French Open Tennis Championships : Navratilova, Edberg Win, but Rain Stops Wilander

From Times Wire Services

Rain forced suspension of two singles matches but not before seeded players such as Martina Navratilova, Stefan Edberg and Yannick Noah had advanced in third-round matches Friday at the French Open tennis championships.

The only upset of the day came when No. 7 Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of West Germany lost to Australian Nicole Provis, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Mats Wilander, one of the more mild-mannered men in tennis, was angered by the hesitation to suspend his match despite heavy rain. The Swede had twice asked the umpire to stop play earlier when fading light made it almost impossible to see the fast serves hit by Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Zivojinovic.


With winds beginning to gust and storm clouds gathering, Wilander was playing superbly as he took the first set and went a break up in the second. But the rain started and Wilander was unable to hold service.

Play was then abandoned for the night. Wilander, who will have a 6-2, 3-2 lead when play resumes today, then hit a ball angrily into the almost-empty stands, gathered his bag and, as lightning flashed, stomped off the court.

Andre Agassi, seeded ninth, also had his match suspended after he took a 7-5, 5-2 lead over Andres Vysand of the Soviet Union.

In completed men’s competition, Edberg beat fellow Swede Jan Gunnarsson, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6, and Noah came back to beat Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, before a packed center court.

“That’s the best match I’ve played on clay for a long time,” Noah said. “I feel good and as if I can beat anyone.”

Emilio Sanchez of Spain, seeded 12th, beat Frenchman Guy Forget, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, and Argentina’s Guillermo Perez-Roldan, seeded 15th, ousted West German Patrick Kuhnen, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

“The first two sets were tough, so I was tired in the third,” Sanchez said. “We played a long time, and he was very strong. I was lucky he made four double faults, that brought me back in the match.”

Two unseeded players made their way into the round of 16--Ronald Agenor of Haiti beat Paul Annacone, 6-4 7-6, 6-2, and Swede Magnus Gustafsson defeated Jeremy Bates of Britain, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

In women’s singles, Navratilova eliminated 17-year-old Barbara Paulus of Austria, 6-2, 6-2.

Paulus frequently caught Navratilova wrong-footed at the net, broke her big serve twice and was better than the result suggests. Navratilova had dropped only three games in her previous two matches.

“I had a tough match,” Navratilova said. “She didn’t give away anything. She was a better player than the ones I’ve played, and that’s good. I needed it.”

Czechoslovakia’s Helena Sukova, seeded sixth, swept Argentine Mercedes Paz, 6-4, 6-4; No. 10 Zina Garrison beat Michelle Torres, 6-1, 6-1; No. 13 Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union beat Melissa Gurney, 6-0, 6-4, and No. 15 Sylvia Hanika of West Germany defeated France’s Isabelle Demongeot, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.