Tennis Roundup : Noah Gains Semifinals With a Win Over Kriek
Third-seeded Yannick Noah of France, the highest-seeded player left in the competition, reached the semifinals of the $375,000 Benson and Hedges indoor tennis tournament Friday at Wembley, England.
Noah, ranked sixth in the world, defeated Johan Kriek for the first time in four meetings, 7-6, 6-4. The Frenchman had 11 aces in the 1-hour 35-minute match and was helped by seven double faults from Kriek.
“I wouldn’t say I am playing great tennis, but I’m serving well and trying to concentrate on just doing the best I can,” Noah said. “I have tried many times in the past to beat Johan. I have been in great shape and been trying really hard, but I never won. This is the first time I have beaten him, so that’s a very good thing.”
Noah, the 1983 French Open champion who never has won a tournament in Britain, needed four set points to win the opening set, finally taking it 10-8 in the tiebreaker.
He then broke Kriek’s service in the seventh game of the second set and served out the match.
Earlier in the day, Libor Pimek of Czechoslovakia came from behind to beat David Pate, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2; seventh-seeded Kevin Curren ended an excellent run by Switzerland’s Jakob Hlasek, 6-4, 6-4, and Sweden’s Jonas Svensson subdued Australia’s Pat Cash, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.
Hlasek had upset top-seeded Stefan Edberg Wednesday.
In today’s semifinals, Noah will play Curren, and Pimek will meet Svensson.
Martina Navratilova extended her winning streak to 47 matches with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina in a $150,000 women’s tournament at Chicago.
Also advancing to the semifinals were second-seeded Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia, fourth-seeded Pam Shriver and eighth-seeded Zina Garrison.
Mandlikova defeated Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of West Germany, 6-4, 7-5; Shriver beat Kathy Rinaldi, 6-3, 6-4, and Garrison ousted Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria, 7-5, 6-1.
In the Garrison-Maleeva match, Garrison won 23 consecutive points--including the first 21 points of the second set.
The 16-year-old Sabatini, who had lost to Navratilova the three previous times they played, was pleased with her performance.
Actually, she was ahead, 5-4, 30-0 in the second set, but Navratilova fought back at that point to force a tiebreaker.
“I played very well in the second set,” Sabatini said. “I’m very happy. It is the best match (against Navratilova). My passing today worked very well and that is important.”