Sweden's Catarina Lindqvist upset No. 4-seeded Wendy Turnbull, and Kathy Rinaldi surprised No. 8-seeded Carling Bassett Monday night in the opening round of the $500,000 Virginia Slims Championships at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Rinaldi, making a comeback at 17, defeated her 17-year-old opponent, 6-3, 6-2, after Lindqvist ousted Turnbull of Australia, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
In the final match of the night, No. 5-seeded Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia edged her doubles partner, Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of West Germany, 7-6, 7-6.
Rinaldi next meets the winner of tonight's match between Chris Evert Lloyd and Kathy Jordan, while Lindqvist faces Sukova.
Rinaldi, who turned pro when she was 14, repeatedly beat Bassett in their baseline rallies. After Bassett took a 3-2 lead at the start, Rinaldi ripped off four straight games to win the opening set.
"When it was 3-all, all of a sudden I felt in control of the match," Rinaldi said.
Rinaldi was even more impressive in the second set, breaking Bassett on all four chances. She allowed the Canadian only one point on her serve in that set. Bassett was able to break back in the third and fifth games, but then managed only two points in the final three games.
"She surprised me," said Bassett, who had beaten Rinaldi in their only previous meeting. "She's a lot quicker and a lot stronger now. She plays the same kind of game as I do, but right now she's playing it a lot better.
"She just played well. I don't think I could have won the match even if I'd played a little bit better."
Lindqvist, whose career has skyrocketed this year, started off slowly against Turnbull. The 32-year-old Australian, keeping the ball low with slices, broke her Swedish opponent three times in winning the opening set.
"I thought I was going to lose the whole match," Lindqvist said later. "I didn't move very well, especially in the first set."
But she didn't lose her serve during the rest of the match as she found the range with her powerful ground strokes and occasionally came to the net for winning volleys.
"The match was more of Wendy not playing that well," Lindqvist said. "I didn't play my best tennis today."
It was the second time the two have met, and the second time Lindqvist has won.
The seven-day tournament, which concludes the year-long Virginia Slims Series, winds up Sunday with a best-of-five-sets final--unique in women's tennis--with $125,000 going to the winner.
Defending champion Martina Navratilova, the No. 1-seeded player, is expected to play her first-round match Wednesday night against Lisa Bonder.
Other first-round matchups include No. 3-seeded Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia against Hungary's Andrea Temesvari, No. 6 Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria against Pam Shriver, and No. 7 Zina Garrison against Sylvia Hanika of West Germany.