French Open : Chesnokov Rated as a Qualified Success

Associated Press

Soviet teen-ager Andrei Chesnokov, who didn’t qualify for the French Open until the day before it began, upset eighth-seeded Eliot Teltscher on Thursday to pull off the biggest surprise of this tournament.

Though Teltscher lost, defending champions Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl, and veteran Jimmy Connors, were winners on the slow, red-clay courts at Roland Garros Stadium.

The only other seeded player to lose Thursday was No. 13 Kathy Rinaldi of Martin Downs, Fla., a 6-2, 6-0 loser to Raffaela Reggi of Italy.

Besides Navratilova, other women who moved into the fourth round were No. 3 Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia and No. 7 Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of West Germany.


Playing second-round matches, winners in the men’s singles included three Swedes--No. 6 Anders Jarryd, No. 7 Joakim Nystrom and No. 14 Stefan Edberg--No. 10 Aaron Krickstein of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and 11th-seeded Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia.

The 19-year-old Chesnokov, from Moscow, had to fight his way through the qualifying rounds, which were completed Sunday. The two-week tournament began Monday.

Against Teltscher, he lost the opening set before posting a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory. Teltscher, a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team, was unable to master the Soviet’s steady baseline play.

“Before this tournament I thought they (the international touring pros) were so strong,” Chesnokov said. “But now I realize they can be beaten. “


A physical education student at a special Moscow sports institute, Chesnokov is ranked 307th. In the third round, he faces the 58th-ranked player, Heinz Gunthardt of Switzerland.

Rinaldi, who became the fourth seeded American to be eliminated from the women’s singles, after No. 6 Zina Garrison, No. 12 Barbara Potter and No. 16 Pam Casale, said Reggi, 19, played a perfect match.

“I think she would have beaten anybody the way she played,” Rinaldi, also 19, said.

In the fourth round, Reggi will play Navratilova, who crushed 20-year-old Catherine Tanvier of France, 6-0, 6-0.


Lendl, who is seeded second behind John McEnroe, and Connors, seeded third, both eased into the third round of the men’s singles. Lendl halted the march of the Swedes by beating Jan Gunnarsson, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2, and Connors stopped Blaine Willenborg, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.

Nystrom finished off a five-setter that began the night before, taking only 13 minutes to complete his 3-6, 1-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Mike DePalmer.