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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:02 AM   #511
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Re: 1992

Victory puts Stich at No. 4
The Tampa Tribune
Monday, June 15, 1992
A Tribune Wire Service Report

Germany's Michael Stich, the 1991 Wimbledon champion, beat American Jonathan Stark 6-4, 7-5 Sunday to win the Continental Grass Court title.

The victory moved Stich into fourth place in the world rankings, past countryman Boris Becker.

Stich took the lead in the first set when Stark double-faulted in the fifth game, losing his serve. Stich then won the next game at love and went on to win the set.

Stark returned better in the second set. They traded games until Stich broke Stark in the 11th game after winning four consecutive love games.

On his next serve, Stich took a 40-0 lead but Stark rallied to tie at 40-40. Stich regained his composure and won the match with a sizzling serve that Stark netted.

"I think I'm playing the best grass court tennis, maybe even better than last year," Stich said. "I'm looking forward to going to Wimbledon."

The seedings for Wimbledon, which starts June 22, will be announced today. The victory was Stich's 15th in his last 16 matches on grass.

Stark, 21, of Medford, Ore., was appearing in his first ATP tournament final. He turned pro last year after winning 11 junior national titles and four junior grand slams.

Ferreira claims 1st title with Queen's Club win

LONDON - South Africa's Wayne Ferreira won his first tournament title, defeating Japan's Shuzo Matsuoka 6-3, 6-4 in the Queen's Club grass-court final.

Ferreira, who defeated second-seeded American Brad Gilbert to reach the final, broke Matsuoka in the fourth game of the first set and in the seventh game of the second.

Matsuoka, ranked No. 81 in the world, was the crowd favorite after beating Sweden's Stefan Edberg, ranked No. 2 in the world, Saturday. But after holding serve once, Matsuoka double-faulted and made two errors in his second service game to give Ferreira his first break.

Nursing a sore shoulder, Matsuoka tried to counter Ferreira's big serve by coming early to the net. But errors and a succession of passing shots by Ferreira gave Matsuoka no chance.

Schultz cranks up serve to capture Dow Classic

EDGBASTON, England - Brenda Schultz, using her big serve to issue a warning for Wimbledon, defeated Australia's Jenny Byrne 6-2, 6-2 Sunday to win the $135,000 Dow Classic.

Schultz, 6-foot-2 from the Netherlands with the 120-mph serve, won in 54 minutes - the second victory of her career. "From the first day, I thought I was going to win this tournament. Sometimes you feel confident like that," Schultz said.

Schultz, 21, survived a break point in the second game and immediately secured a break herself, helped by Byrne's double fault at break point.

A second double fault on break point by Byrne put Schultz up 4-1, and three games later, Schultz held serve at love to take the first set.

In the second set, she reeled off five games in a row from 1-2, winning the match on her first match point with an ace.

"I really fancy my chances at Wimbledon," said Schultz, the No. 6 seed. "I think I can beat anyone. Everyone finds it very difficult to break my serve, so if I can keep serving well I have a good chance."

But Schultz has more than just a rocket service game. She has a strong forehand and a growing range of ground strokes.

She is now coached by Arantxa Sanchez Vicario's former mentor, Juan Nunez.

"I have been working really hard on my game and it's paying dividends," she said.

"Everything has improved and I have everything I need for good grass court play."

Schultz earned $27,000 for her run through the tournament. Her toughest test came in Saturday's semifinals against No. 7 seed Pam Shriver, a four-time winner of this event.

Byrne, unseeded, had beaten three seeded players to reach the finals.

"It's been a great week, so I can't complain," said the 25-year-old Australian, who is making a comeback after 18 months off with ankle and wrist injuries.

She was ranked No. 114 before the tournament.

Muster successfully defends ATP title

FLORENCE, Italy - Top-seeded Thomas Muster of Austria beat unseeded Renzo Furlan of Italy 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 Sunday and won the City of Florence ATP tournament for the second consecutive year.

Muster needed nearly three hours to secure the 12th victory of his career and earn $32,400.

The left-handed Muster lost his serve in the first game of the third set before winning the final six games and the match, which was mostly a baseline duel.

"He played a great match, he deserved victory," Furlan said.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:17 PM   #512
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Re: 1992

Grunfeld proves an ideal test for Navratilova - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Tuesday, June 16, 1992
Barry Wood

MARTINA Navratilova, as traditionally a part of Eastbourne tennis as strawberries and cream, defeated Amanda Grunfeld, of Britain, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of the Pilkington Glass championships yesterday.

The match was not quite the rout that might have been expected. Grunfeld is tenacious and some of her efforts drew appreciative applause from the defending champion. She played intelligently, mixing in drop shots and hitting some excellent angles.

"I hadn't played for over two months and hoped I would remember what to do," Navratilova said. "But I had just one bad service game and that was it. When my serve holds the rest of my game falls into place." She always looked comfortable.

Having holidayed in Hawaii and at home in Aspen, she feels as fit as ever, helped by a new fitness programme that allows her to take off one week in five.

Jo Durie and Shirli-Ann Siddall continued from where they left off at Edgbaston. Durie defeated Zina Garrison, the No.5 seed, 6-3, 7-5, and Siddall, who has improved her world ranking from 404 to 293, overcame Monique Javer, 6-2, 6-4. They now play each other. Durie, who beat Garrison when they met last August, felt her opponent was nervous. ``Her serve had no stick behind it, and I knew if I could keep my game at a good level I had a chance of beating her," she said.

