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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 08:11 PM   #256
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Re: 1992

Gaby jinxed herself: this was to be her last win over Graf.


SABATINI STOPS GRAF AT AMELIA ISLAND
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Monday, April 13, 1992
Associated Press

Gabriela Sabatini successfully defended her title in the Bausch & Lomb Championships on Sunday, beating top-seeded Steffi Graf, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, for the third time in four years.

The victory was the seventh for Sabatini in the past eight meetings with Graf and gave her a tour-leading four titles this season.

The match lasted 1 hour, 46 minutes and was the second of the day for both players, who won rain-delayed semifinals in the morning at Amelia Island Plantation. Sabatini, who also beat Graf here in 1989 and 1991, earned $70,000.

The rivalry between Sabatini and Graf is one of the biggest on the women's tour and Sunday reflected how competitive it is. Sabatini dominated early, Graf was overpowering during the middle portion of the match and Sabatini came on strong at the end.

Graf capitalized on a greater percentage of her opportunities (86 percent) at the net, but Sabatini (65 percent) won twice as many points (24 to 12) by going to net 37 times compared to Graf's 14.

"My strategy has changed," Sabatini said, reflecting on the series that Graf leads 21-11. "I'm a lot more comfortable going to the net now. It's made a difference. After winning so many times against her, it gives me an advantage. It gives you confidence when you win."

Graf has lost only 23 singles matches since January 1987 with 11 of those coming against Sabatini, who had to win to retain the No. 3 ranking.

"The way she started was incredible, and the way she closed was just the same," said Graf, who fell behind 5-1 in the first set and appeared to be on the way to a lopsided loss when Sabatini broke her serve for a 1-0 lead in the second set.

"She started off playing just unbelievable. Then I started playing well in the second set," said Graf, who turned the match around by winning eight of the next 10 games.

"I felt good going into the third set. I had some chances, but I didn't take advantage of them."

Graf, ranked No. 2, reached the final for the fourth consecutive year and sixth time by overcoming a one-set deficit to beat Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3. Sabatini defeated Conchita Martinez, 6-3, 6-3, in a rematch of last week's Family Circle Cup final at Hilton Head, S.C.

Graf and Sanchez Vicario, seeded third, were tied, 6-6, in the first set when a thunderstorm halted play on Saturday. The match resumed with a morning tiebreaker that Sanchez Vicario won, 7-3.

A pulled leg muscle, however, limited Sanchez Vicario's mobility the rest of the way. Graf took control of the match with a service break for a 4-3 lead in the second set.

''It felt worse and worse as the match went on,'' Sanchez Vicario said.

Sabatini defeated Martinez, 6-1, 6-4, at Hilton Head and didn't have much difficulty beating her again. The match lasted 77 minutes, leaving Sabatini about three hours to rest for the final.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:11 PM   #257
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Re: 1992

And now for another small clay court tournament, played in Paris, France.

TENNIS; When Dreams Turn to Winning
By ROBIN FINN,
Published: May 25, 1992
New York Times

PARIS, May 24— The clay is red, the roses are pink, it's springtime in Paris, and the sense of romance is not lost on the phalanx of last-minute practicers lobbing and serving at Roland Garros Stadium here. At least until Monday, when real competition begins and hopefuls start turning into has-beens, everybody still thinks he or she can win the French Open.

"During a Grand Slam anything can happen in those two weeks: you can get sick, you can get better, you can go for it much more mentally and emotionally," said Monica Seles, who has gone for this one with enough gusto to amass a 19-1 record, including titles in 1990 and '91 and a semifinal finish in her 1989 debut.

The French is the Grand Slam event that's recently been a mecca for relative nobodies. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Michael Chang still giggle like conspirators over their sweep of the supreme titles in clay tennis as 17-year-olds in 1989. Seles had not yet written herself into the record book and the thirtysomething Andres Gomez was on the verge of writing himself out of it when they won in 1990. And last year's men's champion, Jim Courier, used the tournament as a launching pad while rocketing from obscurity to the No. 1 ranking.

Even McEnroe Has Ideas

Maybe it's something in the air, but the atmosphere is so dreamy here that even a jaded campaigner like John McEnroe, who counts no French Open championships among his seven Grand Slam singles titles, has caught the fever.

McEnroe, picking up where Jimmy Connors left off, may have hired on as this year's colorful commentator for NBC, but he did so only after stipulating that his broadcast duties not begin until his singles competition ends.

"So in a way I'm kind of hoping I never make it to the booth, because that means I'll have won it," McEnroe said. This from the man who once described red clay as being a surface so deadening that "even the Lakers couldn't run a fast break on it."

Another of the red clay's less vociferous fans, third-ranked Pete Sampras, previously looked upon the French Open as a potential two-week prison sentence and twice managed to avoid serving time by losing in the second round. This year even Sampras has warmed to the charms of Paris and has vowed to try to stick around. Now that he's unseated Boris Becker in the rankings, he'd like to go a step further.

"Winning a title on clay, that's something even Boris has never done," said Sampras. And Becker won't get a chance to do it this year after dropping out of the tournament in order to get his sore thigh primed for Wimbledon. Along with Martina Navratilova, who is already busy training for Wimbledon on grass on Hilton Head Island, Becker may be the only player who knows he can't win the French this year.

Nevertheless, a hard-headed look at the first-round matchups suggests that Connors, McEnroe, Sampras and Ivan Lendl could come to know what Becker knows sooner than they would like. Connors and Lendl appear the most vulnerable to early exits: Connors will play fourth-seeded Michael Stich, the reigning Wimbledon champion, and Lendl has drawn Sergi Brugera of Spain, who was last year's hottest player on clay and is 15-5 on the soft stuff in 1992. Sampras plays the big-serving Marc Rosset of Switzerland and McEnroe takes on Niklas Kulti, another steady Swede.

Two Sluggers Immune to Fatigue

In contrast to all the wishful thinkers, there are two players who know they can win the French: Seles and Courier. Both are top-ranked pummelers with a seemingly non-existent fatigue quotient and both are defending champions who don't see any reason not to repeat.

"There is not a player I fear in particular," Courier said last week at Roland Garros, where he began intensive practice sessions immediately after going the distance in his sole French Open tuneup -- a straight-set defeat of 10th-ranked Carlos Costa, this year's hottest player on clay, in the final of the Italian Open.

Seles was an Italian Open runner-up, just as she was the year before, so she considered her play in Rome as appropriate preparation for Paris.

"I learned last year how to defend my title," said Seles, who is 32-5 in Grand Slam competition. She captured all three Slam events she entered in 1991 and has already repeated as this year's Australian Open champion.

Courier, not so coincidentally, also picked up a 1992 slam title at the Australian Open.

Next Best Things to Locks

Though it might be unfair to refer to Courier and Seles as machines, they are the closest thing their tours have to foolproof favorites in whichever event they choose to play. Seles is 31-2 this year, and 12-1 on clay; she has won titles in five of the last seven Kraft Tour events she entered. Courier is 37-5, and 6-0 on clay compared with the 2-2 clay court record he took to Paris last year. And he became the first American to win at Rome since 1983.

"One can almost say it's been a dream year for me since the last French Open; many things have changed for me since last year, and of course I feel more pressure," Courier said. "I'm expected to be up there in the final rounds of every event I play. But the heaviest pressure is the one I put on myself and on my will to control my game. I feel I'm becoming more and more of a professional every day."

Courier said he anticipates a strong challenge from No. 2-ranked Stefan Edberg, who finally picked up a second career victory on clay by defeating Stich in a final at Hamburg three weeks ago. Like Becker, Edberg has won every Slam event except the French and would like to complete his set of loving cups.

Seles has been less willing than Courier to analyze what makes for domination in Grand Slam finales. After collecting five titles in five finals, she's not about to overexamine what seems to be a somewhat secret formula for success, even for her.

"A lot of things come together there, and I don't even know myself why, and I don't like to think about it, really," she said.

