Pacific crown, also received a bye in the first round.

In other matches, fifth-seeded Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva eased past Japanese wildcard Saori Obata 6-3, 6-3 to set up a second-round clash with doubles specialist Lisa Raymond, who struggled to beat Argentine Paola Suarez 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

"I felt like I was moving well. I felt like I played better than her when it mattered most, Said Maleeva.

"I will be fresher than Lisa in the next match, so I feel pretty confident."

Earlier, Indonesian Angelique Widjaja defeated wildcard Jeon Mi-ra of South Korea 6-3, 6-3 in an all-Asian clash.

Jan 29th, 2003, 09:32 AM
:sad: MONICA :sad:

Jan 29th, 2003, 10:13 AM
She shouldn't play in this tournament that may make her injury getting worse........ And she is going to play next week as well.... Really dunno what's in Seles' mind right now???

Jan 29th, 2003, 10:16 AM
I hope she is not playing too soon after the ankle sprain.
I over extended some ligaments in my ankle last year and it took well over 4 weeks to feel strong enough to attempt a light hit.
Losing so many points in Australia and having to defend a RUP result from last year is a nightmare start to the year for Monica with a less than perfect ankle.... and there is still a bucket full of points to defend over the next two months.

Why on earth did she play doubles here also?????
I would have expected a more careful decision from someone so experienced.

I hope it all works out o.k?

Jan 29th, 2003, 11:07 AM
Monica is not playing next week.

Jan 29th, 2003, 11:12 AM
And thank the Lord for that!

She's a tough customer and should be OK here...I like to think she wouldn't play unless she felt confident about doing well, and beating a very tough Sugiyama should boost that confidence (despite any lingering pain).

Good luck in the next round, Monica...it'll be even tougher!

Jan 29th, 2003, 11:41 AM
I think she will treat it on her day off, come back confident, and at least make the finals!...Well, at least I hope she does! Then she'll have another couple of weeks off before Dubai to practice and rest up that ankle!

Jan 29th, 2003, 12:06 PM
MONICAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, be careful!!!!!!!!! The tour needs your classy presence as always. Please don't make your injuries worse. Very worried. :sad:

Jan 29th, 2003, 12:10 PM
Monica just said she had occasional pain, but she'll be ok

Bovina needed 3 sets to beat Pistolesi whom she (Monica) whipped up 6-3 6-0 on a bum foot, so Monica should be able to sneek through to the final (i hope) and win! (i hope!)

Jan 29th, 2003, 12:35 PM
Angelique got the WC, not Mi-Ra :rolleyes: . Mi-Ra comes from the qualifyings.

Jan 29th, 2003, 02:31 PM
I hate this. What has happened to Monica's foot? She can't play a single match without that causing her pain. How is she ever going to compete in Slams with this problem?

Jan 29th, 2003, 02:33 PM
Go Monica!

Jan 29th, 2003, 02:58 PM
I think Monica played for 2 reasons

1) I'm pretty sure she is under contract to play here by Yonex

2) Monica had semi points to defend at Australia and lost round 2. She has finals points todefend here too. Not showing up/losing early would bump her out of the top 10. Monica NEEDS to be in the top 8 for Grand Slams. Especially because RG is her best chance at a Grand Slam.

Jan 29th, 2003, 11:38 PM
monica is not going to make the injury worse by playing on it, if it is only a sprained ankle. all it may do is make the recovery longer.

good luck monica!

Jan 30th, 2003, 12:11 AM
I think Monica will have a hard time beating Bovina if her movement is not 100%.

Jan 30th, 2003, 12:39 AM
If Monica beat someone as talented, experienced, and quick-footed as Ai Sugiyama, then her foot can't be all that bad. I know from experience that an ankle sprain can still cause a little pain right after you start playing again, but I wouldn't be too worried about Monica. She's old enough to make her own decisions :)

Dawn Marie
Jan 30th, 2003, 03:28 AM
Seles is doing the wrong things. She is not a spring chicken anymore. Rest that foot until it is 100% healthy. Sheesh things like this is why I don't think she'll win another slam.

Jan 30th, 2003, 03:38 AM
If her ankle is still bad, why the hell did she enter doubles?:confused: She played a 3 setter 2 days in a row.:(

Jan 30th, 2003, 04:58 AM
Go Monica!

Jan 30th, 2003, 06:27 AM
LOL @ all the laypersons giving advice to a pro.

Dawn: If at 29 "she's no spring chicken" what the heck does that make us? :o

Oggie: this is a sprain. It happens. It's NOT the old foot problem this time (thankfully). And personally, I don't think she tries to have either problem just to bum you out. ;)

:wavey: to vancouverite, well said!

Jan 30th, 2003, 06:34 AM
Monica will play also in Doha (Qatar) week before Dubai. She won that tournament last year.