|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|Jul 14th, 2013 07:11 PM|
Fernandez: Exhibitions confusing
Tuesday, July 21, 1992
Mary Joe Fernandez once bit the hand that fed her very well last week.
Fernandez wrote a 1991 editorial for The New York Times criticizing exhibitions, specifically the Pathmark Tennis Classic in Mahwah, N.J. In the article, Fernandez wrote that exhibitions can "confuse the public'' and that they "benefit the promoters more than anyone.''
This year, Fernandez got a reported $90,000 appearance fee to play in the tournament.
"I'm not against exhibitions, obviously,'' Fernandez said after her first match last week. "I just feel that other people should know when results count and when they don't.
"Exhibitions are great for me when I'm training for another event or working on things. Here, I want to play as many matches as possible before the Olympics. It's not conflicting with any other event.''
Fernandez only got to play 1 1/2 matches. She quit in the quarterfinals after straining a muscle in her right thigh. She expects to be ready for the Olympics July 28.
Fernandez chose to play in Mahwah to prepare for the Olympics instead of accepting a spot on the USA's Federation Cup team.
"I would have had to be in Europe 12 to 13 weeks in a row,'' said Fernandez, who will play singles and doubles in Barcelona. "I was over there nine weeks, and I needed to get back home and get refreshed.''
|Jul 14th, 2013 07:10 PM|
Germans enjoy success in final - Tennis
Monday, July 20, 1992
STEFFI Graf yesterday led Germany to a comprehensive defeat of Spain in the final of the Federation Cup and their first victory in the tournament since 1987. Her 6-4, 6-2 win against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario gave the Germans a winning 2-0 lead with just the outstanding, dead doubles rubber to come.
Victory assured, Graf took no part in the doubles and instead joined her colleagues, Anke Huber and Barbara Rittner, on the bench, temporarily replacing Claus Hofsass as team captain. On court, Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez took full advantage to win 6-1, 6-2 and salvage some Spanish pride.
With the temperature on court reaching 53C during Graf's singles, it was little surprise that both players littered their game with unforced errors. Yet, once she sharpened her concentration, Graf's forehand was as deadly as ever and, backed up by her sliced backhand, she never looked in any danger.
Huber, for her part, proved that she has the head to handle the big occasion, as she defeated Martinez, 6-3, 6-7, 6-1. The German pressured from the start, hitting the ball deep and forcing her opponent to take a defensive role. Martinez was forced into errors and it was only her serve that kept her in contention in losing the first set. She won the second in a tie-break, but, although she then held three points to lead 2-0 in the third, Martinez lost her discipline and Huber just ten more points.
RESULTS: Semi-finals: Germany bt United States, 2-1 (German names first): A Huber bt G Fernandez, 7-5, 6-3; S Graf bt L McNeil, 6-0, 6-3; S Hack and B Rittner lost to P Shriver and D Graham, 2-6, 2-6. Spain bt Australia, 3-0 (Spanish names first): C Martinez bt R McQuillan, 6-1, 6-4; A Sanchez Vicario bt N Provis, 6-2, 6-0; Sanchez Vicario and V Ruano bt J Byrne and R Stubbs, 6-3, 6-3. Final: Germany bt Spain, 2-1 (German names first): Huber bt Martinez, 6-3, 6-7, 6-1; Graf bt Sanchez Vicario, 6-4, 6-2; Huber and Rittner lost to Sanchez Vicario and Martinez, 1-6, 2-6.
|Jul 14th, 2013 07:09 PM|
I know it was Capriati's biggest moment of the first part of her career, but Graf vs. ASV for the gold medal in Barcelona is high on my list of "should have been" matches. Talk about the potential for one of the craziest matches ever...
Germany's women top Spaniards
The Dallas Morning News
Monday, July 20, 1992
FRANKFURT, Germany -- Wimbledon champion Steffi Graf and rising star Anke Huber wrapped things up quickly, winning singles matches Sunday to beat defending champion Spain for Germany's second Federation Cup title.
Graf beat Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 6-4, 6-2, in the second singles to deliver the title. Earlier, Huber outlasted Conchita Martinez, 6-3, 6-7 (0-7), 6-1.
