Despite Victory, Graf Is Unhappy

<i> Associated Press</i>

Steffi Graf rebounded from a second-set tiebreaker loss to defeat France’s Julie Halard in the third set and win her quarterfinal match, 6-4, 6-7 (8-6), 6-0 in the $400,000 Toshiba Classic on Friday.

The top-ranked Graf was extended through the first two sets before dominating Halard in the final set at the La Costa Resort and Spa.

“I can’t say I’m very pleased with the way I’m playing,” Graf said. “Things went better in the third set, but it was because she got tired.

“I don’t think I’m closing out matches very well. . . . I just don’t feel 100% on the court.”


The tiebreaker loss for Graf was the second set she has dropped here. Graf lost the first set Wednesday to Lisa Raymond before winning 6-7, (10-8), 6-2, 6-2.

In another quarterfinal match, second-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain needed only 51 minutes to defeat Germany’s Christina Singer, 6-0, 6-1.

Sixth-seeded Lindsay Davenport defaulted from her match against Tami Whitlinger-Jones of Henderson, Nev., because of a strained left calf.

In today’s semifinals, Graf will face Whitlinger-Jones and Sanchez Vicario will play her Federation Cup doubles partner, Conchita Martinez. Martinez beat Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2. Sanchez Vicario holds a 5-2 career edge over Martinez.