Seles also doesn't like to think about the solid clay-court performances some of her peers have had this season. On the men's side, only the unproven Costa has been close to flawless on the surface (he's 26-7 over all this year, 25-4 on clay). But among the women, Seles isn't the only player who has lost just one match on clay in 1992. Gabriela Sabatini, who defeated Seles in Italian Open final for the second straight year, is 18-1, and Steffi Graf, who has yet to face Seles this year, is 14-1 with two straight titles on German clay heading into Paris.

"I'm still looking to change my game, and I may not be perfect in Paris or at Wimbledon," said Graf. She accomplished four years ago what Seles now is trying to do -- win both the French Open and Wimbledon titles in the same year as part of a Grand Slam. But Graf said, "I'll be planning to win, of course, like everybody else."

MATCH POINTS

Now that CHRIS EVERT has replaced MONICA SELES as the cover girl for Matrix, an Ohio-based skin-and-hair-care company, the French Open defending champion has been free to attend the salon of her choice -- and on Sunday she showed up at Roland Garros wearing brand new black hair. Just a year ago, Matrix sent Seles off to Paris to debut a short wavy crop of copper tresses, but left to her own devices this year, she decided to go back to her roots, literally. "It is almost my natural color." said Seles, who has been able to stroll along the Champs-Elysees virtually unnoticed and even fooled her own mother with this latest disguise. "Everybody says they love it; I don't know if they are scared to tell me to my face that they don't," said Seles. . . . The women's draw lost its Fernandez vs. Fernandez first-round matchup when GIGI FERNANDEZ withdrew Sunday because of a shoulder injury sustained at an exhibition in Spain. PETRA LANGROVA will replace her against sixth-seeded MARY JOE FERNANDEZ.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:15 PM   #258
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Re: 1992

Stringtime in Paris : French Open Tennis Tourney Is a Hot Corporate Ticket
May 30, 199
RONE TEMPEST
LOS ANGELES TIMES

PARIS — During the last week in May and the first in June, the most exclusive business address in France is not the banking strip along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the corporate office towers in La Defense or even the Paris stock exchange, La Bourse.

For 15 magic days, as spring gently recedes and fashionable Parisians strut out in their new summer wardrobes, the focus of the business world in the French capital shifts a few miles away from the main commercial centers to the bright red clay courts of Roland Garros Stadium, site of the annual French Open Championship tennis tournament, at the southern tip of the sprawling Bois de Boulogne.

"Over the past 10 years it has evolved into a springtime rite," observed Vincent Nouzille, a journalist for the French business magazine L'Expansion. "There are thousands of VIPs and would-be VIPs vying for space. Companies get into fights over the best boxes at center court. Between set points, they talk business and drink a glass of champagne or good red wine. Offices in the center of town empty of people."

A common joke is that even those who do not have tickets, particularly in the critical last four days of the tournament, vacate their offices so that people will not know they are not at Roland Garros. Senior politicians and corporate managers are in such cheek-by-jowl prominence at the stadium that an outsider might reasonably ask who is running France. Andre Agassi? Stefan Edberg?

Tickets to the presidential tribune, a section at the north end of center court, are so limited that last year tournament marketing manager Gilles Bertoni said he tried and failed to obtain one for comedian Jerry Lewis, even though the American entertainer is an idol in France.

"We searched all over," said Bertoni, one of a team of young managers who have steered the French Open from a $5-million business in 1982 to a $50-million business this year. "Thank goodness, we were finally able to find him a place in another box, although not in the presidential tribune."

Although nitty-gritty business details are seldom discussed at Roland Garros, the tournament site--with its soothing evergreen-and-white color scheme and the top of the Eiffel Tower peering over the horizon like a line judge--is considered to provide the ultimate atmosphere for the big deal that needs a final sweeping gesture of goodwill.

It was widely reported that, between sets at the 1987 French Open, the French electronics company Thomson and General Electric concluded their agreement in principal for Thomson to purchase the GE-owned RCA home electronics division.

But anyone expecting to do business in France during this period--it's May 25-June 7 this year--better have an invitation from one of the major sponsors or a center court ticket in hand months before they arrive. In a society that thrives on exclusivity and elitism, Roland Garros passes are the rarest of all privileges.

The demand for the 100,000 tickets held by sponsors (out of a total 300,000-plus tickets sold) is so great that IBM, the American computer giant and a sponsor of the championship had to enforce a strict rule that no seats be made available to even its most senior executives unless they can demonstrate a compelling business-related need. To make the point even more forcefully, IBM requires its managers to pay for the seats and VIP meals from their own division budgets.

"We have sensitized our people," said IBM-France Director of Promotions Bruno Favier, standing in the elegant, glass-walled, 65-seat IBM restaurant and lounge constructed under the sloping stadium walls of Court No. 1, "that what we do here is really all business."

Favier said IBM-France spends 3% of its annual marketing budget on the tournament.

The rise of the French Open as a business-related venue is a relatively recent phenomenon. America, with its trademark Super Bowl hype and sports-industrial complex, has long mixed business with big sporting events. Corporate hospitality suites, front-row tickets for good customers, post-game parties and back-slapping client contact are all American inventions. But the French are comers.

Once they got the idea, the French management team at Roland Garros employed the country's great national talent for mixing business and pleasure to great advantage. In 1980, Philippe Chatrier, president of the French Tennis Federation, which controls the tournament, introduced the sponsor village on the fringe of the complex of 15 courts.

Sponsors pay between $8,000 and $25,000 a day--the cost rises as the tournament progresses--for a small open-air "tent" pavilion in the village. Renting a tent also gives the sponsors priority to as many as 100 center court tickets, which costs them another $5,000.

Each day of the tournament, an elegant four-course lunch is served in the tents--menus created by Parisian chefs Michel Rostang and Guy Savoy and served by the famous French caterer Potel et Chabot. A recent menu featured a tart of wild herbs, medallions of steamed veal, fresh ravioli, a platter of assorted French cheeses and a light chocolate cake with a lime base. The wines included Champagne, a 1990 Chablis and a 1979 Margaux from Bordeaux.

The sponsors contend that few people are likely to forget a lunch like that. It also explains why many invited to Roland Garros never see a single point played.

Potel et Chabot Director General Yves Le Naour said that before the tournament is over his company will have served 18,000 bottles of wine, 10,000 bottles of Champagne and literally tons of goose liver, caviar and smoked salmon.

The level of cuisine mounts as the tournament draws to a climax.

"As the competition proceeds," said Le Naour, "the quality evolves just until the final. The guest lists begin with the directors of public relations and end with the presidents of the companies."

This elimination and filtering process, not possible in a one-day event such as the Super Bowl, is widely considered the key to the business success of Roland Garros. Just as the players are sorting themselves out on the courts, a fierce process of unnatural selection is taking place in the boxes of center court.

The general public is allotted seats through advance sales and membership in local clubs that belong to the tennis federation. But the 5,000 or so center court seats held by corporate sponsors belong to the French and foreign power elite.

"During the last four days of the tournament," said a spokesman for Banque Nationale de Paris, the state-owned bank that is the tournament's principal sponsoring partner, "our president and CEO are present and meet with our most important clients--owners of big businesses, financial directors, people at the highest levels of the business and political world."

French Open at a Glance

French Open Championships (May 25-June 7)

Attendance:

1982: 238,305

1991: 333,786

(Capacity: 28,000 daily)

Estimated Revenue:

(Tickets, concessions, product and tournament sponsorships, advertising, etc.)

1982: About $5 million; (25 million French francs)

1992: About $50 million; (250 million French francs)

Ticket Price:

$40-$50 daily

Corporate box, four places on center court: $30,000 for two years

Main sponsors:

Banque Nationale de Paris, IBM-France, Peugeot, Perrier, Thomson
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:17 PM   #259
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Re: 1992

ONE-SIDED SPORT NO. 1 SELES RULES GRAND SLAM EVENTS; FRENCH OPEN IS NEXT.
Sun-Sentinel
Sunday, May 24, 1992
JIM SARNI

PARIS -- Greatness is measured at Grand Slams, something Monica Seles understands well. Seles has won her last four Grand Slam events, and five of the 10 she's played during her four-year professional career.

