Lawson Duncan, who surprised No. 5-seeded Johan Kriek the day before, moved into the quarterfinals of the $615,000 Tournament of Champions Thursday, along with the top four seeded players--John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Aaron Krickstein and Henrik Sundstrom.
Duncan, a clay-court specialist from Asheville, N.C., ousted Guillermo Rivas of Argentina, 6-3, 6-4, at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.
With the victory, Duncan next will play the No. 2-seeded Lendl, who ousted No. 11 Victor Pecci of Paraguay, 6-2, 6-1.
“I played him once this year--in Monte Carlo,” Dawson said of Lendl. “I lost, 6-4, 6-4. Maybe it’s my turn this time.”
McEnroe, going for his third straight title in this tournament for champions only, defeated No. 13-seeded Martin Jaite of Argentina, 6-2, 6-1, in 56 minutes.
McEnroe, seeded No. 1, won 20 of the last 23 points in the match and was quite pleased with his performance.
“I felt this was definitely my best match by far,” he said. “I felt I could get in a good groove, and the second set was definitely my best set of the tournament.”
Lendl had very little trouble, beating Pecci in 57 minutes.
“I’m happy with the way I’m playing,” said the Czechoslovakian. “I was hitting the ball well.
“He’s a good clay court player,” he said of Pecci, “so you have to be very alert. I was able to pick up his drop shots early. And he tried to hit his serve too well. That’s why he was missing.”
Meanwhile, Krickstein, seeded No. 3, escaped with a 2-6, 7-6, 6-0 victory over No. 14 Marty Davis. Sundstrom, seeded No. 4, defeated No. 12 Mark Dickson, 6-2, 6-4.
In other third-round matches, No. 7-seeded Brad Gilbert beat Peter Doohan of Australia, 6-4, 6-2, and Italy’s Claudio Panatta upset No. 8-seeded David Pate, 6-7, 6-1, 6-3.
Also, No. 9-seeded Terry Moor surprised Yannick Noah of France, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Moor said he “served well, volleyed well and returned well” against Noah. “I didn’t make too many unforced errors.”
Moor said Noah’s game isn’t so strong as it was two years ago when the Frenchman won the French Open.
“I always seemed to be on the defensive from the baseline when I played him then,” Moor said. “The last two times we’ve played, I’ve always felt that I was in the point.”
Besides Duncan vs. Lendl, today’s quarterfinal matchups include McEnroe against Panatta, Gilbert vs. Krickstein and Sundstrom against Moor.
Unseeded Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat of Australia upset second-seeded Kathy Jordan, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0, in the quarterfinals of a $200,000 women’s indoor tournament at Sydney, Australia.
Balestrat, who as Dianne Fromholtz was ranked No. 4 in the world in the 1970s, is making a bid to climb back up the rankings after quitting the sport for 18 months. Now ranked 75th, she returned to action last October.
At Tokyo, Stefan Edberg of Sweden defeat Kevin Curren of South Africa, 6-3, 6-2, and advanced to the semifinals of a $200,000 tennis tournament.
Eight men and eight women were entered in the event which carries the winning prize of $30,000. Eight teams are competing for a first prize of $16,000 in mixed doubles.