SABATINI WORKS QUICKLY AND PUTS AWAY CAPRIATI
Thursday, July 2, 1992
The game was full of anticipation and suspense. But in a three-set tennis match, it was just one game.
Gabriela Sabatini, seeded No. 3, and sixth-seeded Jennifer Capriati returned to Centre Court yesterday to finish a match that had been suspended by darkness the night before.
One game. Two minutes. Four points. And they were done. Sabatini won all four points to complete a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory, moving her into today's semifinals against second-seeded Steffi Graf, the defending champion. Fourth- seeded Martina Navratilova and top-seeded Monica Seles will meet in the other semifinal match.
"I can't believe I just played one game," Sabatini said.
Almost everyone at Wimbledon had agreed that the match between Sabatini, who is mixing her shots exquisitely, and Capriati, the 16-year-old who belts her shots as hard as anybody in the women's game, should have been stopped after two sets on Tuesday evening.
The umpire was not one of those people. So they kept playing until the light was just about completely gone.
At the time, Sabatini was serving for the match.
Yesterday, Sabatini, not known as the fastest of starters, came out and didn't miss a serve. Capriati hit a backhand long. Capriati slipped a forehand into the net. Sabatini hit a backhand volley for a winner. Capriati returned a serve into the net.
That was it. Just 12 minutes after they had walked onto the court, Sabatini and Capriati bowed to the royal box and walked off.
Capriati's take on the whole thing: "A real bummer."