TENNIS ROUNDUP : Graf Loses, Germany Out of Federation Cup
Wimbledon champion Steffi Graf returned to action Tuesday at Frankfurt, Germany, in what was a cameo appearance.
Bothered by an aching shoulder, Graf was upset in the Federation Cup and her defending champion German team was defeated in the first round by Australia.
The fifth-seeded United States team advanced to the second round with a 3-0 sweep over Switzerland.
Lindsay Davenport of Murrieta, Calif., making her Federation Cup debut, beat Christelle Fauche, 6-4, 6-3. Lori McNeil rallied to defeat Emanuela Zardo, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Debbie Graham, of Fountain Valley, Calif., and Ann Grossman completed the shutout by winning the doubles, 6-3, 6-1.
McNeil injured her right hip in a second-set fall and is questionable for today’s second-round match against China.
Graf, top ranked in the world, was defeated by Nicole Provis, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1. The German team lost, 2-1, and became the first Federation Cup defending champion to exit in the first round of the event.
Elizabeth Smylie and Rennae Stubbs completed the Australian victory by winning the doubles, beating Anke Huber and Barbara Rittner, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Graf said she was suffering from an inflamed shoulder tendon, which she said she first noticed while practicing Sunday.
“I wanted to play and it felt a little bit better in practice in the morning,” she said. “But I didn’t step in fully fit, I haven’t played much in the past two weeks and I didn’t feel very comfortable. The shoulder hurt during the match and it was a big part of my defeat.”
German captain Klaus Hofsaess blamed himself for the loss.
“I knew about Steffi’s injury and I should have never let her play. It was my big mistake,” he said.
Graf said she still could not tell how long she would have to rest her shoulder. Her next tournament is in San Diego in two weeks.
Andre Agassi, Patrick McEnroe and Richey Reneberg will be part of the U.S. Davis Cup team when it is announced today at a news conference in Charlotte, N.C.
Captain Tom Gorman will make the official announcement of the U.S. squad when he names the four members of the team. Jim Courier, Mal Washington and Ivan Lendl have been mentioned as candidates for the other singles player in addition to Agassi. The U.S. plays the Bahamas in a relegation round match, Sept. 24-26, at the Olde Providence Racket Club.