"We really wanted to make everything sure in the singles," Graf said. "It was the most difficult match of the week."
In the meaningless doubles, Sanchez Vicario and Martinez beat Huber and Barbara Rittner, 6-1, 6-2.
Graf, the No. 2 in the world who in 1987 also carried Germany to its previous title in the women's equivalent of the Davis Cup, returned to the team this year and it made the difference.
She did not lose a set during the weeklong tournament. But Huber also did her share, winning her four singles matches.
As in previous matches here, Graf was in devastating form against Sanchez Vicario and raised her career record against the No. 5 player in the world to 15-2.
"For me, everything was super today," Graf said.
The Spaniard, one of the most accomplished clay court players, dropped her first service game to fall behind, 2-0. She immediately broke back to level the score.
Graf gained another break to go up, 5-3, but a double fault and a forehand into the net allowed Sanchez Vicario to save the set.
Serving to even the score, the Spaniard fell behind, 30-40, and a cross-court winner by Graf gave the set to the German.
Huber had to battle for 2 hours, 19 minutes in the hot midday sun to overcome Martinez, ranked eighth in the world, two places above Huber.
"It's good that everything was decided in the singles because it would have been tough to win the doubles," Huber said.
"It's not a tragedy, we'll be back next year, trying to win it again," Martinez said.
Immediately after the final, both teams turned their attention to the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, Sanchez Vicario's hometown where Graf will be defending her gold medal.
"There are several favorites in Barcelona, and before their home fans, the Spanish team will be difficult to beat,'' Graf said.
|Jul 14th, 2013 07:05 PM|
Graf strides relentlessly towards Olympic gold - Tennis
The Sunday Times
Sunday, July 19, 1992
STEFFI GRAF, the Wimbledon champion, continued her impressive progress towards the defence of her Olympic title by overpowering Lori McNeil in Frankfurt to seal a place for Germany in the Federation Cup final against Spain.
After Anke Huber's 7-5 6-3 defeat of Gigi Fernandez, Graf's 6-0 6-3 win over McNeil gave Germany an unbeatable 2-0 lead over the United States.
Graf, who led Germany to their only title in 1987, said: "I played a perfect first set; there was nothing I could do wrong." McNeil volleyed more effectively in the second set, but the world No. 2 broke her to love to lead 5-3 and served an ace on her first match point.
The final will give Graf and Arantxa Sanchez of Spain a chance to gain psychological points before the Barcelona Games. The pair are the leading contenders for the Olympic gold medal, as Monica Seles, Gabriela Sabatini and Martina Navratilova became ineligible for Barcelona by making themselves unavailable for last year's Federation Cup, the women's version of the Davis Cup.
Sanchez, who lost to Graf at the French Open, may have to bow to her again on the Frankfurt clay. The world No. 5's better chance of halting Graf may be with the Spanish public behind her should they meet in Barcelona.
Sanchez and Conchita Martinez clinched the final spot for Spain, the defending champions, with singles wins against Australia, who had upset Czechoslovakia. Martinez beat Rachel McQuillan 6-1 6-4 and Sanchez defeated Nicole Provis 6-2 6-0.
|Jul 14th, 2013 07:05 PM|
Germany stops U.S. in semifinals - Graf sparks Federation Cup win
Sunday, July 19, 1992
FRANKFURT, Germany - The Federation Cup ended at the semifinal stage for the United States, leaving the team disappointed and angry.
Disappointed that it lost Saturday to Germany, although the Americans were the underdogs against the top-seeded team. Angry because the top American players had chosen to skip the women's version of the Davis Cup.
Martina Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati and Mary Joe Fernandez had declined to play in the Federation Cup, an event the United States has won a record 14 times.
Navratilova is ranked fourth in the world, Capriati sixth and Fernandez seventh. With them around the U.S. team would have been among the favorites.
"Yes, I am disappointed that we lost because I thought we had a shot," U.S. captain Marty Riessen said. "We came this far and we didn't want to stop."
"But it's more disappointing that players who did not want to come here are playing somewhere else this week," he said.
Capriati and Fernandez, claiming they wanted to prepare for the Barcelona Olympics, opted to skip the Federation Cup and are playing instead in a $150,000 exhibition event in Mahwah, N.J.