RESULTS: First round: M Navratilova (US) bt A Grunfeld (GB), 6-2, 6-2; K Po (US) bt C Wood, 7-5, 6-1; L Savchenko (Lat) bt M Bollegraf (Holl), 6-3, 6-3; N Provis (Aus) bt N Herreman (Fr), 6-2, 6-1; I Demongeot (Fr) bt A Frazier (US), 6-3, 6-3; R White (US) bt S Gomer (GB), 6-1, 6-2; R Fairbank (US) bt M Werdel (US), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; K Date (Japan) bt M Kidowaki (Japan), 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; H Sukova (Cz) bt J Richardson (NZ), 6-1, 6-4; N Medvedeva (CIS) bt T Krizan (Slov), 2-6, 6-1, 6-3; S Testud (Fr) bt L Allen (US), 7-5,
6-4; P Hy (Can) bt G Fernandez (US), 6-4, 6-2; E Brioukhovets (Ukr) bt G Magers (US), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; J Novotna (Cz) bt Y Basuki (Indo), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; J Hetherington (Can) bt C Tanvier (Fr), 6-4, 6-2; M J Fernandez (US) bt C Kohde-Kilsch (Ger), 6-3, 6-1; L Harvey-Wild (US) bt C Suire (Fr), 6-3, 7-6; J Byrne (Aus) bt T Price (SA), 6-2, 7-5; R Stubbs (Aus) bt C Fauche (Switz), 6-3, 6-0; S A Siddall (GB) bt M Javer (GB), 6-2, 6-4; J Durie (GB) bt Z Garrison (US), 6-3, 7-5; M Endo (Japan) bt T Whitlinger (US), 6-3, 6-4; E Reinach-Nideffer (US) bt M Werdel (US), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; N Tauziat (Fr) bt G Magers (US), 6-3, 6-2; P Paradis-Magnon (Fr) bt C Lindqvist (Swe), 6-4, 7-5; H Ludloff (US) bt G Helgeson (US), 7-6, 6-3; P Shriver (US) bt C Rubin (US), 6-0, 6-2; L McNeil (US) bt A Blumberga (Lat), 6-1, 6-2; C Martinez (Sp) bt K Adams (US), 6-1, 6-1; S McCarthy (US) bt N Van Lottum (Fr), 6-0, 4-6, 6-4; K Rinaldi (US) bt L Golarsa (It), 7-6, 2-6, 6-4; P Fendick (US) bt B Schultz (Holl), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:17 PM   #513
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Re: 1992

Navratilova sent packing by a fitter opponent - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Wednesday, June 17, 1992
Barry Wood

MARTINA Navratilova suffered her worst defeat in more than ten years yesterday when she was beaten 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, by Linda Harvey-Wild in the second round of the Pilkington Glass championships at Eastbourne.

The American, aged 21 and ranked 64th in the world, took full advantage of the fact that the defending champion, undefeated in the tournament since conceding the 1987 final to Helena Sukova, was lacking in match practice. Preparation at Hilton Head, South Carolina, following a holiday in Hawaii, proved to be woefully inadequate.

Harvey-Wild repeatedly punished Navratilova's serve by hitting clean winners, and was not afraid to go for her shots in a strong wind that bothered the champion much more than her.

"I guess the wind helped me a lot, and I used it really effectively," Harvey-Wild, from Illinois, said: "I went out there knowing I had nothing to lose, and I don't think she played as well as she could have. She's getting older and is not at her peak."

Once Harvey-Wild had served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, and lost her service, she must have suspected that her chance had gone. The same thought must have occurred when was down 6-0 in the tie-break. But she demonstrated her determination by recovering four straight points before losing the tie-break 7-4, and then astonished everyone by taking a decisive 4-0 lead in the final set. "I knew I'd come close and I didn't want to give up," she said. "I just told myself to keep fighting. If she played good tennis there was nothing I could do about it." Navratilova, aged 35, has not been beaten as badly since 1981, when she suffered a first-round loss to Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, ranked sixtieth. But she insists she will not let it spoil her dreams of yet another Wimbledon title.

Jo Durie reached the third round with a 45-minute 6-0, 6-1 win over Shirli-Ann Siddall.

RESULTS: Second round: J Novotna (Cz) bt M Endo (Japan), 6-4, 6-4; H Sukova (Cz) bt S McCarthy (US), 6-4, 6-2; R Fairbank-Nideffer (US) bt K Date (Japan), 7-6, 6-1; R Stubbs (Aus) bt J Hetherington (Can), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; MJ Fernandez (US) bt S Testud (Fr), 7-6, 6-4; J Durie (GB) bt S-A Siddall (GB), 6-0, 6-1.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #514
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Re: 1992

Eastbourne heroine scrambles in - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Thursday, June 18, 1992
Andrew Longmore, Tennis Correspondent

IT WAS back to normal business for the heroine of Eastbourne yesterday. After her victory over Martina Navratilova in the second round of the Pilkington Glass championships, Linda Harvey-Wild, of the United States, had to resort to some undignified scrambling to overcome a gusty wind and the persistent challenge of Larisa Savchenko-Neiland.

She duly reached the quarter-finals with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 win over the Latvian in two hours and 17 minutes. But Jo Durie, the week's other giant-killer, went out tamely to Rennae Stubbs.

Though Australians on grass are no easy prey, Durie, who, at 36th, is at her highest ranking for five years, never came to grips with Stubbs's aggressive serve-and-volleying. "I just didn't feel comfortable and I didn't move well either," the British No.1 said.

Hampered by a sore serving arm, Durie needed to get ahead early, but missed two break points in the third game of the match and was immediately broken herself. Her confidence seemed to drain away from that moment.

Harvey-Wild, who plays Durie in the first round at Wimbledon, was an interested bystander and the compliment was returned when the American went on court later.

Harvey-Wild had to ward off thoughts of past glories and fears of anti-climax against Savchenko, who is a useful grass-court performer. She did not seem to be worried by the whispers of "she's the girl who beat Martina" which greeted her appearance, nor was she as unbalanced by the wind as Savchenko, though she needed eight set points before she levelled the match in the second set tie-break.

A double-fault in the tie-break and two more in the seventh game of the final set settled the issue and gave Harvey-Wild a quarter-final today against Stubbs, another of the three unseeded quarter-finalists. "I spent last night thinking about the final point with Martina," Harvey-Wild said. "But the problem today was more physical than mental. She's a good player and I had to concentrate on her without thinking about what had happened the day before." The other quarter-finals are: Jana Novotna v Ros Fairbank-Nideffer, Nathalie Tauziat v Lori McNeil and Helena Sukova v Mary Joe Fernandez. Somehow, there seems to be a name still missing.

Monica Seles has decided not to play under the Yugoslav flag to avoid appearing to make a political statement. She will be listed as from Sarasota, Florida, where she lives.

RESULTS: Third round: R Stubbs (Aus) bt J Durie (GB), 6-3, 6-1; J Novotna (Cz) bt E Reinach (SA), 6-1, 6-2; L Harvey-Wild (US) bt L Savchenko-Neiland (Lat), 3-6, 7-6, 6-4; R Fairbank (US) bt E Brioukhovets (CIS), 7-5, 7-5; N Tauziat (Fr) bt P Shriver (US), 6-3, 6-4; L McNeil (US) bt C Martinez (Sp), 6-0, 6-3; H Sukova (Cz) bt P Fendick (US), 6-4, 6-0; M-J Fernandez (US) bt P Hy (Can), 6-3, 6-3.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:19 PM   #515
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Re: 1992

A really interesting article, even if you are not a Durie Diehard...


