Tennis Roundup : Horvath Is Italian Open Upset Victim

From Times Wire Services

Polish exile Iwona Kuczynska pulled off the first upset in the $200,000 Italian Open women’s tennis championships at Rome Monday, routing Kathleen Horvath, 6-4, 6-0.

Only three seeded players--No. 10 Isabel Cueto of West Germany, No. 12 Horvath of Largo, Fla., and No. 13 Judith Wiesner of Austria--saw action on the first day of the clay-court event at the Foro Italico.

Top-seeded Chris Evert and second-seeded Gabriela Sabatini received first-round byes.


Wiesner, a surprise quarterfinalist here last year, struggled to beat Gabriella Boschiero of Italy, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, and Cueto downed Mercedes Paz of Argentina, 6-3, 7-6.

Kuczynska, who defected to the West in 1981 and now divides her time between the United States and France, said she expects to get her Polish passport back this week to visit her ailing mother.

She said she now hopes to represent Poland in Federation Cup play.

“I’d really like to do something for the country,” said the Wroclaw native who attended Cal State Bakersfield in 1983 and won the NCAA Division II singles title.

In the next round, Kuczynska will face Sabrina Goles of Yugoslavia, who defeated Katherine Suire of France, 6-3, 6-2.

The Italian Open men’s tournament opens next Monday. Ivan Lendl is seeded No. 1, and defending champion Mats Wilander of Sweden is seeded No. 2.

At New York, Israel’s Gilad Bloom, ranked 157th in the world, produced the biggest victory of his career when he upset third-seeded Martin Jaite of Argentina, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, in the first round of the Eagle Tournament of Champions.

Jaite, ranked 14th in the world, was a semifinalist in the tournament two years ago.

In another surprise on the clay courts of Forest Hills, Australia’s Simon Youl, ranked No. 135, eliminated 11th-seeded Johan Kriek, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Top-seeded Stefan Edberg and fourth-seeded John McEnroe do not begin competition until today or Wednesday.