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Australian Open : Lendl Advances, but Annacone Doesn't

January 12, 1988|From Times Wire Services

MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-seeded Ivan Lendl stumbled slightly before defeating Australian qualifier Bryan Roe, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2, Monday night in the opening round of the $1.9-million Australian Open.

Roe, an 18-year-old left-hander playing his first match in a Grand Slam event, held a set point in the second set before Lendl re-established control.

"It's never easy, no matter who you play," Lendl said. "Bryan played a big match."

Roe, ranked in the high 400s, was delighted with his performance against the world's No. 1 player.

"I learned I'm a better player than I thought I was," he said. "I kept telling myself he's only human, and he was."

Fourth-seed Pat Cash of Australia and fifth-seeded Yannick Noah of France also advanced Monday.

Cash, the Wimbledon champion, scored a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Austrian left-hander Thomas Muster, but was fined $500 for shouting an obscenity at a linesman in the final game of the match.

A number of anti-apartheid demonstrators were escorted from the stadium court after shouting insults at Cash and throwing black tennis balls onto the court. Cash played in South Africa late last year.

Noah, playing his first tournament match in three months, had to struggle for more than four hours before beating Roger Smith of the Bahamas, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 16-14.

Noah, still struggling with a long-standing groin injury, saved two match points in the 16th game of the final set.

Frenchman Jerome Potier, ranked 130th in the world, eliminated 13th-seeded Paul Annacone, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. The loss left the United States without a seeded player in the men's draw.

In women's play, little-known American Wendy Wood upset 14th-seeded Australian Dianne Balestrat, a finalist in this event in 1977.

Wood, 23, of Lexington, Mass., and daughter of former major league knuckleball pitcher Wilbur Wood, won a main-draw match for the first time in her career, 6-2, 4-6, 8-6.

She also won the first point ever played on the Center Court at the new $50-million National Tennis Center facility.

Other women to advance Monday included second-seeded Martina Navratilova, third-seeded Chris Evert and seventh-seeded Zina Garrison.

Navratilova trounced Australian Elizabeth Minter, 6-3, 6-0; Evert beat Gretchen Magers, 6-4, 6-0, and Garrison routed Australian Stephanie Faulkner, 6-0, 6-0.

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