Tennis Roundup : Wilander, Becker Nearing Showdown

From Associated Press

Mats Wilander of Sweden and Boris Becker of West Germany, the top two seeded players, continued on a collision course Friday as they won their quarterfinal matches at the $607,500 Monte Carlo Open.

Wilander topped Ronald Agenor of Haiti, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), and Becker beat Guillermo Perez-Roldan of Argentina, 6-3, 6-3.

In another quarterfinal, Horst Skoff of Austria, seeded 13th, gained a 6-4, 6-4 decision over Jan Gunnarsson of Sweden. Skoff also made the semifinals at Monte Carlo two years ago.

Also, Alberto Mancini of Argentina downed Carl-Uwe Steeb of West Germany, 6-3, 6-3.

The tournament, the first major clay-court event of the season, offers a $122,900 top prize.

Wilander, who won this tournament in 1987, was down 1-3 in the first set when he won five straight games. Agenor had beaten Wilander in the Italian Open last year.

In the second set, Agenor had a chance at 5-6, 15-40 against Wilander's service. But the Swede held off two set points with an unforced error by Agenor and a good serve and volley. He then forced the tiebreaker.

Agenor had another chance at 6-5 in the tiebreaker, but a deep approach shot by Wilander set up an easy volley.

Wilander will play Mancini today. Becker will face Skoff today.

Top-seeded Chris Evert advanced to the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Houston with a 7-6, (7-3), 6-3 victory over No. 8-seeded Gretchen Magers.

Evert will play fifth-seeded Susan Sloane of Lexington, Ky., today. Sloane upset fourth-seeded Lori McNeil, 6-2, 6-4.

Sloane took control early, winning the first four games of the first set. Trailing 5-2 in the second set, McNeil pulled to 5-4 by holding her own serve and breaking Sloane. But Sloane broke back in the 10th game to close out the match.

"I think the pressure was obviously more on her because she was playing before her hometown crowd," Sloane said.

In other quarterfinals, Carrie Cunningham celebrated her 17th birthday with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Kim Kessaris. Monica Seles defeated Andrea Temesvari of Hungary, 6-2, 7-5.

Ramesh Krishnan of India led the way as all four top seeded players advanced to the semifinals of the Dunlop Masters at Toyota, Japan.

The top-seeded Krishnan, ranked 62nd, beat Kim Bong Soo of South Korea, 6-4, 6-0, and will meet No. 3 Jeremy Bates of Britain on the hard court of the Nagoya Green Tennis Club. Bates advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Yoo Jin Sun of South Korea.

The other semifinal will pit second-seeded Jonathan Canter of Beverly Hills against No. 4 Andrew Castle of Britain. Canter ousted sixth-seeded Bill Scanlon of Dallas, 6-4, 6-1, and Castle beat Japan's Shigeru Ohta, 6-4, 6-1.

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