Game, upset, smashed - Jo Durie
The Times
London, England
Friday, June 19, 1992
Valerie Grove

Jo Durie on the strengths that have made her Britain's No 1, and the weaknesses that leave her a global also-ran

We have been here before. A top British tennis player - the top British player, for no Briton is ranked more highly in the world than Jo Durie is on court in a high wind under a cloudless sky. As I arrive I am told in whispered, funereal tones: "She's 4-1 down." I watch the match. She loses 3-6, 1-6. Her opponent, Rennae Stubbs of Australia, is cool and insouciant. Not only is Miss Durie outmanoeuvred and outplayed by a younger, quicker, more aggressive volleyer, she is also unlucky with some terrible line calls and disturbed by a deafening helicopter which circles overhead.

There is a knot in the crowd's collective stomach because the agreeable Miss Durie, now 31, our former child tennis star, once ranked fifth in the world, is still, after 22 years in the game, the best British woman player we've got, so come on, Jo ...

I have come to Eastbourne, in East Sussex, to see her in the Pilkington Glass International Ladies' Tournament, just a few days before Wimbledon begins, because Miss Durie seems to be on a wave of victory. Only the day before she had won easily, after beating Zina Garrison, the No 5 seed, in the first round. Even the great Martina Navratilova had been knocked out. On grass, anything can happen.

Miss Durie emerges to face the tennis press, tall and tanned and cheerful with an ice pack the size of a sultan's turban on her elbow. The blustery wind, she says, had made her arm feel as if it were about to fall off each time she served. The reporters are polite. Was it that Miss Stubbs played well, and that she had played less well? Miss Durie is candid. "It was more me playing not very well. She didn't have to do too much: she wasn't threatened. She let me beat myself. I missed a lot of volleys, I just didn't feel comfortable. I didn't move well either. It's a bit disappointing, really."

Disappointing, yes. But we need our annual disappointment like our annual Wimbledon deluge followed by a predictable heatwave: it is part of our national heritage. What else would we write about each June?

Eastbourne is a foretaste of Wimbledon: picturesque in the traditional British way, a green-and-white scene under an aquamarine sky. It is the perfect seaside setting for the senior citizens in white sun-hats, courteous in their applause, and clamorous schoolchildren: this is the game everyone can enjoy. Here at Devonshire Park lawn tennis has been played since 1890.

One pictures Mrs Lambert Chambers, the Edwardian tennis heroine, in her high-neck blouse, her petersham belt and skirts to the ankles, moving as though on wheels to pat the ball in a loop over the net, in the days before Suzanne Lenglen amazed everyone by daring to show her legs. Today, the legs are great sturdy trunks, with massive thighs and rippling calf muscles, smooth and brown and powerful. And the sheer force of the grunting two-handed backhand volley: how this game has changed. In Miss Durie's time it has changed beyond recognition.

"When I had my first pro year when I went to Wimbledon and lost to Virginia Wade in the first round in 1977 if you watch the finals for those years, the late 1970s, you think, my God, it looks so slow. Chris Evert looks overweight, and it's like she's not hitting the ball hard. Nowadays people expect to be athletic, they hit the ball out of sight, the whole thing has changed professionally and athletically. It really pleases me that I've been involved in tennis as it was then, and to have lasted so long."

But when we write our laments about the British tennis player it is people like Miss Durie we think of, who has risen and fallen in the public estimation. She was the "sunny, sparkling" teenager, focus of patriotic aspiration; now she is that solidly British thing, the veteran with staying power. All the while she has lived the not very appealing life of constantly travelling the circuit; the endless hotel rooms, the sheer boredom of waiting for your match, so much wasted time spent hanging about conserving energy, punctuated by moments of glory and depression. It is the nearest thing sport offers to the pop business, complete with fans, hangers-on, minders, agents and money-men.

Hers is not an especially glamorous existence. She lives with her black cat Pickles in Enfield, Middlesex, in a house with a mortgage, practising daily with Alan Jones, her coach, at Hazelwood Club. Her idea of a good time is going out for a meal and a musical with friends. She skis every year, the only break from tennis. This summer her holiday will be spent at a dude ranch in Arizona: to play golf, and more tennis.

"This is my 14th year on the tour, and I'm ranked 36 in the world. I've had a really yo-yo career. I've come from being understudy to Virginia and Sue Barker to being ranked five in the world, and getting into semi-finals of Grand Slams, to having a bad spell and down to my lowest ranking of 160, last August."

How did she so dramatically change her fortunes since then? "Well, in 1990 I played Newport, Rhode Island, and lost in the final to (Arantxa) Sanchez Vicario in a really close three-set match which put my ranking up to 60. A year later, Newport was cancelled, the only grass tournament outside Britain, so I could not defend my ranking. I had to play cement court tournaments in America. I lost in San Diego, and then went to Toronto and played an awful match in the first round. I was bad-tempered, frustrated, tearful, upset on court, lost in three sets, came off and cried my eyes out. I just went out of the front gate and sat under a tree and I was absolutely in despair. I was feeling so bad, so sorry for myself, it was all on top of me.

"And Alan came out and sat down with me and said: 'This is not worth it, not worth getting in such a state about. Think about your life. Why put yourself through all this emotional turmoil, when you work so hard and keep practising, and not get anything back which is pleasant?'

"Well, from there we went to LA and, it's funny how things go, I just about scraped through my first match; the next round I beat Zina Garrison in the closest of matches, unbelievable tennis, I played so well. So I got to the quarter-finals. I thought: 'This is ridiculous, I am the same person as I was last week. Yet it feels as if something has been lifted off my shoulders.'

"Now I feel, win or lose, I'm trying as hard as I can: you've got to loosen up, Jo. I went on to the US Open, won three rounds, and beat (Helena) Sukova. I've tried to keep the same attitude ever since. It's not always easy: but I feel I've come to terms with myself. It's not just about winning and losing, it's about performing and getting pleasure from it."

This is the mature and balanced Miss Durie at 31. Meanwhile, new young high-flyers emerge and suffer from massive over-exposure as, immature and ill-equipped emotionally, they face the pressure and publicity, the fatigue and the hassles. Monica Seles (aged 17) was quoted only last week as saying: "To be No 1 is a terrible cross. My life has become a prison." Even her hairstyle was a promotional deal with a cosmetics company, worth $600,000. What a weird life.