American Pam Shriver refused to berate the missing players.
"If our top players were here, I probably wouldn't have had a chance to play and this may have been my last Federation Cup match," she said. "I also had invitations for two exhibitions this week, but I chose to be here.
"No one should be made to play for their country . . . it's an emotional thing. But if we were playing at home, I guarantee you that they would have played."
The absence of the top players was blown out of proportion, Gigi Fernandez said. "I don't think they would have done any better," she said. "But this shows where their priorities are."
Without its top players, the Americans were seeded only sixth, but upset No. 4 France to reach the last four.
But American hopes of defying the odds once again came to a devastating end against the powerful clay court game of Steffi Graf and Anke Huber.
Germany will meet last year's champion Spain in today's final. Spain downed Australia 3-0 in the other semifinal.
"It's always special to be in a final, especially in your home country. The crowd has really supported us well," Graf said.
Huber, a 17-year-old ranked 10th in the world, beat Gigi Fernandez 7-5, 6-3 in 82 minutes to put Germany ahead. Then Graf, the Wimbledon champion and the No. 2 in the world, swept past Lori McNeil 6-0, 6-3.
The Americans did win the doubles for consolation. Pam Shriver and Debbie Graham beat Sabine Hack and Barbara Rittner 6-2, 6-2.
"I could have won, I had chances but I didn't take them. It could have gone either way," the 25th-ranked Gigi Fernandez said. "I wasn't serving well and that made the difference. Had I won, it may have been a different story."
Graf led Germany to its only title in 1987, and her return to the team earned the Germans the top seed.
She rolled past 22nd-ranked McNeil in the first set, and although the American had a brief rally in the second, Graf ended the match with an ace after only 49 minutes.
"I played a perfect first set," said Graf. "There was nothing that I could do wrong.
"In the second, I gave her some chances to get back into the match and she took them. But I got my game together again.
"We were hoping to win both singles because it would have been tough to play doubles at 1-1," Graf said.
Second-seeded Spain, led by Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez, swept the singles against unseeded Australia to return to the finals.
Martinez put Spain on the road to victory by beating Rachel McQuillan 6-1, 6-4. Sanchez Vicario clinched it with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Nicole Provis.
Spain completed a 3-0 sweep when Sanchez Vicario and Virginia Ruano defeated Rennae Stubbs and Jenny Byrne 6-3, 6-3.
The semifinal losing teams receive $27,500 each.
|Jul 14th, 2013 03:50 PM|
Tennis, anyone? Fewer women answer call
The Toronto Star
Saturday, July 18, 1992
The same old faces carry the women's tennis torch for Canada.
Not that there's anything wrong with those faces; Patricia Hy, Helen Kelesi, Rene Simpson-Alter are definitely the country's best players. But the fact they are by far the best players and have been for years is a disturbing signal that tennis has lost its grip on young Canadian women.
Last week's national SunLife championships, the showcase for Canadian talent, was an embarrassment that demonstrated for yet another year there is no exciting star on the horizon, no girl who is on a pace to be the next Kelesi or Carling Bassett-Seguso.
The usual players always suit up for the big competitions. This past week, the Federation Cup team of Kelesi, Hy, Simpson-Alter and Jill Hetherington represented Canada; at Barcelona, Kelesi, Hy and Simpson-Alter will compete in the Summer Games.
Unlike the Canadian men, there are no hungry young players pushing the veterans for spots on these squads - no female equivalent to a Sebastien Lareau or a Daniel Nestor.
This is baffling, especially considering that women's tennis in this country has had a relatively successful, high- profile history with legitimate world-class stars. As individuals, women have been far more successful than the men.
Bassett-Seguso had great Grand Slam performances and in 1985, hit a career-high world ranking of No. 8.
Kelesi was right on her heels, eventually becoming a consistent performer in the world's top 25 until injuries recently sidelined her for four months.
Hy, while not a product of the Canadian system, has cracked the top 50 rankings and at age 26 is playing the most consistent tennis of her life.
And if one believes in the trickle-down impact that one successful individual can have on her sport, then batches of Bassett-Seguso, Kelesi and Hy clones should be evident here in much the same way that Chris Evert for 20 years inspired carbon-copies of herself.
