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U.S. OPEN / OTHER MATCHES : No Major Upsets for the Women as Elites Cruise to Second Round

TIMES SPORTS EDITOR

Steffi Graf had the day off, but the next best three in women’s tennis breezed through to the second round with U.S. Open victories Monday.

No. 2-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain faced a set point against Linda Ferrando of Italy in the opening match on the Stadium Court, but fought that off and won, 7-5, 6-1. Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez, also of Spain, took her No. 3-seeding against Veronika Martinek of Germany and won in 41 minutes, 6-1, 6-0. No. 4 Mary Pierce of France coasted past Andrea Temesvari of Hungary, a former top 10 player, 6-3, 6-2.

No. 9 Mary Joe Fernandez took out Belgium’s Sabine Appelmans in the first evening match on the Stadium Court, 6-3, 6-4.

Gigi Fernandez, the longtime doubles specialist who surprised many by advancing to the Wimbledon semifinals in July, continued a successful summer of singles by ousting Germany’s 12th-seeded Sabine Hack, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3).

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“I’m relaxed here and looking forward to singles and doubles here,” said Fernandez, who will team with Natalie Zvereva of Belarus in an attempt to complete a doubles Grand Slam by adding the U.S. Open title to the Australian, French and Wimbledon titles they already have. Zvereva is not playing singles because she has a stress fracture of a rib and wants to save herself for the doubles attempt.

“I’ve been saying all along, that Natasha (Zvereva) at 70% is better for me than any other doubles player in the world,” Fernandez said.

Also winning women’s matches were Leila Meskhi of the Republic of Georgia, who stunned the tennis world by ousting Jennifer Capriati in the first round here last year, and former Pepperdine star Ginger Helgeson, who defeated Karin Kschwendt of Luxembourg, 6-2, 6-1. Northridge teen-ager Meilen Tu, the U.S. Tennis Assn. junior champion, rallied from 7-5 and a break down in the second set to extend Italy’s Silvia Farina before losing, 7-5, 6-7 (8-6), 6-1.

With Goran Ivanisevic and Boris Becker losing on the men’s side, advancements were left to No. 3 Sergi Bruguera of Spain, No. 6 Michael Chang, No. 12 Wayne Ferreira of South Africa and No. 13 Thomas Muster of Austria.

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Bruguera ousted Bryon Shelton, 6-0, 6-2, 7-5; Chang had an easy time against Andrei Cherkasov of Russia, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2; Ferreira beat Wade McGuire, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, and Muster routed Daniele Musa of Italy, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0. Both McGuire and Musa were qualifiers.

Also winning were Andre Agassi and Ivan Lendl, both unseeded.

Agassi coasted past Robert Eriksson of Sweden, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, and continued his campaign against the ATP Tour’s recent experiment at the New Haven tournament with music during the changeovers.

“No music out there,” he said. “It was nice. I am against it because it isolates the fans from what they came to see, which is the tennis.”

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Lendl, at 34 playing in what is likely to be his last U.S. Open, defeated Neil Borwick of Australia, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3. Last year, Lendl lost to Borwick in the first round when he had to retire because of an injury.

“It was nice to be able to finish the match,” he said.

Notes

Frankie Parker, two-time singles champion here (1944 and ’45) and longtime doubles partner of Jack Kramer, talked with reporters during an early rain delay and commented on the amount of money at stake in today’s game. “In my day, we had to pay entry fees just to play,” said Parker, 78. . . . Martina Navratilova, while not playing at Flushing Meadows, was active in the area nevertheless. She was elected president of the Women’s Tennis Assn. Vice president is Marianne Werdel of Oceanside, formerly a Stanford star. . . . Petra Korda of the Czech Republic, seeded 16th in men’s singles, withdrew with a hip and groin injury. He was replaced by Oliver Gross of Germany, ranked No. 105. . . . Play started about two hours late because of rain, but attendance held up, with 22,635 for the afternoon session and 17,949 for the evening. Last year, the first Monday drew 21,451 in the afternoon, 20,616 at night.

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