International Players Championships : Curren Rallies to Oust Connors; Shriver Loses

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Kevin Curren rallied from a two-set deficit Sunday to beat Jimmy Connors in the fourth round of the International Players Championships.

Curren, seeded 13th, needed four hours to win, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. He has defeated Connors both times they’ve played this year, and the series between them is tied, 5-5.

Connors’ loss left No. 1-seeded Ivan Lendl as the lone player among the top four men still in the tournament.

Lendl swept No. 15 Andres Gomez of Ecuador, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. Tenth-seeded Aaron Krickstein lost the first set but still beat Jaime Yzaga of Peru, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3.


Lendl said he was unaffected by the departure of second-seeded Mats Wilander and third-seeded Andre Agassi in early upsets.

“I’m not worried about it,” Lendl said. “I’m worried about my game. And when I’m through worrying about my game, I’m worrying about my golf game.”

In fourth-round women’s competition, No. 4-seeded Pam Shriver lost in straight sets to unseeded Jana Novotna of Czechoslovakia. No. 2 Chris Evert swept No. 9 Mary Joe Fernandez; No. 11 Helen Kelesi beat No. 8 Katerina Maleeva; and No. 5 Zina Garrison won in 53 minutes over unseeded Laura Golarsa of Italy.

Shriver said she wasn’t upset about getting upset by Novotna.


“All my priorities have changed,” Shriver said after a 7-5, 6-4 loss, her first in four meetings with Novotna. “Right now, I’m sort of a person of ideas.”

Shriver, 26, said she has decided to concentrate on Grand Slam events, doubles and matters away from the court.

“After 11 years, I cannot expect to go out there every match and be at my competitive best,” Shriver said. “I have no more desire to play just because the system expects me to play. I did that for 10 years.”

Shriver tried to motivate herself midway through the second set against Novotna, ranked 47th.

When Shriver trailed 4-2 and lost the first point of the next game, she shouted, “Give me a warning! I need a warning!” She then hit a ball out of the stadium and received a warning for ball abuse from the smiling umpire.

“I was just trying to give myself a kick,” Shriver said later. She won that game and later had two break points with a chance to even the second set, 5-5. But Novotna, who was in top form with both her forehand and volleys, won the final four points of the match.

“She was just a better player,” Shriver said. “I’m not upset about it.”

Things didn’t get any better for Shriver in doubles. She and partner Elise Burgin lost to Manon Bollegraf of the Netherlands and Eva Pfaff of West Germany, 6-4, 6-3.


Evert, 34, won the final four games of her match to defeat Fernandez, a fellow South Floridian who is half Evert’s age, 7-5, 6-2.

“She makes me work hard,” Evert said. “She keeps me out there a long time. But I was going to stay out there all day, if I had to, to win the match.”

Kelesi ousted Maleeva, 6-2, 6-3. Garrison beat Golarsa, 6-1, 6-2.