TENNIS : Sabatini Recovers After Slow Start

From Associated Press

Gabriela Sabatini saved her best tennis of the year for a rainy day.

Struggling to bounce back from a virus that hit her at the Australian Open in January, Sabatini began hitting winners from the baseline Tuesday--in time to avert an upset against Amanda Coetzer at the Lipton Championships at Key Biscayne, Fla.

After the start of their match was delayed 3 1/2 hours by rain, Coetzer won the first set and led the second, 2-0. Then came Sabatini's sudden turnaround for a 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory and a berth in the quarterfinals.

"I changed my game," Sabatini said. "I tried to go for it and not just hit the ball. That's the way I like to play."

Bad weather again plagued the tournament, which had both sessions called off Saturday because of high winds. Rain on Tuesday forced 10 of the 24 singles matches to be suspended or postponed.

Third-seeded Stefan Edberg waited out one long delay before defeating Javier Frana in a third-round match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Five days into the tournament, Boris Becker has yet to take the court. He won his first match in a walkover, then had a match Tuesday night rained out.

Andre Agassi, seeded eighth, eliminated qualifier Jason Stoltenberg, 6-0, 6-1.

"To beat anybody like that, you have to be playing great tennis," Agassi said. "On the other hand, he was missing a lot of shots."

Agassi has won 19 consecutive games over the course of two matches.

Top-seeded Steffi Graf continued her march through the women's draw, defeating Patty Fendick, 6-1, 6-4. Graf has lost only nine games in her three matches at Key Biscayne.

Judith Wiesner of Austria, who upset Jennifer Capriati on Monday, lost to Kimiko Date, 6-3, 6-3. Marcos Ondruska, who surprised Michael Chang on Monday, defeated Sergio Cortes, 6-2, 6-3.

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