No player in the open-era of tennis has racked up greatness so fast.

The 18-year-old Yugoslavian, who lives in Sarasota, is back at Roland Garros this week, hoping to claim her third straight French Open crown. Even though women's tennis is stronger than ever, no one doubts that Seles is the overwhelming favorite -- the Chicago Bulls of this red-clay court. Danny Sheridan, USA Today's oddsmaker, makes Seles a 1-2 choice, ahead of Steffi Graf at 4-1 and Gabriela Sabatini at 5-1.

Sabatini defeated Seles in the Italian Open final two weeks ago, but Sabatini did the same thing last year and Seles shrugged it off.

''I don't know why things come together for me at the Grand Slams,'' Seles said. ''They are so different from the other tournaments. Anything can happen in two weeks. I've just been better than my opponents.''

Seles has beaten four different opponents during her Grand Slam-winning streak: Jana Novotna (1991 Australian), Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (1991 French), Martina Navratilova (1991 U.S. Open) and Mary Joe Fernandez (1992 Australian). Seles upset Graf to win the 1990 French Open, her first Grand Slam title.

Missing in Seles' resume is Wimbledon, which she skipped last year with a mysterious injury. It cost Seles a shot at the Grand Slam, but Seles will be halfway back to that goal with another French title.

''I don't think about a Grand Slam,'' Seles said. ''It seems like an impossible goal.''

Seles' immediate quest lies here. No woman has won three consecutive French Opens since unheralded Hilde Sperling in 1935-37. Chris Evert won seven French Opens, but never more than two in a row, three times.

If Seles is to go back-to-back-to-back, she may have to beat Anke Huber, Jennifer Capriati (who beat her at Lipton), Sabatini and Graf in her final four matches. No one got a tougher draw.

Seles has been nearly invincible at the French Open , going 19-1. In her first tournament, she glided into the semifinals at 15, losing to Graf in three sets.

''The French Open is always going to be very special to me,'' Seles said. ''That's where I won my first Grand Slam title, and no matter how many more I win, that's going to always jog my memory. I didn't expect to win that time and I've never felt anything like it.''

Seles always will have Paris.

''I love Roland Garros, the stadium, the site,'' she said. ''I know the people who work there and it feels like going home. The city of Paris adds to how I feel about the French Open .''

Seles has won five Kraft Tour events this year, running up a 31-2 record, but it has been a pretty uneventful season for the No. 1 player. The big news is that she injured her wrist in a bicycle accident involving an ill-timed cellular phone call.

''It helps to play the top players, but I don't think it changes anything,'' she said. ''I just try to play the best tennis I can. I've won the last four Grand Slams I've entered, but I don't like to look back. Every situation is different.''

But every Grand Slam is the same. It's where the great players prove themselves.

''I'm more mentally and emotionally ready at a Grand Slam,'' Seles said. ''I want to win. I'm not always 100 percent at the other tournaments.''
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:20 PM   #260
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Re: 1992

Sanchez Vicario, Chang have shots to repeat French coup
The Dallas Morning News
Sunday, May 24, 1992
Debbie Fetterman

The 1989 French Open forever will link Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain and American Michael Chang.

"It's odd that we happened to be underdogs in the finals, that we happened to be sponsored by the same clothing company, that we happened to both be 17 years old," Chang said. "I think it was just very strange ... Whenever we look at each other, you can tell, you don't have to say anything. It's like ... French Open '89."

At the time, the pair received worldwide attention for being the youngest players to win the French Open. They were baseline-hugging, consistent counter-punchers back then. Both have since diversified their games, becoming more aggressive.

If their '92 results are an indication, they again will challenge at the French Open, the second of tennis' four Grand Slam events. Sanchez Vicario, ranked fifth on the women's tour, and Chang, ranked sixth, started this year exceptionally strong.

In March, Chang enjoyed a career-best 15-match winning streak, which included consecutive tournament titles, and became the first ATP player this year to win three events.

He shared his Lipton International Players Championships glory with Sanchez Vicario. The 10-day event featured the world's top players in 128-person singles draws similar to those in the four Grand Slam events.

For Sanchez Vicario, the Lipton is her only '92 title, but she has come close to others. In her first nine tournaments this year, she advanced to eight semifinals and five finals.

Two of her best showings, her Australian Open final and her Lipton championship, were played outdoors on hardcourts.

"I'm happy I won (the Lipton) because it gives me more confidence that I can win more tournaments -- not only on clay."

Sanchez Vicario, beaten by top-ranked Monica Seles in the 1991 French Open final, still is working toward a second Grand Slam title. She knows her game has improved in all phases since she stunned Steffi Graf in the 1989 French final, halting Graf's Grand Slam streak at five. Before that match, Sanchez Vicario never had taken a set against Graf.

Playing on her favorite surface and her favorite tournament, Sanchez Vicario says she is as good as anyone in the world. In five clay events this year, she has reached two semifinals and three finals. She fell to Seles in three sets in her hometown of Barcelona and lost to Graf in the Hamburg final and most recently in the Lufthansa Cup.

"The French Open was three years ago, so you cannot compare," she said. "I was young. You can see the big difference now. I'm a better player."

Similarly, Chang has come a long way since '89, when he won more on guts and determination than skill. His thrilling five-set victory over Stefan Edberg in that French final was overshadowed by his courageous round-of-16 match against Ivan Lendl. Chang overcame cramps, at one point serving underhanded, in a dramatic 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 marathon win against the world's No. 1 player. Chang fell to his knees after the four-hour, 37-minute duel, left the court in tears and later collapsed in the training room.

While nothing will minimize those achievements, Chang said his '92 success reflects a truer picture of his standing in pro tennis.

His ranking soared to No. 5 during the summer of 1989. But the pressure of trying to play at a higher level resulted in a hip injury that sidelined him early in 1990. He struggled the past two years to regain his form.

Chang began '92 by making his first Australian Open appearance. He then beat Jim Courier in the San Francisco final in early February before his unbeaten run in March. Chang's ranking rose nine places after winning titles at Indian Wells and Lipton.

Chang's dedication over the past two years finally is reaping results. Maturity and added strength have helped his game and mental outlook, but he says there's still room for improvement.

"I don't see anything in my game that's so flawless that I can just become No. 1 like that, with a one-shot thing," he said. "You may have all the shots in the world, but it still doesn't mean that you can become No. 1 because you have to have a certain mentality. That comes with maturity."

Chang and Sanchez Vicario are striving to attain that mental state and, they hope, share another Grand Slam title.

"I'm very happy about his doing well," Sanchez Vicario said. "And I think also he's happy about what I'm doing. He's a nice kid."
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:23 PM   #261
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Re: 1992

Courier, Seles set to defend titles
The Tampa Tribune
Sunday, May 24, 1992
JOEY JOHNSTON

Now they belong to the world. Their faces adorn international magazine covers. Their autographs are hot commodities. They are featured attractions on center courts from New York to London to Paris.

Especially Paris. The French Open has a Tampa Bay area twist.

Jim Courier and Monica Seles are the top guns for this week's Grand Slam event at Stade Roland Garros. Both are the top-seeded defending champions. Both are ranked No. 1 in the world.

Local kids make good? Sort of. When the tour slows down, Courier returns to his Saddlebrook Resort condominium, near his native Dade City. Seles, a Yugoslav import, is building a home for her family at Laurel Oak Estates and Country Club in Sarasota.

During the next two weeks, you will see them on television, protecting their red-clay turf. But later this summer, you might see them at the beach or shopping at the mall. And with their fast-paced schedules, you could definitely see them at Tampa International Airport.

"I've lived here for more than half my life, so I consider this [Tampa Bay] area my home,'' said Seles, 18, who has held the No. 1 ranking since Sept. 9. "I feel comfortable here. There's a lot of support for me.''