So why is there such a huge gap between the elite level of women's tennis and the next wave of talent?
One could argue that players like Bassett-Seguso and Kelesi, while on different ends of the financial spectrum, were largely the products of driven fathers and that kind of drive is more the exception than the rule in most families.
However, former touring professional and three-time Canadian champion Marjorie Blackwood feels a large part of the problem is at the grassroots level, where girls aren't encouraged to stay in the game.
Blackwood, a national team coach with Tennis Canada, said there are fewer girls playing competitively now than when she was young and it is quite common in tournaments for the women's draw to be much smaller than the men's. She and others in the game have also found that in clubs, junior boys' teams far outnumber those of girls.
Blackwood also feels the young ages of the game's top pros don't provide solid role models for aspiring athletes and that hurts the game.
"What we've got now are female stars who are so young that, generally, they can't really verbalize intelligently why they are playing and what tennis means to them; there are no more Billie Jean Kings around," Blackwood said.
That youthful image also puts pressure on girls to demonstrate their star quality as early as grade school.
If they are not showing signs of being the next Graf, Sabatini, Seles or Capriati by puberty, then many turn away from pursing the sport with any real enthusiasm. Parents and coaches support this misconception, perhaps not as unconsciously as one might think, believing that a youngster who hasn't been turning heads at age 10 isn't worth spending time or money on.
Tennis Canada is the government body responsible for nurturing interest at the grassroots level and, as an organization pouring millions into youth tennis, it must take a hard look at why girls aren't responding the way boys are.
Tennis Canada would argue that never has there been such a broad program for Canadian youth as the one which exists now. That is true. But the reality is that girls who are being exposed to tennis aren't staying in the competitive end of the game very long.
So what is the answer?
Simpson-Alter, who after winning her first SunLife singles crown last week at age 26, feels parents, coaches and the girls themselves shouldn't give up on tennis just because they haven't won a Grand Slam title before they're old enough to drive.
"I feel sorry for the 15-year-olds taken out of school and put on correspondence courses," said Simpson-Alter, who didn't even consider a career on the tour until her third year of university. "Some of them do make it at 15, but you don't see all the careers that didn't work out.
"I feel that some kids, given support for a few more years, would be able to do what ... I did."
As simple as it sounds, don't expect things to change too soon.
|Jul 14th, 2013 03:50 PM|
British women slip down to qualifiers - Tennis
Saturday, July 18, 1992
GREAT Britain will have to qualify for the Federation Cup next year, after losing to Finland in the final play-off round here yesterday. The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) must thus start its homework on Israel, Romania, Paraguay and China, with whom they are grouped.
Sara Gomer was soundly beaten 6-4, 6-0 by Nanne Dahlman, and Jo Durie lost 6-3, 7-5 to Petra Thoren.
Gomer would have welcomed the odd cheer or word of encouragement from the 16 LTA officials and players present, but only Clare Woods's voice was raised in support. The rest of them stood as silent as the fir trees surrounding the court.
There was not much to enthuse about, though. Dahlman struck the ball with more authority, and moved it around much more effectively. She also outlasted Gomer in the rallies. After conceding the opening game of the second set on the sixth break point, Gomer won just six more points.
Durie is, visibly at least, more tenacious, and can always be relied upon to fight to the end. She did so against Thoren, but always looked second best.
It may have been different if she had converted three points for a 3-0 lead, but Thoren was very agile, quick to the net, from where she struck numerous winning volleys, and she kept Durie pinned back on the baseline.
Durie tried everything in her arsenal of shots but, giving away nearly ten years to her opponent, she always looked a step slower.
Spain reached the semi-finals of the main event at the expense of Argentina when Conchita Martinez defeated Florencia Labat 6-0, 6-1 and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario beat Mercedes Paz 6-1, 6-2.
|Jul 14th, 2013 03:49 PM|
GIGI'S CHOICE RILES SOME PUERTO RICANS
Rocky Mountain News
Saturday, July 18, 1992
You've heard of the man without a country.
Gigi Fernandez is a woman with two countries.
