Tennis Roundup : Connors Is Upset Victim in First Round at London

From Times Wire Services

Top-seeded Jimmy Connors’ first-round upset loss to qualifier Mike DePalmer Wednesday leaves the $250,000 Queen’s Club tournament in London without the two men who have kept the title to themselves for the past six years.

Connors, winner of the tournament in 1982 and 1983, lost, 7-5, 6-3, to DePalmer in just 70 minutes to leave the rain-marred event short on quality.

John McEnroe, who won the tournament title in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1984, did not enter this year.

Connors, meanwhile, expressed some doubt on his appearance in the Wimbledon championships later this month.


“I’m not going to make any hasty decisions,” he said. “I may go home, I may stay here, I may go lay on the beach, I may play some golf.”

After a month in Europe, Connors, who lost to Lendl in the semifinals of the French Open last Friday, sounded homesick. The indifferent weather here did not help his mood either as he looked ahead to a two-week layoff.

“If I get home, and get involved in what’s going on around my house, it might be difficult to come back (for Wimbledon),” Connors added. “If I go home, I have to be prepared to leave my suitcases here so I have to come back to get my clothes.”

DePalmer, a 23-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., had to qualify for Queens, a 64-player tournament.


“I have never served better than today,” said DePalmer, who had 10 aces in the match and dropped only four points on serve in the second set. “He (Connors) just never got wound up. I think coming here straight from the French championships, which are played on clay, may have affected his game. This court was very fast.”

Jo Durie, struggling to recapture the form that once made her the golden girl of British tennis, came from behind to defeat South African Yvonne Vermaak, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round of the $125,000 Edbaston Cup tournament at Birmingham, England.

Durie rose to fifth in the world rankings 18 months ago, but a loss of form has seen her tumble to 55th in the rankings.