The same is true for Courier. When he defeated Andre Agassi 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 to win last year's French Open, area tennis fans shared his jubilation. Courier delivered an ace on match point, then collapsed on his back onto the red clay.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, his first Grand Slam championship. Since then, though, Courier has won the Australian Open and enters the French with a No. 1 ranking and streamrolling momentum.

"I plan on being here a while,'' said Courier, 21, discounting talk of last year's French being a fluke. "It's not a question of ranking, but of confidence. I just feel I'm playing well and this gives me extra confidence that maybe other players don't have.''

Courier's confidence skyrocketed with last year's comeback victory over Agassi. He was the No. 9 seed and an unexpected finalist. Agassi was seemingly pounding him back to reality - 6-3, 3-1 - when rain halted play. After a 20-minute delay, and strategic consultation with his coach, Jose Higueras, Courier turned the match around.

The unanswered question: Does Courier win without the rain delay?

"That has haunted me at times,'' said Agassi, who is 0-for-3 in Grand Slam tournament finals. "That rain delay. I've debated it over and over. I've dreamt about it. I've had it for meals. It consumed me.

"What do I remember? I was hitting the ball so well. Then I had some time - too much time - to realize how close I was. That affected me. Jim's a great competitor. You can't give him an opening. I've known him for a long time, and I realize that better than anybody.''

Agassi and Courier were once roommates at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton. Agassi said Courier retains the qualities of their youthful days - a powerful forehand, hustle and an unyielding will to win.

But now there are expectations - the same type that Agassi once had to deal with. Courier can't sneak up on anyone.

"I think he has changed,'' Agassi said. "Everyone would. You get a little too caught up in the hype. I went through it too, where I felt like I was a lot better than I actually was. It's a stage everyone needs to go through, really. Then you get knocked down a peg and have to work your way back up.''

Courier insists little has changed with his tennis game. The trappings of fame - the interviews, photo shoots and endorsement deals - have infringed on his time. But he has maintained intense preparation. He's not kicking back and living off the past.

"Of course, I feel more pressure now,'' Courier said. "But the heaviest pressure is the one I put on myself. Many things have changed since last year. But I feel I'm more mature.

"Winning the French Open was a great accomplishment. Defending the title, I feel, would be even more significant. I'm feeling great physically. I've become more of a professional, especially in the way I prepare for matches and the way I approach them. So I'm ready to go.''

There are many happy memories for Courier in Paris - including a third-round upset of Agassi in 1989 and a Round of 16 finish in '90.

Similarly, the French Open was Seles' coming-out party. In her first Grand Slam event, Seles took Graf to three sets in the 1989 French semifinals. She won championships the next two years, beating Graf in 1990 and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in '91.

"I always expect to do well in Paris,'' Seles said. "The stadium and city are so wonderful. A lot has happened to me since I played in my first French Open , but I always look forward to it.''

Three years ago, Seles was the No. 1 curiosity in women's tennis. She hit two-handed ground strokes. She grunted a lot. But she, too, has matured.

"I still grunt, but not as loudly as before,'' she said sheepishly. "I don't know why it was made into such a big issue. I never did i intentionally. I hate it myself. If I'm watching [a tape] on the television of my match, I will turn the sound down.

"Hopefully, people know me for much more than grunting by now.''

They do. Seles has won five Grand Slam titles, including three last year when she skipped Wimbledon. She has surpassed the $5 million career mark and has won 31 of 33 matches this season.

There are suggestions of dominance, the same that existed in the late 1980s when Steffi Graf took over the women's game. But there are differences. Graf dominated, but she also was dominated by tennis. Even now, she speaks with regret about some parts of life that passed her by.

Seles loves tennis - but she also loves to have fun. She wants to attend college. She wants to become an actress. And, oh yes, she wants to win the French Open again, too.

"Tennis is a big part of my life, but not everything,'' Seles said. "I never want it to be life and death. It shouldn't be like that. You must find the balance or else you will go crazy.

"Steffi was a different personality. She'd walk into the locker room, but you'd never get a chance to say hello to her. She never opened up to you. That added to her mystique. People thought she was unbeatable and mysterious. You must do what's right for you. But I want to be friendly to people. I believe you can do that, stay focused on your tennis and still be a champion.''

Both Courier and Seles plan to play tennis for several more years. In fact, they might just be reaching their prime.

Will they win another Grand Slam title? Will they hang on to No. 1? Who knows? Regardless of what happens, they will always have Paris. And another potential chapter in their success story begins Monday.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:26 PM   #262
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Re: 1992

The Score Is Advantage, Foie Gras
New York Times
MICHAEL MEWSHAW;
May 24, 1992

FAR more than a mere tennis tournament, the French Open provides a vivid microcosm of Paris, and a tourist eager to understand this city could do a lot worse than spend a day or two strolling the grounds of Roland Garros Stadium. For two weeks at the end of May and the beginning of June, this multilayered event manages to compress into a 20-acre enclave at the edge of the Bois de Boulogne all the essential Parisian hallmarks -- high fashion, haute cuisine, high-handed evocations of the nation's past glory, ham-handed insistence on linguistic correctness, copious wine, rampant commercialism and pure artistry, on court and off.

Every year the tournament's poster and its program cover are the work of a celebrated artist. In fact, many of the affiches from earlier decades have become collector's items. In 1989 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York mounted an exhibition entitled "The Modern Poster," the catalogue cover was a poster by A. M. Cassandre originally done for the 1932 French Open. The 1991 poster reproduced a watercolor by the later Joan Miro, and as it was the 100th anniversary of the French Open, Roman Opalka painted a mural on the wall behind Courts One and Four, integrating into it the names of the 2,973 men and women who had played at Roland Garros.

At the U.S. Open, great passels of spectators show up in T-shirts and shorts, tennis shoes and headbands -- as if they hoped to sneak into the main draw and play. But in Paris, particularly in the pricier seats on Court Central, fans look as though they have come straight from a diplomatic reception at the Elysee Palace. Regardless of the weather, which at this time of year can range from gelid to torrid, many men wear dark suits, starched shirts and ties, and the women have that half-starved, enameled appearance of haute couture mannequins. Even the hired help is well turned out. Hostesses in the V.I.P. boxes and the Presidential Tribune area for the elite wear Christian Dior outfits designed by Marc Bohan. Ushers in the bleachers wear pink ensembles from Galeries Lafayette.

Billboards and signs seem to suggest a fashion convention more than an athletic event. There are plugs for jewelry, luggage, leather goods, Swiss watches, skimpy bathing suits and filmy lingerie. Court Central is surrounded by a collage of promotional strips for upscale apparel -- Celine, Boss, New Man, Ray-Ban, Olympia shoes, and Petit Boy children's clothes. Fans arriving for the 1991 men's final were given vials of a new perfume, and one year Hermes Eau de Cologne passed out boxes of scented facial tissues and urged people to cast ballots and help choose the player "who showed the greatest qualities of moral behavior as well as sportsmanship" and wore the smartest clothes.

The obsession with brand names and labels is by no means confined to the periphery of the French Open. Matches are often swayed by a player's loyalty to distinctly French products. In 1988, Sports Illustrated described the men's championship as a one-on-one battle between competing mineral waters. Henri Leconte "is a Perrier freak, Mats Wilander a noncarbonated Evian man. On clay, non gazeuse will win more often than not." It certainly did in that case; Wilander crushed all the bubbles out of Leconte.

Many players would argue, however, that the court surface -- pulverized brick dust -- determines the winner in most matches. Generally conceded to be the most demanding tournament on the circuit, the French Open is the only Grand Slam event -- Wimbledon and the U.S. and the Australian Opens are the other three -- that is played on slow red clay. While there is no evidence that the 19th-century author Francois-Rene Chateaubriand was a tennis enthusiast, he might well have been describing the grueling progression of matches at Roland Garros when he wrote that although crimes are not always punished, mistakes are. Few points in Paris are won outright. Most end only after 20 or 30 strokes when one player has maneuvered another into a morale-killing, soul-destroying error. Matches routinely run on for more than three hours, and it's not uncommon to see competitors forfeit from exhaustion and be carried off the court, their legs cramped and covered with powdery clay, looking as though they have been batter-fried.

