Tennis Roundup : Noah’s Slump Continues in Japan; Curren, Gomez Fall
Until he ran into an American buzz saw in the April 7-9 Davis Cup quarterfinals in San Diego, France’s Yannick Noah was playing some of the best tennis of his life. And some of the best tennis being played in the world in the months of February and March.
In San Diego, he lost in straight sets to John McEnroe and Andre Agassi and also lost in doubles as the United States prevailed, 5-0. Tuesday in Japan, in his first competition since San Diego, Noah was eliminated in the second round of the $752,000 Suntory tournament by unheralded American Glenn Layendecker.
Layendecker, a Californian who was born in Stanford, lives in Portola Valley and is a 1983 graduate of Yale, pitted his No. 99 world ranking against Noah’s No. 13. Layendecker won, 6-4, 7-5.
The left-handed Layendecker attributed his upset of the No. 4 Noah to “a combination of Noah’s off form and my consistent serve-and-volley game.”
Also upset were No. 6-seeded Kevin Curren and No. 7 Andres Gomez of Ecuador. Curren lost a marathon to Richard Matuszewski, the 25-year-old former Clemson All-American, 7-6, (10-8), 1-6, 7-6 (6-2). Gomez was beaten by Nicolas Pereira of Venezuela, 6-4, 6-1.
Top-seeded Ivan Lendl drew a bye, second-seeded Stefan Edberg of Sweden ousted Zeeshan Ali of India, 6-2, 6-2, and third-seeded McEnroe also drew a bye.
Pat Cash, former Wimbledon champion from Australia, making a comeback after resting a sore elbow for three months, got past Grant Connell of Canada, 4-6, 7-6 (12-10), 7-5.
Kent Carlsson of Sweden, top-seeded player in the $200,000 clay-court Swatch Open in Nice, France, lost in the first round. Italy’s Claudio Pistolesi defeated the world’s No. 6-ranked Carlsson, winner of five clay tournaments in 1988, 6-0, 3-6, 6-2.
“I won this tournament two years ago, and I was looking forward to it,” Carlsson said, “but he was the better player today.”
Henri Leconte of France, last year’s champion in Nice, struggled to get past qualifier Cedric Poline of France, No. 465 in the world, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria, seeded third in the $200,000 Eckerd Open in Largo, Fla., was upset by unseeded Donna Faber, an 18-year-old from Bradenton, Fla., who didn’t turn pro until this year’s Australian Open. Faber won, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
Top-seeded Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina escaped from a first-set scare to defeat countrywoman Bettina Fulco, 7-5, 6-2.
Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union scored a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kate Gompert of Mission Viejo.
No. 4-seeded Arantxa Sanchez of Spain, a finalist here last year, defeated Mary Lou Daniels of Chicago, 6-1, 6-2.