Fernandez will compete in the Olympics for country No. 2, the United States. This has made country No. 1, Puerto Rico, feel angry and betrayed.
Such is life when you're born and reared in Puerto Rico and your sport is tennis.
Fernandez, who lives in Aspen, will be part of the four-woman U.S. Olympic tennis team in Barcelona. Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth, not an independent nation, but fields its own Olympic team so she could choose which team to join.
Fernandez decided in January to compete for the U.S. because her specialty is doubles and teaming with an American gives her a shot at a medal.
Competing for Puerto Rico would have meant carrying the flag in the opening ceremonies because Fernandez is the most well-known female sports star in the country. But it also would have meant no medal shot. No other Puerto Rican woman is good enough to qualify for the Olympics as a doubles player. And Fernandez had no realistic shot at a medal playing singles.
So Fernandez's choice was easy. She didn't realize how that choice would play on her native island.
"About three million Puerto Ricans feel betrayed because I'm not representing Puerto Rico," said Fernandez, who plays for the U.S. in the Federation Cup semifinals today in Frankfurt, Germany.
"The people there who understand tennis understand my decision, but the stubborn and patriotic Puerto Ricans think I've turned my back on Puerto Rico."
Fernandez, who has been the top-ranked doubles player in the world on both the Kraft and Virginia Slims tours, will team with Mary Joe Fernandez (no relation) in Barcelona. Jennifer Capriati and Zina Garrison will play for the U.S. in singles.
Fernandez competed for Puerto Rico in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, losing her first-round singles match. She enjoyed her brief Olympic experience and has embraced international competition since.
She has won five Grand Slam doubles titles, most recently teaming with Natalia Zvereva to win this year's Wimbledon doubles crown. But her international experiences - she teamed with Garrison in the clinching match of the 1990 Federation Cup win over the Soviet Union in Atlanta - remain among her most cherished.
"For some reason, when I represent the U.S. in international competition, it brings out the best in me," said Fernandez, a U.S. resident for nine years and an Aspenite for five. "Some pros don't care about playing for their country, but I've always gotten into it. I'm really excited about Barcelona."
Steffi Graf and Anke Huber of Germany are the gold medal favorites, but the Fernandezes have high hopes.
A medal, Gigi Fernandez said, might justify her decision in the eyes of Puerto Ricans.
"There's been a lot of criticism of me down in Puerto Rico, but I don't feel guilty about my decision," she said. "If I come back with a medal, I think the people in Puerto Rico will realize I made the right choice. I just wish I could make those people realize that I still feel loyal to Puerto Rico."
|Jul 14th, 2013 03:49 PM|
AUSTRALIA ADVANCES WITH UPSET
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Saturday, July 18, 1992
Australia continued to play giant-killer at the Federation Cup, making Czechoslovakia its latest victim Friday and setting up a semifinal showdown today with defending champion Spain.
Sparked by Nicole Provis, who won in singles and led a decisive doubles triumph, Australia stunned third-seeded Czechoslovakia, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. The Aussies had knocked out No. 5 Bulgaria in the first round.
Spain continued to cruise behind Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez, who lost a total of four games in ousting Argentina, 2-1.
Top-seeded Germany and the United States will play in today's other semifinal.
Helena Sukova put Czechoslovakia ahead with a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-1 victory over Rachel McQuillan, but Provis leveled the score by upsetting Jana Novotna, 7-5, 6-0. She then teamed with Rennae Stubbs to beat Novotna and Andrea Strnadova, 6-3, 6-3.
Novotna made no excuses. ''It just wasn't my day,'' she said. ''I started well, but I couldn't keep up with her baseline game.''
Martinez swept past Florencia Labat, 6-0, 6-1, in 59 minutes. Sanchez Vicario, undefeated in singles play in the Federation Cup, needed only 54 minutes to rout Mercedes Paz, 6-2, 6-1. The doubles, a formality, went to Argentina, with Paz and Patricia Tarabini beating Noelia Perez and Virginia Ruano 6-4, 7-6.
Argentina was playing without Gabriela Sabatini, No. 3 in the world, who decided to skip the tournament after being disqualified from the Barcelona Olympics for missing last year's Federation Cup.