Yet the players tend to complain less about the taxing conditions than about that which the Parisians appear to value even more than art or style -- to wit, their lovely language. Since English is the universal language of the international tennis tour, players simply cannot comprehend why the French refuse to use the most commonplace terms of the game. Why, for instance, do they insist on calling the Grand Slam le Grand Chelem as if it were an august Middle Eastern potentate? Why do they refer to top spin as lift (pronounced leafed), to a tie-break as un jeu decisif, an ace as un as, a dropshot as un amorti, the net as le filet? Why, in short, don't they simply speak English?

One year, Mark Edmondson, a burly, combative Australian, was furious when a French umpire refused to give the score in English. "I know you speak English," Edmondson shouted. "Just tell me whether it's my advantage or his." The umpire feigned complete incomprehension until Edmondson called him an arrogant pig -- at which point the Frenchman proved himself perfectly bilingual by slapping the Australian with a penalty for verbal abuse.

FINALLY, though, art, fashion and the French language all must grant place of prominence to the ultimate national fetish -- food! Roland Garros boasts dozens of restaurants and private dining rooms, and on every court, in eerie out-of-the-way corners, the aroma of roasting meat laces the air. The sounds of silverware on china, of Champagne corks popping and of waiters shouting orders add a curious undercurrent to the cheering crowds.

Fans who don't care to waste time waiting for a table and consuming a four-course meal line up at the booths that sell crepes, gauffres, cheeses, yogurt, strawberries and cream, and pan bagnats. A number of peculiarly French products don't sound especially appetizing. There are Popsicles with the brand name of Zit and an effervescent soft drink called Pschitt. But chacun a son gout.

Although spectators seem to have insatiable appetites, the players, coaches, officials and press more than hold their own. In 1991 Sogeres, le Restaurateur Officiel des Internationaux de France, put out a press release bragging that it had served 35,000 meals to members of the tournament's infrastructure. This included 12 tons of vegetables, 3 1/2 tons of fresh fruit, 11,500 yogurts, 12,000 eggs, 50,000 bottles of mineral water, 605 pounds of salmon and 121 pounds of foie gras. It forbore mentioning exactly how many bottles of wine had been drunk, but the previous year 45,000 glasses of Champagne had been consumed just at V.I.P. parties.

As Yannick Noah, the 1983 men's French Open champion, once lamented when the bleachers remained half empty for his match, which was scheduled at lunchtime, "The French like their tennis, but they love their cuisine even more."

For curious tourists, it isn't so easy to separate the tennis from the food, the high fashion from the linguistic imperiousness, the artistry on court from the art off court. In the end it's all of a piece -- part and parcel of spring in Paris.
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Re: 1992

COURIER OPENS FRENCH WITH WIN, EXTRA CAPS
The Charlotte Observer
Tuesday, May 26, 1992
Observer News Services

Jim Courier brought extra white caps this time.

"I've looked at the tape, and the cap looks a little grungy," Courier said. "This year, I'm going to wash it or something. I have a couple other caps."

Courier, the defending champion, wore the favorite's role Monday at the French Open as well as his trademark cap as he opened with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-2 victory over qualifier Niclas Kroon. It was a Wimbledon kind of day at Roland Garros, with one afternoon shower interrupting play and a big thunderstorm ending it.

When the thunder, lightning and downpour hit Roland Garros in the early evening, organizers were forced to postpone 23 matches that were in progress or had yet to start.

Pete Sampras, the men's third seed, and Jennfier Capriati, No. 4 among the women, will have to come back today (television coverage begins at 9 a.m. on ESPN) to try and finish off their opponents in decisive final sets.

Both matches were still close.

Sampras led big-serving Marc Rosset 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-2. But Rosset was one point from breaking serve to make it 4-3.

Capriati led Beate Reinstadler, a qualifier from Austria, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 2-1. Capriati, who has been exhibiting early symptoms of burnout at age 16, squandered four match points in the second set and appeared vulnerable.

John McEnroe, playing in possibly his last French Open, was scheduled to follow Capriati on center court for the last match of the day against Nicklas Kulti of Sweden.

Organizers thought McEnroe was a worthy center court attraction. Not so for Courier, who was relegated to court No. 1.

If the slight bothered him, it didn't show. He swept past Kroon, extending his match winning streak to 17.

Courier faltered briefly in the first set, dropping three straight games after leading 5-2. Kroon, ranked No. 216 in the world, had three break points for a chance to go up 6-5 and serve for the set.

Kroon went for broke on the first break point, swinging as hard as he could on the service return - only to sail the ball into the wall behind the baseline. Courier eventually won the game with an ace.

In the tiebreaker, Courier stepped up the pressure with deep ground strokes and led all the way, a pattern that continued in the next two sets.

Courier said he was fortunate to escape with the first set.

"He went for his shots and the shots fell," Courier said. "I stayed tough and managed to sneak through the first one."

Kroon said Courier proved he should be the tournament favorite.

"If I had to put money on who will win the tournament, I would have to put it on him," Kroon said.

Courier wasn't sure whether to be angry about being scheduled on court No. 1.

"People have been telling me it's tradition (for defending champions) to be on center," he said. "I have a gut feeling I'll be on center for my next match."

That will be against Thomas Muster, a clay-court expert who won the Monte Carlo Open this year. Courier beat him at the Italian Open two weeks ago.

Muster said the pressure will be on Courier: "He's No. 1 in the world and he has to beat me."

One player who claims to be happier than ever is Steffi Graf, winner of the French Open in 1987 and 1988 but who has faltered the past three years.

Seeded No. 2 behind Monica Seles, she opened play Monday by beating Rene
Simpson-Alter 6-3, 6-1.

"I was very impatient in the beginning," Graf said. "I tried too much. I overplayed my forehand. It took a couple of games to calm down."

Graf, who suffered from various physical ailments and family problems in recent years, feels better than ever about her game.

"I am happier and more confident on the court," she said. "When you realize that some things start to work better, you enjoy it a bit more. And being happy on the court, you become more and more eager."

For Alter, facing Graf at centre court was a new experience. However, losing was something she could do without.

"I was upset having to play her in the first round," Alter, 26, ranked No. 82 in the world, said. "It was a great experience to play Steffi, but losing to her isn't an experience I want at the French Open.

"I played pretty well and had a game plan. But it wasn't enough to beat her."

Among the other women seeds advancing were No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, a 6-0, 6-2 winner over Katja Oeljeklaus; and No. 6 Mary Joe Fernandez, who beat Petra Langrova 6-3, 6-1.

Among the men, No. 6 Guy Forget, No. 8 Goran Ivanisevic and No. 9 Carlos Costa all made it to the second round.

The only seeded player eliminated was No. 16 Jakob Hlasek, who lost 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-4 to Andrei Medvedev. Medvedev, the youngest player in the field at 17, won the French Open junior tournament last year.

* Jimmy Connors' opening-round match with Michael Stich has been pushed back to Wednesday because of Monday's rain.

