Tennis Roundup : Sabatini Avenges Loss; Zvereva Upsets Shriver

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From Times Wire Services

Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina may have enjoyed a bit of revenge Saturday in the semifinals of the $315,000 Player’s Challenge tennis tournament at Montreal, but the victory did not come close to matching the emotion of Natalia Zvereva’s win over Pam Shriver.

No. 4 Sabatini, 18, defeated second-seeded Chris Evert, 6-4, 6-3, in a 90-minute match that answered Evert’s three-set victory last Sunday in the final of the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles tournament at Manhattan Beach.

Zvereva, 17, and seeded sixth, defeated No. 3 Shriver, 7-5, 6-3, with speed and precise passing shots. Shriver was serving for the first set, at 5-4, when Zvereva broke back and proceeded to take 11 straight points.


Shriver went to the net 80 times but won points on only 47% of those occasions. She became frustrated, cursing several times. Other times, she imitated Zvereva’s gestures to show her anger at the Soviet for pointing her finger at the ball when Shriver hit wide.

Shriver said Zvereva made her angry by making “cute shots,” instead of just winning the point when Shriver was out of position.

When told that Shriver described her finger pointing as the tactic of a junior player, Zvereva replied: “That’s her problem. I’m not afraid. I am a junior.”

In Sabatini’s victory, the Argentine took command with top-spin shots that had Evert playing 10 feet behind the baseline.

“I never thought I’d lose until she broke me (for a 5-3 lead) in the second set,” said Evert, who had a 6-1 record against Sabatini going into the match. “I don’t feel I got blasted off the court in the match, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t take more chances.”

At Mason, Ohio, second-seeded Mats Wilander survived a shaky second set to beat No. 12 Aaron Krickstein, 6-2, 7-6, and advance to the final of the Assn. of Tennis Professionals Championship.


Wilander will play Stefan Edberg, also of Sweden, in today’s final. Edberg downed another Swede, Anders Jarryd, 6-3, 6-4, in the other semifinal.

Krickstein rallied from a 5-2 deficit to send the second set into a tiebreaker, which Wilander won with a backhand volley, 7-5.

At Livingston, N.J., top-seeded Andre Agassi of Las Vegas will renew a junior rivalry today when he plays Jeff Tarango of Manhattan Beach in the final of the $125,000 Mennen Cup.

Agassi, who beat Tarango in every junior matchup except their first meeting in 1979, defeated fifth-seeded Yahiya Doumbia of Senegal, 6-4, 6-4, in a 91-minute semifinal.

Tarango reached his first Nabisco Grand Prix final with a 7-6, 0-6, 7-6 victory over Simon Youl of Australia in a 2-hour 58-minute match of unseeded players.