"I feel in a way very sorry for any British player who shows any sign of being any good at this moment," Miss Durie says. "They pick on someone as the saviour of British tennis. So they will build you up, write about you, put you on a pedestal, be your friend, until you're suddenly not winning any more, and then my goodness, you'd better be ready for some of the nasty stories they write about you and the way they can attack you and bring you back down again. It's not very pleasant. You have to build a kind of shell for yourself.

"Remember Annabel Croft? She got out because her nerve went, I'm sure because of all the pressure, everyone expecting her to be The Next One, and she couldn't handle it any more. She was so unhappy: watching her suffer on court was awful. I was glad in a way for her that she got out. Sarah Gomer showed promise but didn't quite come up to expectations. It's tough. Clare Wood is another good player. But everyone wants Wimbledon champions, and they're not interested in anything less. It's even worse for the men: there have always been two or three of us hovering round the top 100, but the men ... if you discount Jeremy Bates, who else are you looking at?"

Miss Durie was born with the advantages of those who succeed in British tennis. The first factor was access to a tennis court. The Durie family used to go every summer to Lyme Regis, in Dorset, to the large, grand house of Uncle Eustace and Aunt Nora, who had a shale tennis court. She and her two elder brothers, who both played tennis at county level and went to Cambridge and are both now schoolteachers, and her younger brother Stephen, who now coaches at a London club, used to muck around on the court.

By the time she was eight she was a member of the King's Club at Bristol, run by her godfather Denis Bendall: a man ahead of his time in that he encouraged the juniors. "Any keen junior could join the club and he would have hundreds of us out there on Saturday mornings hitting balls and it was just so much fun. And he soon saw that I had more talent and needed individual tuition.

"It was the whole atmosphere. It was our own little club, where we could go four nights a week, after school, rain or shine, and play under floodlight. That's what started me off. Denis's enthusiasm and nagging and pushing kept us going." He congratulated her for playing well when she had her first 0-6, 0-6 defeat in her first ever tournament at eight (her opponent serving underarm) and was there when she beat Debbie Jeavons in the under-12 national finals on these very grass courts at Eastbourne.

Hurdle two was having parents willing to drive their children the long distances to tournaments: her father, a bank manager with Lloyds, would take his holidays to fit in with the circuit. This is the sacrifice in time and expense the tennis parent has to make: few can even contemplate it. In other respects her upbringing was quite ordinary. "I first went in an aeroplane when I was 16," she says, "and that was to Dublin to play a match. I'd never done anything but domestic junior tournaments. My upbringing was really very confined to what little kids did.

"Dad always said: 'You've got to do what you want to do, and you've got to be happy doing it.' If I rang him from abroad with results of some tournament, he would say: 'Worse things happen at sea'. That was his philosophy for the whole of my tennis career."

Thus it was all the more shocking when this man of equable temperament fell to his death, seven years ago, at the foot of the Avon Gorge. That was a harrowing time for Miss Durie. "I was glad I had tennis to put my mind to. I won the nationals that year, I just immersed myself in tennis. He was great, my dad, with all of us, all he wanted was for us to be happy. He was fabulous."

The problem for the British player is the way British attention focuses only on Wimbledon. "It's so unfair in a way. There are only two grass tournaments for women, and two for men, in the whole year, snd all these commentators suddenly arrive and ask: 'Who's going to win Wimbledon?' It's pretty tough on us all. It happens year after year. Any success we have elsewhere is hardly noticed. Everyone is looking for a Wimbledon winner and it's just not going to happen like that.

"We need we need to generate more interest throughout the year, to get people out onto tennis courts. In America they have TV commercials with Pam Shriver or Chris Evert saying: 'Pick up a racquet! Come try it! Go to a park, see what it's like!' Somehow we've got to get them playing.

"You have to look at what's happening at grass-roots level to see if that's building up properly, then we can start looking for tournament winners and then for Grand Slam winners. But what do people expect? We haven't got that many youngsters playing tennis to start with."

She does her bit for the youth of Britain. She goes to places like Stirling, Glasgow, Plymouth, to do one-day coaching clinics as part of her sponsorship by Pilkington Glass. The best juniors in the region are brought out: 7,500 of them so far. "We try to give them a few tips and maybe inspire them a bit. We hope they help, but you wonder, where's the follow-up? Sometimes it's hard for these kids even to get to a tennis court, let alone to get coaching. So that's what we're up against."

In any case, she adds, consider tennis's appeal. For the good of the nation's health, it's more convenient than soccer, it's both competitive and fun, it gives you exercise and a social life and you can carry on playing for the whole of your life. Her mother still plays, all year round, in a genteel ladies' four.

Few international tennis stars have emerged as emotionally unscarred as Miss Durie, even after her injury problems, with spinal surgery 10 years ago that took her out of the game for six months. When she injured her shoulder, she simply altered her serve to the very singular one she uses today.

Miss Durie is placidly eating an ice-cream cornet. Her clothes are by Robey, her racquet is a Spin, her shoes are Adidas, and Pilkington Glass ensures that her travel expenses, and Mr Jones's, are paid for, which all goes to keep her in the manner to which she became accustomed in youth. "If you spend a week in America, fares and hotel rooms come to Pounds 1,500, and that's a lot of expense if you have to pay the mortgage."

The partnership with Jones the coach has lasted since she left school in Bristol after getting her six O-levels and went to stay with him and his family. "We've had some terrible arguments. But our relationship is calmer now. He knows what I'm capable of. I've had to rely on his strength and he's been there for so long and never given up on me, as a coach and a friend."

At this point the familiar bespectacled figure of Mr Jones appears at her side and tells her she really ought to go and watch Linda Harvey-Wild, who is having a hard time on court 4 from Larisa Savchenko-Neiland. (Tennis women's names have lengthened as their muscles have strengthened.) Miss Harvey-Wild is the 21-year-old American who saw off Miss Navratilova the day before and she is drawn to play Miss Durie in the first round of Wimbledon. "It's very educational," Mr Jones says. "She's good, but Savchenko is tying her in knots." We all troop off to watch Miss Harvey-Wild's nifty way of chipping the ball down the line. Mr Jones mutters into Miss Durie's ear throughout. "Yes", Miss Durie says, "it was very educational." (Harvey-Wild won.)