*

French Open results, schedule (appeared on 6b)

Monday's results

Men's singles first round: Jim Courier (1), Dade City, Fla., d. Niclas Kroon, Sweden, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-2; Magnus Larsson, Sweden, d. Alberto Berasategui, Spain, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2; Goran Prpic, Croatia, d. Richey Reneberg, Palm Desert, Calif., 6-0, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; Thomas Muster, Austria, d. Cassio Motta, Brazil, 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2; Thierry Guardiola, France, d. Horacio de la Pena, Argentina, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5; Markus Naewie, Germany, d. Jason Stoltenberg, Australia, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3; Carlos Costa (9), Spain, d. Karsten Braasch, Germany, 6-1, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3; Goran Ivanisevic (8), Croatia, d. Simon Youl, Australia, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-2, 6-1; Laurent Prades, France, d. Byron Black, Zimbabwe, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3; Claudio Pistolesi, Italy, d. Eduardo Masso, Belgium, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; Guy Forget (6), France, d. Luiz Mattar, Brazil, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; Kevin Curren, Austin, Tex., d. Guillermo Perez-Roldan, Argentina, 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3; Bart Wuyts, Belgium, d. Anders Jarryd, Sweden, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2; Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, d. Arne Thoms, Germany, 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4); Gilad Bloom, Israel, d. Jan Siemerink, Netherlands, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Andrei Medvedev, Ukraine, d. Jakob Hlasek (16), Switzerland, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-4; Patrick McEnroe, Oyster Bay, N.Y., d. Bryan Shelton, Huntsville, Ala., 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

Women's singles first round: Manon Bollegraf, Netherlands, d. Eugenia Maniokova, Russia, 6-2, 6-3; Steffi Graf (2), Germany, d. Rene Simpson-Alter, Canada, 6-3, 6-1; Jana Novotna (10), Czechoslovakia, d. Debbie Graham, Fountain Valley, Calif., 6-3, 6-2; Natalia Medvedeva, Ukraine, d. Meike Babel, Germany, 6-4, 6-4; Wiltrud Probst, Germany, d. Kataryna Nowak, Poland, 7-5, 6-0; Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere (8), Switzerland, d. Halle Cioffi, Loudon, Tenn., 6-4, 7-6 (7-1); Shaun Stafford, Gainesville, Fla., d. Kathy Rinaldi, Amelia Island, Fla., 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; Noelle Van Lottum, France, d. Katrina Adams, Chicago, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; Katia Piccolini, Italy, d. Jenny Byrne, Australia, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; Beverly Bowes, San Antonio, d. Sybile Niox-Chateau, France, 7-5, 7-5; Elena Brioukhovets, Russia, d. Kristie Boogert, Netherlands, 6-1, 6-2; Magdalena Maleeva, Bulgaria, d. Nicole Provis, Australia, 6-2, 6-3; Arantza Sanchez-Vicario (4), Spain, d. Katja Oeljeklaus, Germany, 6-0, 6-2; Brenda Schultz, Netherlands, d. Chanda Rubin, Lafayette, La., 6-2, 5-7, 6-4; Mana Endo, Japan, d. Isabelle Demongeot, France, 6-1, 6-2; Sabina Appelmans (16), Belgium, d. Tami Whitlinger, Boca Raton, Fla., 6-4, 6-3; Maya Kidowaki, Japan, d. Audra Keller, Memphis, 6-1, 6-2; Silke Meier, Germany, d. Angelique Olivier, France, 6-3, 6-3; Larissa Savchenko-Neiland, Latvia, d. Barbara Collet, France, 6-4, 6-0; Louise Allen, Winston-Salem d. Dominique Monami, Belgium, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3; Mary Joe Fernandez (6), Miami, d. Petra Langrova, Czechoslovakia, 6-3, 6-1; Veronika Martinek, Germany, d. Eva Sviglerova, Czechoslovakia, 6-2, 6-1; Sandra Cecchini, Italy, d. Monique Javer, Britain, 6-1, 6-1; Linda Harvey-Wild, Hawthorn Woods, Ill., d. Rennae Stubbs, Australia, 6-4, 6-2; Federica Bonsignori, Italy, d. Nathalie Herreman, France, 6-3, 6-4.

*

Suspended matches

Men's singles first round: Pete Sampras (3), Bradenton, Fla., led Marc Rosset, Switzerland, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-2; Alberto Mancini, Argentina, led Alex Corretjas, Spain, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, 4-3; Rodolphe Gilbert, France, led Guillaume Raoux, France, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 0-3; David Prinosil, Germany, led Jonas Svensson, Sweden, 6-2, 6-1, 2-3; Richard Fromberg, Australia, led Markus Zoecke, Germany, 6-4, 6-4, 2-0; Andrei Cherkasov, Russia, led Jordi Arrese, Spain, 6-1, 6-3, 1-0; Andrei Chesnokov, Russia, led David Wheaton, Deephaven, Minn., 6-3, 4-0; Jaime Yzaga, Peru, led Gilbert Schaller, Austria, 3-1.

Women's singles first round: Jennifer Capriati (5), Saddlebrook, Fla., led Beate Reinstadler, Austria, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 2-1; Nicole Muns-Jagerman, Netherlands, led Sandrine Testud, France, 1-0; Luciana Reynares, Argentina, were tied Petra Thoren, Finland, 4-6, 6-4, 5-5.

*

Today's featured matches

Center Court: Sergi Bruguera, Spain, vs. Ivan Lendl (10), Czechoslovakia; Beate Reinstadler, Austria, vs. Jennifer Capriati (5), Saddlebrook, Fla., comp. of susp. match; Ines Gorrochategui, Argentina, vs. Nathalie Tauziat (12), France; John McEnroe, New York, vs. Nicklas Kulti, Sweden; Gabriela Sabatini (3), Argentina, vs. Silvia Farina, Italy.

Court 1: Monica Seles (1), Yugoslavia, vs. Catherine Mothes, France; Pete Sampras (3), Bradenton, Fla., vs. Marc Rosset, Switzerland, comp. of susp. match; Andre Agassi (11), Las Vegas, vs. Javier Frana, Argentina; Olivier Soules, France, vs. Stefan Edberg (2), Sweden; Bettina Fulco-Villella, Argentina, vs. Julie Halard, France.

Other matches: Petr Korda (7), Czechoslovakia, vs. Christian Bergstrom, Sweden; Brad Gilbert (15), Oakland, vs. Cedric Pioline, France; Michael Chang (5), Coto de Caza, Calif., vs. Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands.
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Re: 1992

RAIN PUTS A DAMPER ON CAPRIATI'S OPENER; PLAY HALTED
Sun-Sentinel -
Tuesday, May 26, 1992
JIM SARNI

PARIS -- A little rain has fallen into Jennifer Capriati's life this year. Monday, it was a thunderstorm.

The storm hit Roland Garros at 6:50 p.m., ending play at the French Open, with Capriati serving at 2-1 in the third set against German qualifier Beate Reinstadler.

Capriati will return today, hoping to finish off a match she should have tucked away Monday. Capriati missed two match points at 6-1, 5-4, then gave away the tiebreaker to the 184th-ranked player 7-3 with a flood of errors.

But that's been the story of Capriati's troubled third season. She has lost three times to players ranked outside the Top 25.

The 16-year-old Floridian, who remains No.6 in the rankings despite a 12-6 record, came to the French Open with some hope after a strong performance in Berlin, where she lost the final to Steffi Graf in three sets.

Capriati, the youngest semifinalist in Grand Slam history here two years ago, opened the match with four straight winners off Reinstadler's serve. Capriati promptly lost her serve, but then won five straight games to take the first set.

Reinstadler stayed close in the second set, but Capriati missed her chances to end it.

Capriati slammed her racket during the changeover, then smashed a backhand long and a forehand long to start the tiebreaker. That set the tone.

Down 1-5, Capriati hit two backhand winners to 5-3. Reinstadler forced Capriati deep on the next point, and Capriati's lob fell wide. Capriati sailed a forehand long on set point.

Capriati took a 2-0 lead in the third set. Reinstadler got a game back, but rain was on the way. Serving at deuce, Capriati looked up at the sky hopelessly as play was halted.

Tournament officials did not wait long before they called the session that had been interrupted earlier in the day by a brief shower.

The Wimbledon-like weather did not stop former French Open champions Steffi Graf (2) and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (4), who along with Miami's Mary Joe Fernandez (6) won their first-round matches.

Graf, the 1987 and 1988 champion, shook off an early break, then trounced Rene Simpson-Alter of Canada 6-3, 6-1. Sanchez, who upset Graf in the 1989 final, crushed Katja Oeljeklaus of Germany 6-0, 6-2.

