TENNIS ROUNDUP : Graham Gains Finals in Singles, Doubles

From Associated Press

Sixth-seeded Debbie Graham of Stanford swept past teammate and defending champion Sandra Birch, 7-5, 6-4, Wednesday to move into today’s final of the NCAA women’s championships at Gainesville, Fla.

Graham, a sophomore from Fountain Valley, will face seventh-seeded Nicole Arendt of Florida, who rallied to defeat unseeded Eveline Hamers of Kansas, 6-7 (7-1), 6-4, 6-1.

Graham and Birch played a match comparable to their Pacific 10 championship duel won last month by Graham. Graham used her big serve and powerful ground strokes in winning her second consecutive straight-set victory over Birch.

“I think I might have wanted it a little bit more,” Graham said. “I’ve been working really hard. This has been one of my goals this year, to do really well in this tournament. I just went for it.”


Graham and Birch later teamed up to advance to the doubles final. Graham and Birch moved into the final with victories over teams from Florida (by default) and Georgia (6-3, 6-3).

Top-seeded Brad Gilbert led three Americans into the third round of the Italian Open with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory over Luis Mattar of Brazil on the clay courts in Rome.

Also advancing to the round of 16 were second-seeded Aaron Krickstein, who defeated Karel Novacek of Czechoslovakia, 6-2, 6-2, and ninth-seeded Jim Courier, who beat Jaime Yzaga of Peru, 6-3, 6-4.

Top-seeded Steffi Graf needed only 42 minutes to beat Katia Piccolini of Italy, 6-0, 6-1, and reach the quarterfinals of the German Open at West Berlin.

Second-seeded Monica Seles of Yugoslavia overwhelmed Nicole Jagerman of the Netherlands, 6-1, 6-0, in 45 minutes, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina defeated Elise Burgin, 6-2, 6-1.

The quickest match of the day was Soviet Larisa Savchenko’s 6-3, 6-0 victory over No. 15 Hana Mandlikova of Australia in 40 minutes.