Every year the LTA announces "new initiatives". There is money available. Short tennis is to be introduced into schools. A tennis supremo is appointed as Warren Jacques was in 1988 then leaves the scene: little has changed. The dynamo coach from Florida, Nick Bollettieri, Andre Agassi's mentor, last year announced he would be working with LTA coaches to bring on British youth in the American style. Miss Durie has spoken out with passion about her despair over British tennis. "We should have regional centres with squads all over the country. We should have 40 players at Bisham Abbey (the LTA training centre), not four. I can't see how things can change."

When she was 11, Dan Maskell told her she would win Wimbledon one day. The furthest she got was the quarter-finals, but even that was further than any other British player for years. Doubtless in the coming fortnight the same old questions will be asked: Are we hungry enough? Do we have the killer instinct? Is it just that we are such gentlemen (and ladies) and don't mind losing? Are British players "too nice"? People have often said Miss Durie, whose smile is more familiar than her scowl, is too nice.

"No," she says emphatically. "I wouldn't have got where I am today being too nice. I'm not too nice at all. I just treat everyone as you should treat other human beings. But when I'm on a tennis court, don't get me wrong: I want to win."

Our dear old "Tennis, anyone?" was long ago laughed out of court, and our game of "Sorry!" and "Good shot!" and "My service is hopeless" really is now the different ball game of the cliche. But even Miss Joan Hunter-Dunne had "the speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy" and no sponsorship. Come on, Jo.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:20 PM   #516
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Re: 1992

American finds her feet on grass - Tennis
The Times
London, England)
Friday, June 19, 1992
Andrew Longmore, Tennis Correspondent

THREE Americans of differing grass-court pedigrees reached the semi-finals of the Pilkington Glass championships at Eastbourne yesterday. Mary Joe Fernandez, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, continued her impressive transformation from baseliner to aggressive serve-and-volleyer with a straight-sets victory over Helena Sukova, and Lori McNeil, the No.11 seed, beat Nathalie Tauziat, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, in two hours and 53 minutes.

The Texan was 4-2 down in the first set and saved a point to go 5-1 down in the deciding set, so her win was hard-earned. Linda Harvey-Wild, the third member of the trio, also continued her seaside adventures, routing Rennae Stubbs for the loss of two games. Her impromptu preview of her act for the players' cabaret was considerably more entertaining than a one-sided quarter-final which effectively ended when the unseeded American took the first five games.

Harvey-Wild now plays Ros Fairbank-Nideffer, who beat Jana Novotna 6-1, 6-3. Quietly and efficiently, much in the way she runs her life, Fernandez is becoming a highly competent grass-court player. She does not have the power or athleticism of Steffi Graf, nor is she as good a volleyer as Sukova, but she returns service well and is starting to overcome the natural baseliners' fear of going to the net.

"It's all in the mind; you know you should go in, but you hesitate for a second and the moment is lost. At least, I am beginning to see myself coming in," she said after a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win. Had Sukova served as forcefully as she can, it would have been more of a match. But she could not find any consistency or pace on her service and the No.2 seed was able to pass her almost at will. Fernandez had already taken the first set by the time the rain, which had been threatening all afternoon, finally arrived, and broke immediately when play resumed after an hour and a half.

But it was not until the tenth game of the second set that she broke through decisively. "I've always liked playing on grass and I am playing more aggressively than I was last year," Fernandez said. Though born in the Dominican Republic, Fernandez is a naturalised American, a status Monica Seles seems to covet. The Wimbledon No.1 seed has had her request not to be listed as a Yugoslav at Wimbledon accepted.

RESULTS: Quarter-finals: L Harvey-Wild (US) bt R Stubbs (Aus), 6-1, 6-1; L McNeil (US) bt N Tauziat (Fr), 7-6, 6-7, 7-5; M J Fernandez (US) bt H Sukova (Cz), 6-3, 6-4; R Fairbank-Nideffer (US) bt J Novotna (Cz), 6-1, 6-3.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #517
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Re: 1992

Harvey-Wild continues climb into Kraft spotlight
USA TODAY
Friday, June 19, 1992
Author: Doug Smith

EASTBOURNE, England - Linda Harvey-Wild isn't prepared to say her game has jumped a level, though her results at the Pilkington Glass Championships hint of a breakthrough.

The 21-year-old from Hawthorn Woods, Ill., who upset No. 1 seed Martina Navratilova in the second round, Thursday earned her first semifinal berth in 13 Kraft Tour events this year, defeating Rennae Stubbs, 6-1, 6-1. She plays Ros Fairbank-Nideffer Friday. No. 2 Mary Joe Fernandez and Lori McNeil meet in the other semifinal.

Harvey-Wild, No. 64 in the world, turned pro two years ago.

"I've never really jumped way up; it's been a gradual process,'' she said. "I take it in sections. I set goals I can reach.''

Steve Wild, her stepfather and coach, said a weightlifting program developed by Al Vermeil, Chicago Bulls strength and conditioning coach, is producing results. "I can hardly stay on the court with her and I used to beat her,'' he said.

Harvey-Wild upset Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in her pro debut at the 1990 Virginia Slims of Chicago but hasn't played at a consistently high level since - until this week.

Said her stepfather: "I think she's getting to the point where she says, `Wait a minute! I can play with the top pros. They're good, but I'm good, too.' ''

REQUEST GRANTED: Wimbledon chief executive officer Chris Gorringe said Thursday that the tournament will honor Monica Seles' request to be listed from Sarasota, Fla., where she has lived the last six years, instead of from her native Yugoslavia. "We have always respected an individual's request,'' he said. Georgina Clark, senior tour director of the Women's Tennis Association, said Seles made the decision during the French Open in hopes of avoiding political controversy. "It's a very sensitive situation and she would like to be known from the country where she's living,'' Clark said.

THEIR AD: Jimmy Connors teams up with Chris Evert in the newest Nuprin commercial, debuting this weekend. Evert, with her 8-month-old son, Alex, is the first woman to join Connors in the ``Nupe It'' campaign, following Michael Chang and NFL quarterbacks Joe Montana and Jim Kelly.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #518
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Re: 1992

McNeil fights off attack of nerves to make sure of title - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Monday, June 22, 1992
Andrew Longmore

THEY came on a traditional pilgrimage to Devonshire Park to praise Martina Navratilova, and ended the week in applause for the more understated skills of Lori McNeil.

In the final at Eastbourne on Saturday, the Texan coped with the elements rather better than Linda Harvey-Wild, who nonetheless had a week to remember after beating the champion, to take the Pilkington Glass championships title 6-4, 6-4.