''If we can keep playing like this, we have a good chance to win the title again,'' Sanchez Vicario said.
|Jul 13th, 2013 05:21 PM|
McEnroe bows to buoyant Bates - Tennis
Friday, July 17, 1992
FIRST Wimbledon, now this. These are halcyon days for Jeremy Bates, and after defeating John McEnroe late on Wednesday, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, in the second round of the Nations Bank Classic in Washington, the British No.1 may be entitled to ask himself the fabled "what if" question.
Bates, who squandered a match point against Guy Forget for a quarter-final meeting with McEnroe at Wimbledon, described the victory, on a sticky humid evening, as one of the best of his career, but the outcome was in the balance until the very end.
Indeed, Bates was down an early break in the final set and facing McEnroe's service at 3-4 before he had a sniff of a chance.
"The match turned around at the last minute," Bates said. "He played very well in the second set and I got crunched, and until 4-3 I never even got close to breaking him."
The opportunity came when McEnroe was disturbed by a line-call at 15-30; then Bates hit two service returns to level at 4-4. "I don't know if he tightened up or was a bit over-confident, but he eased off in that service game," Bates, who then broke again for victory when leading 5-4, said. It was the first time Bates had met McEnroe in a tournament.
But Bates's run came to an abrupt end when he returned to court to face Henrik Holm, of Sweden, in the third round. Trailing 5-7, 0-3, Bates was forced to retire with a wrist injury, the recurrence of a problem that has dogged his career for the past ten years.
Frankfurt: In the Federation Cup, Germany, the top seeds, will play the United States, seeded sixth, in the semi-finals after overwhelming Poland.
Steffi Graf allowed Katarzyna Nowak just 15 points as she won 6-0, 6-0, and Anke Huber dropped just three games against Magdalena Mroz. The Americans sealed their place at the expense of France by winning the deciding doubles.
|Jul 13th, 2013 05:20 PM|
Woe betide the opponent who stood between Steffi "I Am Not A Jet Setter; It's Just That I Think Nothing Of Flying 1200 Kilometers Round Trip To Go To A Concert In Between My Tennis Matches Because I Want To And I Can -- Oh, Wait, I Guess That Does Make Me A Jet Setter" Graf and her extracurricular activities. Not sure how pleased the German Tennis Federation or the Cup organizers were, or how insulted the Poles and the Americans were, to hear that Graf and Huber were going to Vienna to go to a Genesis concert. "Going to Vienna for the evening, be right back." -- "But we're in Frankfurt, and we play the Americans on Saturday!" -- "So what's your point?"
CUPFUL OF SUCCESS: FERNANDEZ, U.S. REACH SEMIFINALS
THE SEATTLE TIMES
Friday, July 17, 1992
FRANKFURT, Germany - The Federation Cup can bring out the best and worst from a team, U.S. captain Marty Riessen says.
So far, the Cup has brought out the best from the U.S. team, especially Gigi Fernandez, who carried the United States to a 2-1 upset of France in the quarterfinals yesterday.
The sixth-seeded U.S. team will play tomorrow in the semifinals against top-seeded Germany, which advanced with a 3-0 victory over Poland.
In quarterfinal matches today, defending champion Spain breezed past Argentina, and Australia upset Czechoslovakia.
Fernandez got off to a good start by beating Mary Pierce 6-1, 6-4 before the U.S. team suffered a setback when Nathalie Tauziat beat Lori McNeil 6-4, 7-5 to make the score 1-1.
That meant the doubles would decide the winner.
Fernandez has won the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles with Russian partner Natalia Zvereva. But she hadn't teamed with Pam Shriver.
This proved no obstacle, and the U.S. duo beat Tauziat and Isabelle Demongeot 6-4, 6-2 to clinch the victory.
"We shouted a lot to each other - 'mine,' 'yours' - and it worked very well," Shriver said.
"I had a great day today," said Fernandez, who has emerged as one of the top doubles players. She won the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles with partner Natalia Zvereva.
"I played almost to perfection," Fernandez said. "I wanted to hit low balls, slice and that's what I did. I also served well and that was important because Mary returns well."
Winners of a record 14 titles in the previous 29 editions of the tournament, the Americans have now reached the last four for the 28th time. The past record includes six lost finals and seven lost semifinals.
