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Tennis Roundup : Mecir, Noah Upset; Lendl, Wilander Advance

May 13, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Unseeded Anders Jarryd of Sweden upset third-seeded Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, Tuesday in the first round of the $495,000 Italian Open.

Mecir, ranked No. 5 in the world, was coughing throughout the match. He said he has been suffering from a cold for seven weeks.

Still, Jarryd struggled for more than two hours at the Foro Italico in Rome and had to survive a scare in the final set. After taking a 5-1 lead, he squandered three match points and allowed Mecir to cut the deficit to 5-4. But, in the 10th game, Jarryd broke serve to close out the match.

"I had played so well up to 5-1," said Jarryd, who had knee surgery last year and slipped from No. 5 in the world to No. 28. "I missed the first set point, but that can happen to anyone. But then I missed a backhand volley and that's when I got nervous."

In another upset, Eduardo Bengoechea of Argentina beat fourth-seeded Yannick Noah of France, 7-5, 6-1. Noah never found his form in a match that didn't start until after midnight.

Meanwhile, tournament favorites Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia and Mats Wilander of Sweden breezed into the second round.

Lendl, ranked No. 1 in the world, defeated Claudio Panatta of Italy, 6-2, 6-3. Wilander, ranked No. 4, beat Andrei Chesnokov of the Soviet Union, 6-2, 6-3.

Fifth-seeded Henri Leconte of France defeated countryman Tarik Benhabiles, 6-4, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Andres Gomez of Ecuador ousted Jonathan Canter, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

Sixth-seeded John McEnroe beat 17-year-old Franco Davin of Argentina, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, in a match that was stopped twice when power failures knocked out the stadium lights.

Davin, ranked 98th in the world, won the first set and broke McEnroe in the first game of the second set when the first power failure hit.

When play resumed 30 minutes later, McEnroe won four straight games for a 4-1 lead. After Davin held serve for 4-2, the lights went out again at 10:30 p.m.

Play resumed again 55 minutes later, and McEnroe dropped just two points in wrapping up the set.

Their match lasted until midnight and was followed by Noah's match against Bengoechea, which ended at 2:10 a.m.

Unseeded Americans Jimmy Arias and Aaron Krickstein also advanced. Arias defeated Alessandro De Minicis of Italy, 6-2, 6-3, while Krickstein rallied to beat 34-year-old Guillermo Vilas of Argentina, 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.

Mats Wilander said Tuesday that professional tennis does not belong in the Olympics.

Wilander, seeded No. 2 in the Italian Open, said he was not interested in competing in Seoul, South Korea, next year and criticized the International Olympic Committee.

"What they (the Olympic Committee) came up with was completely wrong," he said. "The Olympics doesn't need tennis." Monday, the IOC gave final approval for professional tennis players to compete for medals in next summer's Games.

Ivan Lendl and other top players such as Andres Gomez of Ecuador, Anders Jarryd of Sweden and Andrei Chesnokov of the Soviet Union said they would like to compete in the Olympics.

Lendl, a Czechoslovakian who lives in the United States, said he would compete in the Olympics only for the U.S. team. "But that is only when or if I get U.S. citizenship, which would be five years from now," he said.

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