On her day, McNeil has always been a match for the best, but rarely in a career that began as long ago as 1983 has she put her form together for four or five days in a row.

Even after her victory here, she refused to accept that her chances for Wimbledon were brighter than at any time since she reached the quarter-finals in 1986. Typically, she preferred to stress the down-side of being the player in form.

"It's a good feeling at the moment," she said. "But you still have to start all over again. It's another tournament next week and if everyone knows you're playing well, everyone gears up for you."

Taking advantage of the earlier demise of Navratilova, ten times the champion, and of Zina Garrison, her fellow traveller on the road from the park courts in Houston, McNeil gained in confidence with each round.

After she had slightly fortuitously taken the first set against the unseeded Harvey-Wild, she romped away with the second. The end, though, was still a little breathless, McNeil leading 5-0 before losing her service twice amid an attack of nerves. "She started really going for it," the No.11 seed said.

The woman from Illinois, whose shock defeat of Navratilova caused such a pre-Wimbledon flutter, was hampered by a recurrence of an injury to her left knee, originally sustained at Wimbledon last year.

She needed lengthy treatment early in the first set, but should be fit to meet Jo Durie in the opening round at Wimbledon.

Coincidentally, McNeil is also stationed in the same section of the Wimbledon draw as Harvey-Wild and Zina Garrison, who was beaten by the British No.1 earlier last week. Natalia Zvereva, the most dangerous of unseeded floaters, and Ros Fairbank-Nideffer, beaten 6-1, 6-3 by Harvey-Wild in a semi-final delayed from Friday, are also in the same tough 16.

On form, Garrison, the No.13 seed at Wimbledon, and Conchita Martinez, the No.8 seed, who is making her debut there, would have the most to fear, always provided that inheriting Navratilova's mantle as the champion of Eastbourne does not prove too weighty a burden for McNeil.

RESULTS: Semi-final: L Harvey-Wild (US) bt R Fairbank-Nideffer (US), 6-1, 6-3. Final: L McNeil (US) bt Harvey-Wild, 6-4, 6-4.
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Old Apr 6th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #519
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Re: 1992

McNeil gets boost before opening match
USA TODAY
Monday, June 22, 1992
Doug Smith

EASTBOURNE, England - The extraordinary talent Lori McNeil showed several years ago resurfaced at last week's Pilkington Glass Championships.

McNeil, 29, who hadn't won a singles title in 18 months, defeated Linda Harvey-Wild 6-4, 6-4 in Saturday's final - though not before blowing most of a 5-0 second-set lead.

"I think she was getting a little scared,'' said Harvey-Wild, whose strong performance included a second-round upset of top seed Martina Navratilova.

McNeil, who beat No. 10-ranked Conchita Martinez and No. 7 Mary Joe Fernandez en route to the title, claimed the $70,000 first prize when Harvey- Wild committed three consecutive unforced errors.

"It's a good feeling and a confidence-builder for Wimbledon,'' McNeil said in anticipation of her opening match with France's Catherine Suire.

McNeil reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1986 and seemed on the verge of greatness in 1987, when she advanced to the U.S. Open semifinals, losing to Steffi Graf in three sets. But she has struggled since.

"I think I'm maturing as a person and as a player,'' she said. "I know I've always had the skills and the talent. It's just been a question of appreciating the talent and using it.''
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #520
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Re: 1992

Slims Field Better Than Ever But Tourney Faces Wait for Upgraded Status on Women's Tour
The Daily Oklahoman
Sunday, February 16, 1992
Berry Tramel

Virginia Slims of Oklahoma is alive and well, with the finest field in its seven-year history, but it's unlikely the tournament soon will move to the next rung on the women's tennis tour.

The $150,000 event at The Greens Country Club began Saturday with qualifying to complete the 32-player bracket, which begins Monday, with play continuing through Sunday's finals.

Zina Garrison, a 1990 Wimbledon finalist and a top-10 player most of the last 10 years, heads an entry list featuring four of the tour's top 25 ranked players, making 1992 the deepest of the Oklahoma Slims fields.

The 14th-ranked Garrison is joined by No. 18 Gigi Fernandez and two former Oklahoma Slims champions, No. 22 Lori McNeil (1988) and No. 25 Amy Frazier (1990). Also in the tournament is 1989 champion Manon Bollegraf, currently ranked 41st.

Tour stops are classified into five tiers, depending on prize money. Oklahoma City is on Tier IV, with the three higher levels at $225,000, $350,000 and $550,000. But tournaments can't just boost their cash awards and gain higher status. The Women's International Professional Tennis Council regulates the number of tournaments at each tier, keeping enough events for all its players.

Tour director Jean Nachund, while praising the Oklahoma Slims, said the tournament faces a wait before it has a chance of upgraded status. There must be an opening on the schedule, and tournaments must wait their turn. Several events, Nachund said, are in line ahead of Oklahoma City.

The tour guarantees Tier IV tournaments one top-10 player or two top-20 players, so this year's Slims is "quite a strong draw," Nachund said.

The only other tour event this week is a Tier V tournament in Italy, and the Oklahoma tournament fits in nicely the week after the Virginia Slims of Chicago - they are the only two U.S. indoor tournaments not played in November.

"I thought it would make sense to play two in a row," said Fernandez, who lost in the first round last year and lost in the first round at Chicago last week.

The last few years, several U.S. indoor tournaments have been sold - the tour does not regulate the sale of its events - and moved to Europe, which remains starved for more professional tennis.

The U.S.-based players bemoan the lack of indoor tournaments. "I have some of my best results indoors," said Garrison. "You know you're going to play. . ."

Fernandez said, "Everyone likes to play indoors. There's less to deal with . . . in a lot of ways, the caliber of tennis can be better. Usually, you play your best tennis indoors."
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 06:47 PM   #521
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Re: 1992

Fernandez Has Fire for Gold
The Daily Oklahoman
Monday, February 17, 1992
Berry Tramel

Gigi Fernandez had a choice when it came to 1992 Olympic hopes: carry a flag into the games or wear a gold medal out of them. She is going for the gold.

Fernandez, who turns 28 on Saturday, is competing in the seventh Virginia Slims of Oklahoma , which begins its week-long run today at The Greens Country Club. In July, she will play doubles for the U.S. squad in the Barcelona Olympics.

The Puerto Rico native, an eight-year veteran of the women's tennis tour, was nominated by the U.S. Tennis Association to play at Barcelona with Mary Joe Fernandez. Puerto Ricans are American citizens, so Gigi Fernandez had the option of playing for either nation.