This year's performance is particularly impressive because Martina Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernandez and Jennifer Capriati declined invitations to participate. Also, the team is playing on red clay, a surface on which the Americans are not entirely comfortable.
Germany made everything clear after the singles and did not drop a set in the match against Poland.
Anke Huber opened by beating Magdalena Mroz 6-0, 6-3, and Steffi Graf took just 36 minutes to sweep past Katarzyuna Nowak 6-0, 6-0. In the doubles, Graf and Huber beat Mroz and Katarzyna Teodorowicz 6-4, 7-5.
In today's quarterfinals, third-seeded Czechoslovakia meets Australia and defending champion Spain, the No. 2 seed, plays Argentina.
The semifinals are Saturday and the championship Sunday.
|Jul 13th, 2013 05:18 PM|
Britain pass the first test against Chile - Tennis
Thursday, July 16, 1992
From Barry Wood in Frankfurt
GREAT Britain safely overcame the initial hurdle in their attempt to avoid having to qualify for next year's Federation Cup when they defeated Chile in the first play-off round yesterday. They now need to beat either China or Finland.
Although Jo Durie defeated Paula Cabezas 6-7, 6-0, 6-1, it was far from easy, even in the final set. Her 19-year-old opponent displayed considerable tactical skill, showing a greater inclination to serve and volley. Durie was usually far more cautious and hard pushed to get the better of a lively opponent. Durie took the first break, to lead 3-1, but lost it at 5-3. Set points at 5-4 and 6-5 were lost and Cabezas took the tie-break.
The second set, however, belonged to Durie, who discovered how effective her drop shots could be. She conceded only six points as Cabezas lapsed into errors.
Although she took the third set, Durie struggled to complete the match, often bending her knees and stretching to ease aching muscles in the final stages.
Sara Gomer had earlier overwhelmed Barbara Castro, aged 16, 6-2, 6-0 after dropping the first two games. Spain were placed under pressure when Conchita Martinez was defeated 7-6, 6-2 by the Canadian, Helen Kelesi, but they reached the third round when Arantxa Sanchez Vicario beat Patricia Hy 6-4, 6-2 and Sanchez and Martinez took the deciding doubles against Jill Hetherington and Hy 6-4, 6-0.
Germany, relegated to an overcrowded court one while Czechoslovakia and Korea played on a half-empty centre court, defeated Holland. Anke Huber dropped a set to Nicole Jagermans but Steffi Graf saw off Brenda Schultz 6-3, 7-6.
|Jul 13th, 2013 05:17 PM|
SPIRIT OF OLYMPICS TOUCHES FERNANDEZ
The Miami Herald
Thursday, July 16, 1992
Mary Joe Fernandez admits the Olympics won't be quite as grand for her as for other athletes. Though just 20, Fernandez is a veteran of more than a dozen equally grand events -- tennis' Grand Slam tournaments.
"For all the other athletes, the Olympics is a very big event," said Fernandez, of Miami. "They train for four years just to be in the Olympics. I can't really say that."
Fernandez said she will treat the Olympics as just another Grand Slam tournament, keeping in mind that the July 28-Aug. 8 tennis in Barcelona will mean a little bit more.
"I've very honored to be going to represent my country," she said. "That's a big deal."
Fernandez will team with Gigi Fernandez (no relation) in doubles. Jennifer Capriati and Zina Garrison are scheduled to play singles. (Garrison suffered an ankle injury Wednesday in the Pathmark Tennis Classic in Mahwah, N.J., and her status is unclear.) The foursome took the United States to the final of the Federation Cup last year before losing to Spain, 2-1.
It was a little strange for Mary Joe Fernandez to defeat Garrison this past weekend in the final of the Hall of Fame Invitational in Newport, R.I. Fernandez and Garrison had practiced together, with the Olympics in mind.
Of the Olympic Four, Mary Joe Fernandez said, she and Garrison are the quiet ones. Gigi Fernandez and Capriati are the ones who keep conversation flying.
"We have a lot of fun though we have different types of personalities, some more hyper than others," Fernandez said.
