Playing as if they will meet in the final, the world’s top two female tennis players, Monica Seles of Yugoslavia and Steffi Graf of Germany, easily eliminated their quarterfinal opponents Friday at the U.S. Women’s Hardcourt Championships.
No. 1-ranked Seles defeated unseeded Erika deLone, 6-2, 6-0. Second-ranked Graf beat No. 7-seeded Susan Sloane, 6-1, 6-1.
In today’s semifinal, Seles will play third-seeded Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere of Bulgaria, who beat sixth-seeded Lori McNeil, 6-3, 6-4. Also advancing was unseeded Julie Halard of France, a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Eva Sviglerova of Czechoslovakia.
Seles’ match against Maleeva-Fragniere will be a repeat of last year’s final, which Seles won, 6-4, 6-3.
“I will have to use every single possibility,” Maleeva-Fragniere said of the semifinal. “I’ll have to be aggressive.”
A baseline player, Maleeva-Fragniere said she wouldn’t rush the net but would try to keep the ball deep and force a rapid pace.
Maleeva-Fragniere said she might be able to defeat Seles but did not know if she could overpower Graf in the final the next day.
Graf lost only one point on her serve during the first set and only two during the second set against Sloane.
Should both Seles and Graf win, it would set up their first meeting in 1991.