''I haven't felt this good on the court for two or three years,'' said Graf, who tuned up for the French Open with clay-court victories in Hamburg and Berlin.

''My enthusiasm is back. The things I'm trying with my game are working. The way things have been going lately, I'm real happy. When you realize that some things start to work better, you enjoy it a bit more. And being happy on the court, you become more and more eager, and you want to go out there.''

Fernandez, a French Open semifinalist in 1989, overpowered Petra Langrova of Czechoslovakia 6-3, 6-1, displaying the new aggressive style that Harold Solomon has taught her.

''I'm still learning to play this way, and the early rounds is the best time to try it,'' said Fernandez. ''Harold had a talk with me yesterday, and wanted me to attack. He told me it was all right to lose. I usually start slow, so it felt great when I got off to a 4-0 lead real fast. I knew my game is to control the points.''

Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere (8), Jana Novotna (10) and Sabine Appelmans (16) were the other seeded players to win Monday. They all beat Americans.

Maleeva-Fragniere, from Bulgaria, stopped former University of Florida player Halle Cioffi of Knoxville, Tenn., 6-4, 7-6 (7-1); Novotna, from Czechoslovakia, downed Debbie Graham of Fountain Valley, Calif., 6-3, 6-2; and Appelmans, from Belgium, eliminated Tami Whitlinger of Neenah, Wisc., 6-4, 6-3.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 11:02 PM   #265
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Re: 1992

Who's the brunette? Seles blonde no more
USA TODAY
Tuesday, May 26, 1992
Richard Finn

PARIS - Always unpredictable Monica Seles is showing off a new hair color at the French Open.

"It's really outside of tennis for something to do and it just sounded like a fun idea," Seles said of her stop at a suburban salon last week for the makeover from blonde to black.

"When I wake up in the morning, I say, `What is this?' It is different.

"I think it turned out OK. Everybody says they love it, but I don't know if they're afraid to tell me to my face they don't like it."

No. 1 Seles plays Catherine Mothes of France today to start her bid to become the first woman to win three consecutive French Opens since Hilde Sperling of Germany 55 years ago.

Seles, 18, said the new look actually is an old look.

"It is almost my natural color, so I am going to stick with it for a while," she said.

If a recent walk on the Champs d'Elysees is any indication, Seles might have regained some semblance of anonymity.

"Nobody recognized me," she said. "I walked by a lot of people. The only time were two little kids in this ice cream place who kept looking at me and said, `Is that Monica?' "

- No. 1 Jim Courier and No. 2 Steffi Graf won matches on an opening day cut short by rain.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 11:08 PM   #266
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Re: 1992

One can imagine WTA officials in the background desperately gesturing for the microphone to be taken away and urging the press to ignore what was just said....


Graf demands more testing - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Tuesday, May 26, 1992
Andrew Longmore, Tennis Correspondent, in Paris

STEFFI Graf has called on the tennis authorities to tighten their policy on drug-testing. Graf, a strong anti-drugs campaigner in Germany, said yesterday after her first-round victory in the French Open that she had once played an opponent who was definitely on performance-enhancing drugs.

"I could tell she was doped. I could see it. Yet everyone says there is no problem with drugs in the game," the Wimbledon champion said. She would not, though, mention names or say when or where the match took place.

Graf feels that more tournaments should be subjected to random drug-testing and that more players should be tested. On the tour, the Women's Tennis Association tests 20 per cent of players at a maximum of three tournaments a year and the Association of Tennis Professionals has a similar policy, though procedures at the French Open are carried out by the ministry of youth and sport.

But Graf herself has never been tested on the tour and nor, she added, did she know anyone who had. "I support the WTA on their policies, but I don't believe that 20 per cent of players are tested."
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 11:12 PM   #267
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Re: 1992

CAPRIATI REGROUPS FOR THREE-SET WIN; TOP SEEDS BREEZE
Sun-Sentinel
Wednesday, May 27, 1992
JIM SARNI

PARIS -- Jennifer Capriati says she wants to go far at the French Open.

What is ''far,'' Capriati was asked Tuesday at Roland Garros.

''The next round,'' Capriati said with a laugh.

It was a joke, but then it wasn't. Capriati reached the semifinals here at 14, then was stopped in the round of 16 by Conchita Martinez last year. No one knows what to expect from the Florida teen-ager this time, least of all herself.

At 16, Capriati has discovered that there is more to life than tennis, and she's trying to figure out where tennis fits in.

''I want to play, and I'm going to play,'' said Capriati, answering a question about her motivation.

But how well can she play?

Capriati finished off Beate Reinstadler 6-1, 6-7 (7-3), 6-2 Tuesday, but it took two days to beat the 184th-ranked German qualifier.

Capriati blew four match points in the second set Monday before a thunderstorm halted the match at 2-1 in the final set.

The shower may have been a blessing.

''The rain helped me,'' Capriati said. ''If we had kept playing Monday, I would have kept making errors and I might have lost. I lost my patience at the end of the second set and got down on myself. She got the ball back and made me miss.''

Capriati was serving at 2-1, deuce, when the match resumed Tuesday, but she could not hold. Reinstadler won the first two points to even the match.

''Okay, now it's even,'' Capriati said. ''I told myself to play strong now. I wasn't going to let her get ahead.''

Capriati didn't lose another game. It took four break points, but Capriati broke for 3-2, then held for 4-2 at love. Reinstadler double-faulted to lose her serve again for 5-2, then Capriati served out the set at 15.

''I was very angry when I didn't win (Monday),'' Capriati said. ''I asked why I couldn't win one more point in the second set. Now it feels good to get through it. It's good for me to have a match like this, although I don't want it to happen all the time.''

Capriati's next adventure is Sandrine Testud, a Frenchwoman ranked No. 92, whom she plays in the second round Thursday.

Capriati is creating the only suspense in the women's event, where the top seeds have been taking quick bows.

Two-time defending champion Monica Seles dispatched Catherine Mothes 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minutes, then spent most of her post-match news conference talking about her new coiffure.

And Seles wants the media to stop comparing her to Madonna.

Here's the scoop: ''The color is black. Actually, I wanted to try this haircut for many years because in London, you see a lot of young girls having this haircut. I kind of liked it, but I never thought that I'd do it. Somebody asked me to for some type of video, and I thought it would be neat to do it. They wanted it just for the shoot for a couple of days, but I liked it and said I would love to stick with it for a little while.''

The ever-mysterious Seles would not reveal much about the video, but she doesn't sing in it.

''I don't have a good voice,'' Seles said. ''Not yet at least.''

Resuming the routs, third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini crushed Silvia Farina 6-0, 6-0 for her Kraft Tour-leading 40th victory of the season.

The top four seeds have lost a total of seven games in eight sets: Seles (1), Steffi Graf (4), Sabatini (0) and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (2).

No seed has lost -- No. 9 Anke Huber's first-round match against Radka Zrubakova was postponed until today -- in the first round, and only Capriati and No. 14 Kimiko Date went three sets. Date, seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam, stopped Naoko Sawamatsu 6-2, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3.

Capriati is seeded to reach the quarterfinals, where she would likely face Seles. Capriati stunned Seles at Lipton in March. Capriati is capable of beating the No. 1 player, but she can also stumble against No. 184.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 11:18 PM   #268
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Re: 1992

SELES' NEW 'DO
The Tampa Tribune
Wednesday, May 27, 1992
TRIBUNE WIRE SERVICES

Monica Seles' new hairdo seemed to generate as much attention as her 6-1, 6-0 victory Tuesday over Catherine Mothes in the first round of the French Open .

Among the questions at her post-match news conference:

"Can you tell us about your hair and the color you consider it and the style you consider it?'

"Is there any danger that the dye would run?''

"The hair may be different; do you feel like you are playing the same?''

Seles said she had her hair dyed black at a Paris salon at the suggestion of someone working with her on a video production.

