TENNIS WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT AT LOS ANGELES : Seles Gets Her Game Together
Monica Seles overcame her own frustrations and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario for a 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4 victory Saturday in the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles at the Manhattan Country Club.
Seles, the world’s top-ranked women’s player, advanced to today’s finals of the $350,000 tournament. She will play the winner of the second semifinal match between second-seeded Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina and unseeded Kamiko Date of Japan.
Seles, seeded No. 1, blew a 5-3 lead in losing the first set and wasted 2-0 leads before rallying in the second and third sets.
“With Arantxa, you never know, she runs down every ball,” Seles said. “She slices and she spins. We had some good points. It was a good match.”
Seles lost the first set after being up a break.
“I was very frustrated,” Seles said. “I had a 5-3 lead and I had so many chances to win the first set. I thought about that a long time. That made me play better in the second.”
Sanchez Vicario has never beaten Seles in their six matches since 1989. Seles won their last meeting, this year’s French Open final, in straight sets.
“I cannot play the same way all the time against her,” Sanchez Vicario said. “I tried to move the ball around and mix it up. She played really well. She pressures you all the time.”
Sanchez Vicario, who had the only five aces of the 2-hour, 19-minute match, said she couldn’t outlast Seles.
“I was a little bit nervous and I don’t know why,” Seles said. “I thought too much about my serve. I couldn’t go for the big serve.”
Seles overpowered Sanchez Vicario with strong volleys and took the match with a forehand winner down the line.
Seles said her play was hindered by the time she took off to recuperate from shin splints, which kept her from playing at Wimbledon in June.
“I’m going to have to play even better for the U.S. Open,” Seles said. “Right now, I’m feeling it after not playing those six weeks I was off.”