International Players Championships : Sabatini and Evert Advance

Associated Press

Top-seeded Gabriela Sabatini routed France’s Catherine Suire, 6-0, 6-0, but second-seeded Chris Evert had to work hard for a second-round victory over Kathy Rinaldi, 7-6, 6-4, in the International Players Championships Thursday.

While Evert struggled past Rinaldi, Sabatini needed just 42 minutes to eliminate Suire.

Sabatini hopes to benefit from the absence of Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova from the two-week, $2.1-million event. The Argentine player is coming off a loss in the third round of last week’s Virginia Slims of Florida.

“That’s one of the problems I always have--I play well for a few games, and then I get ‘disconcentrated,’ ” said Sabatini, 18. “This is the first time I’ve been the No. 1 seed in a very big tournament. That makes me happy and makes me want to play better.”


In men’s play, second-seeded Mats Wilander of Sweden, the defending champion, beat Scott Warner, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6, and fifth-seeded Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland defeated Diego Nargiso of Monaco, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

Yannick Noah fought off Bill Scanlon, 4-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, and Mikael Pernfors of Sweden downed Greg Holmes, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3.

Helena Sukova and Pam Shriver also advanced, Sukova turning back Lea Antonoplis 6-3, 6-4, and Shriver taking advantage of numerous unforced errors from the baseline by Shaun Stafford to win, 6-4, 6-3.