The decision was "extremely difficult," she said. "In my heart, I'm Puerto Rican."

Fernandez says she is the first professional female athlete from Puerto Rico: "It's really not all that cool for women to have careers yet. We're about 10 years behind the States."

She equates her fame with the governor of the Caribbean commonwealth, "particularly right now," since Puerto Rican television made a big issue of her Olympic decision.

Fernandez could have played singles and doubles for Puerto Rico and "I probably would have carried the flag. That would have been special. But you can't just make decisions with your heart."

Fernandez has had a productive career - in doubles, the No. 1 ranking and three Grand Slam titles; the current No. 18 player in singles - but an Olympic gold medal is a once in a lifetime chance for all but the greatest of players.

Fernandez had no suitable doubles partner from Puerto Rico, and she would be a long shot at best in singles. "I realized my only chance to win a gold medal was with the U.S.," she said. "I'm sure I made the right decision."

Fernandez has won Grand Slam doubles titles with three different partners - Jana Novotna in the 1991 French Open, Martina Navratilova in the 1990 U.S. Open and Robin White in the 1988 U.S. Open. She will play doubles this week with White.

But it rankles Fernandez when she is referred to as a doubles specialist. Last year at Albuquerque, N.M., she won her second tour singles title, lifting her to a No. 17 ranking.

"I am in the top 20 in the world," she said. "That's very good. People think because you're No. 2 in doubles and No. 18 in singles, you're a doubles specialist."

However, she admits that in early 1991 - she lost to Catarina Lindqvist in the first round of the Oklahoma Slims last February - she considered giving up singles: "My ranking was dropping. I thought about just making a living play doubles."

Fernandez lost in the first round of the Chicago Slims last week, but she remains confident for the Oklahoma event. Her serve-and-volley game, rare on the women's tour this side of Navratilova, is suited to the fast surface indoors.

Fernandez, the second seed, plays Angelica Gavaldon in the first round Tuesday. In other first-round matches involving seeded players, No. 1 Zina Garrison plays Halle Cioffi on Tuesday, No. 3 Lori McNeil meets Susan Sloane-Lundy on Tuesday and No. 4 Amy Frazier plays Kathy Rinaldi on Monday at 7 p.m.
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 06:47 PM   #522
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Re: 1992

Rackets and Reins - Grossman Enjoys Tennis, Horses
The Daily Oklahoman
Tuesday, February 18, 1992
Berry Tramel

Tennis is not a rural game.

American players come from the cities, like Zina Garrison and Lori McNeil, the Houston natives seeded first and third, respectively, in the Virginia Slims of Oklahoma, which began Monday at the Greens Country Club.

Or from the suburbs, like fourth-seeded Amy Frazier of Rochester Hills, Mich.

Whoever heard of a farm girl playing tennis? Meet Ann Grossman.

The 21-year-old from Grove City, Ohio, grew up not only wishing she had a showhorse like her older sister but hitting thousands of tennis balls off the backboard her father built in the barn.

While the other touring pros have seen only the country-club side of Oklahoma City, Grossman's first view was from the horse stalls on the state fairgrounds.

In 1979, while her sister showed Snip's Nettie Bar - a 1976 national champion - in the American Paint Horse Show, "I was in the horse barn, playing with all the kids," said Grossman. "We lived in the horse trailer . . . (slept) in the stalls right next to the horses."

Grossman was not always welcome around her older sister's horse. "She'd always go, `You're gonna mess her up. Get out of here.' I was so bummed, I wanted my own horse."

Instead, she had tennis. Encouraged by her father, the farm girl took up the game at the age of four and, after practicing with only livestock as an audience, she honed her skills at Nick Bolletierri's famed academy in Florida.

Last year, at the age of 20, Grossman achieved a ranking of 36th in the world. Monday, she returned to the Oklahoma Slims after a three-year absence and defeated Stella Sampras - the sister of former U.S. Open champion Pete Sampras - 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.

The family farm is gone, sold a few years ago, and now so is part of the family - Grossman's father died last year.

"Those were the good days," Grossman said of her childhood. "I miss it so much. My sister's husband is a farmer, but it's just so different. You don't feel like you're a part of it anymore, because it's not your dad."

The loss of her father has affected Grossman's game. She has dipped to 75th in the rankings, though she reached the semifinals at a tour event in New Zealand two weeks ago.

"It's pretty hard right now," Grossman said. "He taught me everything; he was my best bud. Anytime I needed to come home and work on something, he was there. You just feel so lost. You don't know what to do. But I just have to be thankful for what he gave me. I have a great life."

When her first tour title comes, Grossman's father won't be there to see it. "It'll be very sad . . . it hurts me all the time, anything I do, that he's not here anymore," she said. "It'll just take time to get over him."

To help ease the pain, Grossman is returning to her roots. She's finally getting that horse she always wanted.

Last week, she purchased a quarter horse, Sonny Dee Maude, that she and her sister will show come summer. Grossman hasn't even laid eyes on it yet.

"I'm really excited, get a little back into it," she said. "I feel I have something to go back home to."

Grossman, whose best Grand Slam finishes were trips to the fourth round in the French Open in 1989 and 1990, will play in the second round against eighth-seeded Tami Whitlinger, a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 winner over Heather Ludloff.
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 06:47 PM   #523
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Re: 1992

No. 4 Seed Frazier Advances With Ease
The Daily Oklahoman
Tuesday, February 18, 1992
Berry Tramel

Fourth-seeded Amy Frazier breezed into the second round of the Virginia Slims of Oklahoma tennis tournament Monday night at The Greens Country Club, but eighth-seeded Tami Whitlinger was extended to three sets before surviving.

Frazier, the 1990 Oklahoma Slims champion, routed Kathy Rinaldi 6-1, 6-3. But Whitlinger struggled to defeat Heather Ludloff 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.

No other singles seeds played Monday. Second-seeded Gigi Fernandez, No. 3 Lori McNeil, No. 5 Nicole Provis and No. 7 Manon Bollegraf, the 1989 Oklahoma champion and 1990 runnerup, play today. Top-seeded Zina Garrison begins Wednesday, against Halle Cioffi.

The two seeded doubles teams that played Monday won. Top-seeded McNeil and Provis needed just 49 minutes to rout Kerry Anne Guse and Kristin Godridge 6-0, 6-1. And No. 4 Fernandez and Robin White, beat Peanut Harper and Caroline Vis 6-2, 6-1.

