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Graf Eases Her Way Into Fourth Round : Becker Advances; Mayotte Upset by Haitian in Paris

June 02, 1989| From Associated Press

PARIS — Defending champion Steffi Graf, playing through a steady drizzle, eased her way into the fourth round of the French Open tennis championships today, beating Nicole Jagerman of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-2.

Seventh-seeded American Tim Mayotte, who resumed play today after his second-round match was suspended by darkness Thursday, was upset by Ronald Agenor of Haiti, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.

Boris Becker's bid for a fourth-round spot in the men's event was delayed by rain today. But after a 5 1/2-hour wait, the second-seeded West German resumed his match against qualifier Jeremy Bates and crushed the Briton 7-5, 6-1, 6-2.

"It's terrible when you have to wait like that. It's almost like in England," Becker said. "But for me, I guess the rain was pretty good. Until then, I was too defensive."

The showers had the opposite effect on Mayotte, a grass-court expert playing on his least favorite surface. He was leading Agenor, two sets to one, and was at 3-3 in the fourth set when the match was suspended.

'Best Played on Clay'

Agenor, ranked 30th in the world, who proved the stronger when the match finally was resumed today.

"Today, he played almost picture perfect tennis," Mayotte said. "He made passing shots, lobs and serves that he didn't do yesterday. I'm obviously disappointed, but it's the best I've played on clay."

Unseeded Jay Berger of Plantation, Fla., reached the fourth round as he whipped Jaime Yzaga of Peru 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

And Spain's Conchita Martinez, seeded eighth, joined Graf in the same stage of the women's event by rolling over Sophie Amiach of France 6-3, 6-3.

Graf, the defending women's titlist, took exactly one hour on Center Court to overpower Jagerman, and has now dropped only six games in three matches.

Cold, Gray Gloom

The 19-year-old Grand Slam champion had one or two rare lapses, such as when she was broken at love in the sixth game of the second set, but was generally a class above her opponent.

After four days of sunshine, the temperature dropped considerably at Roland Garros and the stadium was enveloped in a cold, gray gloom.

"It was awfully cold. I tried to finish it as soon as possible," the top-seeded Graf said. "I was very lucky to play first, before the rain. At the end, it was very hard."

Graf's match was played in persistent drizzle, and as soon as it was over officials covered the Center Court with a tarpaulin to protect the clay.

Because of the rain delay, officials postponed a number of key matches for 24 hours, hoping for an improvement in the weather Saturday.

The matches between Jimmy Arias and Stefan Edberg, Nicole Provis and Gabriela Sabatini, Jacob Hlasek and Leonardo Lavalle and Alberto Mancini and Paul Haarhuis all were held over until Saturday.

In another rain-interrupted match completed this evening, No. 16 Guillermo Perez-Roldan of Argentina beat Italy's Francesco Cancellotti 7-6, 2-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.

In the women's field, No. 10 Helen Kelesi of Canada defeated Gretchen Magers of the United States 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

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