The confidence that Zina Garrison gained last year while reaching the Wimbledon final is serving her well in the Australian Open.
Her edge in experience made the difference Wednesday in the third set of a 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory over 19-year-old Nana Miyagi.
Miyagi, who made a stream of unforced errors in the final set, has played in only five Grand Slam tournaments and has never advanced past the second round.
Garrison, 27, kept her cool and varied her game.
“Making the Wimbledon final let me know that next time I’ll have a better chance,” the eighth-seeded player from Houston said.
“I’m still learning how to play this (Rebound Ace) surface,” she said. “You can’t attack all the time. You have to pick your moment, have patience and good groundstrokes.
“After I slowed myself down, I was pretty much in control the rest of the match.”
Miyagi, who was born in Seattle and has an American father, thought she should have done better.
“I just made too many unforced errors,” she said.
Garrison was one of the few seeded players to face a stiff challenge. Top-seeded Steffi Graf defeated Japan’s Maya Kidowaki, 6-1, 6-0. No. 4 Gabriela Sabatini swept Sweden’s Maria Ekstrand, 6-1, 6-1.
In the men’s draw, second-seeded Becker defeated Marian Vajda of Czechoslovakia, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
The few minor upsets of the day were provided by Australians: Rachel McQuillan’s 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 victory over No. 12 Barbara Paulus of Austria, Elizabeth Smylie’s 6-3, 2-6, 9-7 victory over No. 15 Laura Gildemeister of Peru, and Darren Cahill’s 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 victory over men’s No. 13 Andrei Cherkasov of Soviet Union.
Cahill turned back four match points in the fourth set of the 3-hour 42-minute match.
The loudest cheers all day came when a rowdy fan bared her chest and a Mickey Mouse tattoo to Becker and the center-court crowd as security guards ushered her out.
“She was funny. She had a beer too many and she had a good time,” said Becker, who laughed at the woman’s loud heckling throughout his match. “It doesn’t happen too often, and it’s never happened in my matches before. It’s pretty nice. I just hope the next time it happens the woman is under 25.”