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Navratilova Wins After Shaky Start

January 10, 1985|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Top-seeded Martina Navratilova beat local favorite Eleni Rossides, 6-3, 6-2, and Camille Benjamin ousted 14-year-old Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, 7-6, 6-2, Wednesday night in the $150,000 Virginia Slims of Washington tennis tournament.

Rossides, 17, of Washington, brought a capacity crowd of 5,000 to their feet as she broke Navratilova twice in the first set in pulling to 3-4.

It was, however, as close as she would get, as Navratilova, in her first match since losing in Australia in December to end a 74-match winning streak, began to display the variety of shots that has kept her on top of the world rankings for the past three years.

Navratilova's victory moved her into the second round, where she will meet Canadian Carling Bassett, who beat Yugoslavia's Mima Jausovec, 6-3, 6-3, earlier Wednesday.

Benjamin won the 12th game of the first set at love to force a tiebreaker against Sabatini, at 14 the youngest player in the tournament. The Ohio left-hander won the tiebreaker, 7-4, and then raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set, dominating play from the net.

In other matches Wednesday, No. 4-seeded Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria, beat Kim Schaefer, 6-2, 6-1; South Africa's Yvonne Vermaak suprised JoAnne Russell, 7-5, 6-3, and Kathy Jordan defeated Sharon Walsh, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

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