Fernandez says she expects Garrison, who won a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics with Pam Shriver, will emerge as the team leader. The age difference -- Garrison and Gigi Fernandez are 28 and Capriati is 16 -- has not been a problem.
"We all get along really well even though we're all very competitive," Fernandez said. "It's a friendly atmosphere."
The atmosphere in Barcelona should be exceedingly friendly for Mary Joe Fernandez, whose father Jose was born there. The Fernandezes frequently visit Jose's siblings and their children. Fernandez said she expects to have a family-filled cheering section during the Olympics.
It is interesting that, of the two doubles teams that should provide the Fernandezes with the most competition, one is from Spain -- Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez. Germany, with Steffi Graf and Anke Huber, also will be strong.
Fernandez said she isn't thrilled that the Games are being played on clay -- she prefers hard courts -- and she would rather play singles than doubles. Still, she said, she realizes just how lucky she is when she watched the recent Winter Olympics.
"That's when it really hit me that I'm going to be there this summer," she said. "That got me really excited."
|Jul 13th, 2013 05:16 PM|
Canadians ousted in Federation Cup
Kitchner, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, July 16, 1992
Helen Kelesi gave Canada an early lead, but it wasn't enough to take Spain.
The defending world champion beat Canada 2-1 in second-round action Wednesday at the Federation Cup world women's team tennis championships.
In the first singles match, Kelesi of Whistler, B.C., upset Conchita Martinez, No. 8 in the world, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to give Canada an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
But in the next match, No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario defeated Patricia Hy of Richmond Hill, 6-4, 6-2 and then teamed with Martinez to post a 6-4, 6-0 decision over Kelesi and Jill Hetherington of Peterborough in the deciding doubles.
Top-seeded Spain advanced to the quarter-finals against either Japan or Argentina.
Despite the series loss, Kelesi's win provided some consolation for Canadian team officials, with the Olympics less than two weeks away.
"I'm back," Kelesi said.
She had not played on clay courts since early May and had played just one tournament in nine weeks, the $100,000 SunLife Nationals last week in Mississauga.
During the layoff, her ranking fell to No. 138, out of the top-100 for the first time in her seven-year professional career.
"It was just great to get out there and play that kind of a match," Kelesi said. "It will give me a lot of confidence for the Olympics. It's good to know I can play at that level again."
The 22-year-old right-hander looked like the Kelesi of old in her match against the heavily-favored Martinez. After falling behind 3-5, she won three of the next four games to force a tiebreaker.
|Jul 13th, 2013 05:16 PM|
SPAIN, U.S. REACH QUARTERFINALS
THE SEATTLE TIMES
Thursday, July 16, 1992
FRANKFURT, Germany - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario knows quite a bit about clay-court tennis and the Federation Cup.
The U.S. team, however, needs to learn a lot about both.
Sanchez Vicario last year almost single-handedly lifted Spain to its first Federation Cup title, carrying the team to a victory over the United States in the final.
She carried Spain to victory again yesterday, this time after Spain had fallen behind Canada with Helen Kelesi's 7-6, 6-2 victory over Conchita Martinez.
But Sanchez Vicario took over, disposing of Patrici Hy 6-4, 6-2 and teaming with Martinez for a decisive victory in doubles as Spain advanced to the quarterfinals.
In last year's final against the U.S., Martinez also had lost her singles, against Jennifer Capriati, but Sanchez beat Mary Joe Fernandez and carried Martinez to a doubles win.
This year, the U.S. team doesn't include Capriati and Mary Joe Fernandez, who are skipping the event to prepare for the Barcelona Olympics.
It does include Gigi Fernandez, who played doubles last year.
She was first on court yesterday for the Americans' match against Denmark, a team they hardly knew anything about.
Fernandez, ranked 25th in the world, beat No. 462 Karin Ptaszek 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
"I was very slow at the start, to say the least, I was tight," Fernandez said. "I had never seen her on the tour."
Lori McNeil, ranked 22nd, put the issue beyond doubt by beating Sofie Albinus, rated No. 330, 7-5, 6-0. Pam Shriver and Debbie Graham then completed the sweep by winning the doubles to put the sixth-seeded Americans into the quarterfinals.
Today, the United States played France and Germany met Poland.
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