"Actually, I wanted to try this haircut for many years because in London you see a lot of young girls having this haircut,'' Seles said. "It turned out a little darker than anybody expected, but I like it and will stick with it for a while.''

Seles has her mind on interests outside of tennis - but a singing career isn't yet on her list of priorities.

The world's No. 1 women's player, who shot a recent video for a sponsor, said that her singing voice wouldn't measure up to others in tennis, like former French Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah, now carving out a show-business career.

Seles watched a tennis-music special on French television and was impressed with Noah and the guitar playing of John McEnroe.

"It was so different, seeing tennis players singing,'' Seles said. "But I don't have a good voice - at least not yet.''

The defending champion said that she bought Noah's latest record release, adding: "I love it.''

SWINGING AWAY

Referee Gilbert Ysern said he was investigating a scuffle between American Derrick Rostagno and Czechoslovakian Karel Novacek.

Rostagno, of Pacific Palisades, Calif., beat Novacek 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 in a first-round match Tuesday. At the end of the match, Novacek reportedly hit Rostagno in the upper chest, according to witnesses. The incident was shown on tape by ESPN.

Ysern said he had no details on the incident but would investigate the matter with the chair umpire involved.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Roland Garros came within a few heavy drops of being short-circuited Monday evening with the sudden and heavy thunderstorm that halted play.

"We were very worried since the electric cables that generate power around the stadium are just above the ground on the central court and water was coming up very fast with the rain,'' weatherman Jean-Pierre Desviaux said.

"There are three transformers on that court of 1,500 kilowatts each and 25,000 volts each. So the electricians didn't hesitate to get them out of the way before it was too late and the cables disappeared under the water.

"It would have meant the end of Roland Garros for a while because it would take a week to get everything back into order,'' Desviaux said.

As the rain poured down, Desviaux was keeping an eye on the sky and an ear on the phone. Had lightning come too close, he would have had to order the electricians to stop work.

WHEATON RALLIES

Monday's thundershower may have helped American David Wheaton.

Rain interrupted his match on Monday against Andrei Chesnokov of Russia with Chesnokov ahead two sets to love.

It was a different story Tuesday as Wheaton came back to win, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2.

It's not the first time Wheaton came back from far behind in the French Open.

"In 1989 I was two down sets and a break against Fabrice Santoro here,'' Wheaton said. "You try not to get too frustrated and play your game.''

Wheaton has had major success on fast courts. He was a semifinalist at Wimbledon last year after beating Ivan Lendl. However, it's the first time since 1989 he got past the first round at the French Open.

CURREN A 'ROOKIE'

Kevin Curren has been playing professional tennis since 1978, but he's only now got around to making his debut at the $7.5 million French Open.

The South African-born American started out with a surprise, knocking off a clay-court specialist, Argentine Guillermo Perez Roldan, in his opening match. He'll face Russian qualifier Andrei Medvedev in the second round.

Prior to the French Open, the 34-year-old Curren last played on clay in 1991 and last won on the surface in 1990.

In 14 years, his record on clay stands at 6-16.

If he wins in the second round, it will be the first time Curren has put together consecutive clay-court victories since 1978.

PATIENT SAMPRAS

Patience is the name of the game on clay for American Pete Sampras.

The third seed, who won his only Grand Slam title on hardcourt at the 1990 U.S. Open, has been working hard on the slow surface this spring by playing in six tournaments.

The results are starting to pay off as the French Open begins.

"The fact that people don't consider me a threat on clay makes me more determined to work harder,'' said Sampras, a first-round winner over Swiss Marc Rosset. "It's a surface that takes a little more patience.''

Sampras has been working on eliminating haste from his game - at least on the clay.

"You have to be prepared to hit 20 or 30 balls to win a point,'' he said. "I'm prepared to do that in every match this week and next.''
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 11:25 PM   #269
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Re: 1992

Seles, on Top of Game, Wins Raves for New Hairdo
ROBIN FINN
May 27, 1992
New York Times

PARIS, May 26— Monica Seles slicked back her new black hair, tuned up her grunt, and got down to the not-so-grim business of defending her French Open title this morning on the Stadium Court.

For the second consecutive year, Seles's hairdo, a designer novelty in curly copper in 1991 and a new wave dose of basic black for 1992, attracted more notice than her tennis, but once again it was her brand of slash-and-crash strokes that sent her swiftly into the second round.

Able to slug with equanimity and accuracy from either side, a touch of double-handed ambidexterity that gives her an obvious advantage over opponents who play the conventional way, Seles routinely shreds early-round opponents, especially at Grand Slam time.

Today, the two-time French Open champion needed only 47 minutes to dispose of a frustrated Catherine Mothes of France, 6-1, 6-0. Mothes found the outcome of this mismatch so inevitable that, confused by the score while being broken for a final time, she tried to give Seles a netside handshake a point prematurely.

'A Little Bit Like Going Home'

"It was just a good, comfortable first round, which I wanted it to be," said Seles, now 20-1 at Roland Garros, a place she describes as "a little bit like going home."

Seles said she had a hard time giving her tennis the undivided attention it deserved in these preliminary rounds, in which she has not so much thwarted her competitors as amassed victims.

"It is really hard for me to concentrate and just to play, be as intense as I should be," said Seles, who hasn't let that prevent her from compiling a 53-5 record in Grand Slam events. Aware that she doesn't always play her very best against the underlings of the women's tour, Seles has come up with her own strategy for success in them: "I try to do the best that I need at that match."

Seles covered her hair with a black San Antonio Spurs cap at her post-match news conference, but that didn't prevent the conversation from turning to the cosmetic side of life.

Keeping Matters Simple

Asked to elaborate on the hair color she had chosen in order to appear in a video whose sponsor she wouldn't elaborate on, Seles hedged a little but decided to keep matters simple.

"I think it is -- it is black," she said. "Actually, I wanted to try this haircut for many years because in London you see a lot of young girls having this haircut." Seles is a globally minded 18-year-old Yugoslav, who makes her home in Florida, has a much-photographed apartment in Los Angeles, likes to shop in Milan, and now has hair to match her mainly black wardrobe.

Jennifer Capriati, still a ponytailed brunette and still plagued by questions about her rough ride through adolescence, rebounded despite dropping four second-set match points in a contest that was stopped by the Monday showers soon after Beate Reinstadler claimed the second set in a tie breaker.

That lapse got Capriati mad, but she made up for it under sunny skies today by defeating her Austrian opponent, 6-1, 6-7 (7-3), 6-2.

Self-Imposed Wake-Up Call

The fifth-seeded Capriati was up a break point in the final set when the match resumed today, but she promptly lost her serve and left the proceedings dead even at 2-2, at which point she woke herself up and won four consecutive games.

"I just lost patience at the end of the second set and I got down on myself," explained Capriati. "She just got the balls back for me to miss, and that's what I did. I was angry yesterday, but today I wasn't angry anymore. I don't know how far I'm going to get, but I want to get pretty far." Capriati considered last year's fourth-round loss a severe step backward after her halcyon semifinal Grand Slam debut here in 1990.

Dusk had already set in when Gabriela Sabatini began her match against Silvia Farina, but that didn't matter: the third-seeded player crafted a 6-0, 6-0 blanking that was over before Farina knew it, and long before the sun set.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:42 PM   #270
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Re: 1992

Players, kids enjoy outing
USA TODAY
Thursday, May 28, 1992
Richard Finn

The traditional children's day on the first Wednesday of the French Open was a kids' delight for everybody.

"I like the kids; they are the future,'' said Jimmy Connors, father of two.

An estimated 3,500 children from neighboring tennis programs were admitted free and roamed the grounds seeking autographs, photographs and cheering their favorites.

Connors was a big favorite, as the kids chanted, "Jimmy, Jimmy'' throughout his nearly four-hour match.

Steffi Graf welcomed the children's exuberance.

"They are quite loud, but that doesn't bother me at all,'' she said. "I think it is great.''

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario believes the children make it a special day for all the players: "For us to have the kids come and watch us, it is very special.''
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