Amelia Island 1992:
BASSETT'S COMEBACK ON TRACK
Tuesday, April 7, 1992
AMELIA ISLAND -- Carling Bassett Seguso was 15, battling Chris Evert in the final of the WTA Championships here in 1983. The kid lost in three sets, but she won the hearts of the national television viewers that day.
Bassett was back on the clay at Amelia Island Plantation Monday. The tournament is called the Bausch & Lomb Championships now, and Bassett is a 24-year-old mother and wife. Across the net was 16-year-old Lindsay Davenport, the U.S. junior champion.
Times change, but experience doesn't. It still wins three-set matches.
Down 2-6, 0-2, Bassett rallied to beat Davenport 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
''Lindsay is going to be a good player, but she's still a little young and she had a little lapse,'' said Bassett, who won a main-draw match for the first time in three tournaments since her comeback began in March.
Bassett passed up a main-draw wild card to play qualifying over the weekend. Her two victories helped her come back Monday.
''I knew I could win this match,'' Bassett said. ''If I had gone on the court without a match, and I was getting blown away, I might have doubted it.''
Bassett knew she couldn't slug it out with Davenport, a 6-foot Californian.
''She feeds off pace, so I tried to slow it down and make her think more,'' Bassett said. ''There was no way I was going to beat her the other way.''
Davenport, who also qualified, was frustrated by the slow surface.
''Players run balls down more on clay,'' Davenport said. ''Carling was anticipating better as the match went on. But I think I let her back in. She played well, but after the second set I got so upset and made too many errors.''
Bassett built a 4-1 lead in the final set, but lost her serve at love.
''The next game was very important,'' said Bassett, who broke Davenport at 15. ''Click -- she could have come back on by hitting a few more hard balls.''
Bassett, who plays the winner of the Natalia Zvereva-Petra Ritter match Wednesday, will be back on the computer after her third tournament. If she loses, she will be ranked approximately No. 351. A victory over Zvereva would move Bassett up to approximately No. 255.
The comeback, which began with the Virginia Slims of Florida, has been rewarding, although Bassett is without her children for the first time in her life.
''We were driving up I-95 with the whole family last week,'' said Bassett, who lives in Boca Raton. ''We'd gone about 40 minutes in the pouring rain. C.J. wouldn't sit in her car seat and Holden wanted a drink. Robert said he couldn't take six hours of this, so he turned around and brought the kids home. Probably just as well, but I would have been a basket case by now.''
-- Halle Cioffi edged Michelle Jackson-Nobrega of Palm Beach Gardens 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8). Jackson missed two match points, serving for the match at 6-5.