Tennis Roundup : Third-Year Pro Smith Stuns Top-Seeded Lendl, 6-2, 6-3

From Times Wire Services

Roger Smith of the Bahamas scored the biggest victory of his brief professional career Wednesday when he upset top-seeded Ivan Lendl, 6-2, 6-3, in the second round of the $490,000 Volvo International tennis tournament at Stratton Mountain, Vt.

Smith, 24, ranked 150th in the world, kept Lendl on the defensive the entire match with a strong serve and some sharp volleys that helped him take a 4-0 lead in the first set and a 5-0 advantage in the second.

Second-seeded Andre Agassi advanced with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Greg Holmes, and fifth-seeded Aaron Krickstein disposed of Joey Rive of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 6-4, 6-2. However, three other seeded players--No. 4 Amos Mansdorf of Israel, No. 6 David Pate and No. 14 John Frawley of Australia--were also upset.

Lendl survived two match points in the sixth game and three more in the ninth of the final set. But he said that he knew this was not his day, and told Smith so before the sixth and decisive match point.

"He said, 'I want to give it to you, and you don't want it,' " Smith said. "I said, 'Come on, just hit it into the net or over the fence or something.' "

Lendl did, netting an easy forehand passing shot after five deuces to end the match.

Smith had never won a second-round match in a Grand Prix tournament since turning pro in 1986 after winning two Big Ten singles titles at Ohio State.

Stefan Edberg, the Wimbledon champion, is expected to replace Lendl as the world's No. 1 player in the next computer rankings.

Yahiya Doumbia of Senegal, ranked 117th, eliminated Mansdorf, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Todd Nelson upset Pate, 6-3, 6-3, and Jim Courier, 17, ousted Frawley, 6-3, 7-6.

Top-seeded Yannick Noah of France struggled but was able to outlast Guillermo Rivas of Argentina, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3, in the second round of the $245,000 Grand Prix Passing Shot tournament at Bordeaux, France.

Top-seeded Steffi Graf of West Germany, playing her first match since winning Wimbledon, easily eliminated Regina Marsikova of Czechoslovakia, 6-0, 6-3, in the second round of the $200,000 Virginia Slims tournament at Hamburg, West Germany.

Graf, the No. 1-ranked women's player in the world, needed only 38 minutes to defeat Marsikova, although she resumed full training only three days ago. Graf had been unable to practice because she was bitten on the right hand by her dog after returning home from Wimbledon.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
61°