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Sanchez Vicario Wastes 4 Match Points, Loses to Nagelsen

TIMES STAFF WRITER

“What you can do?” Arantxa Sanchez Vicario said when she lost in the second round of the French Open three weeks ago.

She was saying the same thing Tuesday after blowing four match points and losing her first-round Wimbledon match, 1-6, 7-6 (10-8), 9-7, to Betsy Nagelsen.

Sanchez, ranked No. 6, wasted two match points in the tiebreaker and two more in the 12th game of the third set. Then she led, 40-0, serving at 7-7, only to be broken, and Nagelsen, ranked No. 83, served out the match at love.

The top five women players had no such trouble with their opening matches. No. 1-seeded Steffi Graf defeated fellow West German Claudia Porwick, 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 Martina Navratilova defeated Sophie Amiach of France, 6-1, 6-1; No. 3 Monica Seles defeated Maria Standlund of Sweden, 6-2, 6-0; No. 4 Gabriela Sabatini defeated Elise Burgin, 6-3, 6-3, and No. 5 Zina Garrison defeated Samantha Smith of England, 6-2, 6-1.

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Graf’s only problem came after the match. Last week, West German police arrested a woman and charged her with attempting to extort money from Peter Graf, whom she claimed had fathered her child. Peter Graf is Steffi’s father.

“I am concentrating very much on my tennis right now, and I think the tough times have been pretty much over, and they have been in the last couple of weeks,” Graf told reporters after her victory. “So I think I got it pretty much out of my mind right now.”

Navratilova, 33, is seeking a record ninth Wimbledon title. She might be the sentimental choice to win, but Navratilova said it doesn’t matter.

“There could be two people in the stands, and I’d still want to win it just as bad,” she said.

Eighth-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez withdrew before her match because of a knee injury.

Jennifer Capriati, 14, seeded No. 12 in her first Wimbledon, made her debut at Centre Court and scored a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Helen Kelesi. Capriati said Wimbledon’s show court is unparalleled. “It’s like the court,” she said. “When I found out I was going to be playing on it, I was so excited. I was jumping up and down.”

She will be on Court No. 14 today for her second-round match against Julie Halard of France.


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