Becker, Seles Help Restore Order at Wimbledon
Calm returned to Wimbledon today. After a day of uproar and upsets, top players led by defending champion Boris Becker and women’s third seed Monica Seles moved into the third round with relative ease.
Becker especially seemed to jerk the tournament back to normal, a day after seven seeds--including three-time champion John McEnroe--were eliminated in the first round.
The men’s second seed had trouble with his serve early against Australian Wally Masur. But by the middle of the second set he looked like the player who has won here three times, diving after shots and sending rocket volleys into the corners to win, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
Seles, the hottest player in tennis and the newly crowned French Open champion, overcame some second-set trouble to defeat American Camille Benjamin, 6-3, 7-5.
Benjamin overpowered Seles at times with her serve-and-volley game but simply lacked the consistency to win. She led in the second set, 4-1, 40-0, but Seles, 16, came back to wrap up her 34th consecutive victory.
Fifth-seeded Zina Garrison of the United States also advanced. She beat Cecilia Dahlman of Sweden, 6-2, 6-1, losing just 14 points on her serve and winning the final six games after Dahlman broke for a 1-0 lead in the second set.
Women’s 10th seed Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia won the last three games to beat Nicole Jagerman of the Netherlands, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
Brad Gilbert, the seventh seed and the top American left in the men’s field, beat Danie Visser of South Africa, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Tenth-seeded Jonas Svensson of Sweden advanced with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Malaivi Washington of the United States, and 11th-seeded Guy Forget beat Eric Jelen of West Germany, 7-6, 6-7, 6-1, 6-2.
As this year’s hopefuls were winning, a one-time contender played the final singles match of her career.
Hana Mandlikova, a finalist here in 1981 and 1986, was eliminated by Ann Henricksson of the United States, 6-3, 6-3. Mandlikova said before the tournament that she would retire from singles play after Wimbledon.
“I felt relieved and sad,” Mandlikova said. “The only thing I’ll ever regret is not winning here. It was my dream since childhood and I was in two finals. But I’ll never have to be nervous or practice as hard as I always did.”
Becker had trouble keeping his feet on the slippery grass in his opening match Monday. He did better this time, going 29 minutes before taking his first roll as he chased down a backhand on the baseline.
His serve was iffy in the first set. After staying on serve through the first 12 games, Becker gave Masur two set points on a double fault, and the Australian closed it with a forehand cross-court volley.
Becker got going in the second set. He saved four break points to go up 4-1, and closed a set of six service breaks with a passing shot down the line.
That string of breaks continued when Becker went up 2-0 in the third set, then held for 3-0 on a drop shot. In the fourth set, the West German broke for 2-1 and 4-1 and held for the match at love--the last three points on two service winners and an ace.
McEnroe was joined on the sidelines by four other men’s seeds, including fifth seed Andres Gomez and sixth seed Tom Mayotte.
Gomez, a clay-court specialist who won the French Open earlier this month, was sluggish in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 loss to American Jim Grabb. Mayotte, who usually is at his best on grass, lost to Gary Muller, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Other seeds eliminated Tuesday were No. 12 Pete Sampras and No. 14 Petr Korda. Third seed Stefan Edberg and 13th seed Michael Chang each advanced in four sets.
While American veterans McEnroe and Mayotte are out, the future looks bright for Seles and Jennifer Capriati.
Capriati, 14, became the youngest winner in Wimbledon history by blasting Canada’s Helen Kelesi, 6-3, 6-1, on Centre Court. She called it “a moment I’ll never forget.”
The third-seeded Seles, a Yugoslav who now lives in Florida, won the last 10 games of her match against Maria Strandlund to win, 6-2, 6-0, in 51 minutes, overpowering the Swede with her two-fisted shots.
The two women seeded above Seles, two-time defending champion Steffi Graf and eight-time winner Martina Navratilova, also had easy afternoons.
Graf defeated fellow West German Claudia Porwik, 6-1, 6-2, in 51 minutes--exactly the same time as Seles used--while Navratilova was quickest of all. She defeated Sophie Amiach of France, 6-1, 6-1, in just 45 minutes.