"I feel like I'm playing really good," said Frazier, a Rochester Hills, Mich., resident who used to live in Enid. "I grew up (playing) indoors, so I'm comfortable."

Tournament officials said the turnout was the largest opening-day crowd in the seven-year history of the Oklahoma Slims. An estimated 1,000 fans saw the two sessions.
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 06:48 PM   #524
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Re: 1992

Bollegraf Can't Lose for Winning - '89 Champ Survives Slims Opener
The Daily Oklahoman
Wednesday, February 19, 1992
Mike Baldwin

The Virginia Slims of Oklahoma has been so good to Manon Bollegraf that the Netherlands native can't even lose when all appears lost.

Bollegraf dropped her first set to Sophie Amiach 6-3 and trailed 4-1 in the second set, down two service breaks, but rallied to win 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the opening round Tuesday afternoon at The Greens Country Club.

"I shouldn't have won this match," Bollegraf said. "I guess I have a little guardian angel with me here since this is my best tournament.

"To tell you the truth, in my mind, I already thought I had a first-round loss. I was playing very bad. I had no control, no rhythm, and was down 6-3, 4-1, double break. Nothing looked as if I was going to win. That's when I said, `What the heck.' "

Bollegraf, seeded seventh, wasn't the only seeded player to narrowly escape in first-round matches Tuesday. Sixth-seeded Debbie Graham overcame Beverly Bowes' upset bid 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

Second-seeded Gigi Fernandez and third-seeded Lori McNeil played night matches. McNeil, the former Oklahoma State standout who won the singles title here in 1988, played in the feature match. Top-seeded Zina Garrison plays in tonight's feature match at 7.

Bollegraf has always played well here, but that wasn't the case in her match against Amiach (pronounced am-E-ock).

"It was a funny match," Bollegraf said. "I had absolutely no feeling, no rhythm, nothing. It was a winner or it was out. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't focus. It was a strange feeling."

Bollegraf's only Kraft tour title came when she won the Oklahoma Slims title in 1989. She was runner-up here in '90 and reached the semifinals last year. She owns a 13-2 match record in Oklahoma City.

One reason Bollegraf, a serve-and-volley player, always fares well in Oklahoma City is that she likes the hard surface.

"It always gives you a good feeling to come back to a tournament you've done well at," Bollegraf said. "It's funny, but this time of the year is when I've played my best. But I've always done well on indoor, hard-courts. I like this surface a lot."

Bollegraf, 27, is on the same side of the bracket as Fernandez, McNeil and fifth-seeded Nicole Provis, another player who likes the hard surface.

"We don't have a top-10 player, but it's a very strong field," Bollegraf said. "As you can see, a qualifier (Amiach) almost beat the seventh seed. If you don't play well one day that's it."

Bollegraf had been struggling in recent months but regained some confidence last week by reaching the quarterfinals in Chicago, losing to top-seeded Steffi Graf.

"That was the best I could do. I was very happy with that," Bollegraf said. "After Australia I split up with my coach, who was my coach for seven years.

"I wasn't happy on the court. It wasn't any fun. If I'm not a happy camper on the court I don't play well. Tennis has to be fun."

It's becoming fun again. Rallying for a win could give Bollegraf some momentum.

"It could, but it scares me for my match (today) because if I play like this again I'll have a hard time," Bollegraf said. "I played well yesterday, but warming up this morning was bad. I just had a bad feeling going into the match. I was very lucky today."

NOTES: Pam Shriver and some players from the Virginia Slims field will have their serves timed tonight. The public is also invited to compete in the Sonic's Fast-Serve contest tonight from 5-7 p.m. at The Greens.
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Re: 1992

Final Fling For Slims
The Daily Oklahoman
Wednesday, February 19, 1992
Berry Tramel

Virginia Slims, the pioneer supporter of women's professional tennis, is streamlining its commitment to the sport and will not sponsor the tour event in Oklahoma City after this week's tournament.

That leaves tournament promoters scrambling to find a sponsor or sponsors that will keep the event in the city.

Pro-Serve of Washington, D.C., owns the Virginia Slims of Oklahoma , and tournament chairperson Sara Fornaciari promotes the event for the company. "Pro-Serve wants it to be here," she said, "because they know this has been a successful promotional endeavor for them.

"It makes no sense on earth to change venues if you don't have to. The best thing they could ever envision is someone come up and say, `I want a five-year deal and I want the tournament to stay right here in Oklahoma City.' " Fornaciari wants to keep the tournament at The Greens Country Club.

However, she admitted it's possible the event will be moved if adequate sponsorship is not secured.

Virginia Slims, which in 1970 initiated the women's tour, has in recent years sponsored various tournaments. But last year, it decided to eliminate all but the Tier I ($550,000) and II ($350,000) tournaments. In 1989, Slims sponsored five Tier III or IV events, but this week's tournament will be the final smaller event bearing the Virginia Slims name.

Slims' contribution to the Oklahoma tournament is "major," said Fornaciari. "They wouldn't have that title without it."

A replacement for Slims "could be in the form of one major commitment by one company, or it could end up being the Oklahoma Tennis Classic and have participation by a lot of different companies that could involve the community at large, which would also be a good way to go."

IGA has been the "presenting sponsor" each of the seven years of the tournament and is in a virtual "partnership" with Pro-Serve, said Fornaciari. "One of the best sponsors I've ever been associated with in 19 years of being involved in women's tennis."

But IGA is not a likely title sponsor. "I think IGA does so much already that's way above and beyond any normal sponsor participation, that what we need is a partner to complement them," Fornaciari said. "They have indicated they're willing to participate at an even higher level."

IGA spokesman Pat Davis, who said his company's annual contribution is "considerable," would like to see several state businesses co-sponsor the tournament: "It would lend itself more to what we're trying to do."

If sponsorship can be found, the tournament's status would not be affected, other than the loss of the Virginia Slims name. It would remain a Tier IV tournament on the Kraft Tour and would receive the same player commitments (one top-10 or two top-20 players).

"We just want everyone to know it's a great opportunity to keep a world-class event in town at a great time of year," said Fornaciari.

She pointed out that there are only 26 tour tournaments with a higher status, equating the Oklahoma event with one of the stops on the PGA Tour.

"Everybody has their chance to see the major grand-slam type players here," she said. "This is one of the great bargains in tennis sponsorship out there. Really, the caliber that we're attracting because of our date and location and the timing, we have a fantastic event."
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