There is, of course, only one way to prepare for playing tennis at night: Sleep late, then watch cartoons.
This technique may not be found in any training manuals, but it has worked well for Zina Garrison, a late-sleeping cartoon junkie and Flintstones fan who left Monique Javer in rubble Thursday night.
Garrison, playing her second match under the lights, turned them out on Javer, 6-1, 6-2, and tuned herself into the quarterfinals of the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles at the Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach.
Many players do not like to play at night, but Garrison isn't one of them.
"I like night," she said. "I can sleep."
And she can also watch her beloved cartoons.
"I do like 'em," Garrison said. "I'm not afraid (to admit) I'm 25 years old. I still like 'em. Flintstones are my favorite."
So she hit big serves that looked to Javer as if they were the size of pebbles. Faltering only briefly late in the second set, Garrison kept up the attack at the net, where she volleyed her way into a quarterfinal matchup against Nathalie Tauziat of France.
Garrison, who made 18 of her first 21 first serves, was broken one time, at 5-0 in the second set, when she stopped being aggressive.
"I backed off a little bit," Garrison said. "I started to get a little relaxed."
Javer, who has an American father and a British mother, trains in Rancho Bernardo but lives in San Francisco and London. She didn't seem to know if she was coming or going.
"She just doesn't give you a rhythm," Javer said. "She's constantly mixing things up, staying back or coming in."
This is all unplanned, said the cartoon queen.
"I don't really know what I'm doing myself," Garrison said. "I know it hurts people when I yank them around the court."
Besides the final with Steffi Graf last week in San Diego, the only thing Garrison has lost since Wimbledon is five pounds, which she shed doing aerobics twice a day in a Houston health club.
Several years ago, Garrison had a bigger weight problem, but she eventually shook the jelly doughnut habit.
Now, a lighter Zina is a quicker one, too, she reasons. She will certainly need to be in this tournament.
Garrison would play the winner of Martina Navratilova's match with Hana Mandlikova in the semifinals. No longer doughnut-powered, Garrison's cartoon habit may be the edge she needs. At least, it's less fattening.
Navratilova has lost once to Mandlikova in more than four years, but it's not as though Mandlikova hasn't had her chances.
Mandlikova plays Navratilova today for the fifth time this year in a quarterfinal matchup of two former Czechs.
So far, Mandlikova is 0 for 1989 against Navratilova.
To get to Mandlikova, Navratilova had to defeat Terry Phelps, which she accomplished fairly easily, 6-3, 6-1. Phelps, 23, from Larchmont, N.Y., led, 3-2, in the first set, but Navratilova won the next eight games and 10 of the final 11.
Also dominant was Gabriela Sabatini, who needed all of 46 minutes to defeat Mary Lou Daniels of Chicago, 6-0, 6-2.
Sabatini, who next plays Catarina Lindqvist of Sweden, won the first 10 games and gave up only 21 points to Daniels.
"I play a great match," Sabatini said. "I didn't make too many mistakes. Almost perfect, I think."
In the other quarterfinal in Sabatini's half of the draw, 18-year-old French Open semifinalist Mary Joe Fernandez meets Pam Shriver.
Photo opportunity: Gabriela Sabatini sat on brother Osvaldo's shoulders to pose beside Wilt Chamberlain, who has been watching the tennis every day. . . . Here is some tournament philosophy from Martina Navratilova: "I don't think I can get away with playing lousy and winning, but it's possible I could play great and lose." Even though she turned pro 14 years ago, Navratilova insists that she does not look ahead to see whom she might play. "All I know is that Gabriela is on the other side of the draw," Navratilova said. . . . Dog lovers will remember that Navratilova is staying once again at the Sherman Oaks home of a friend, Nancy Nichols, the place where Yonex, one of Navratilova's Shiba dogs, got away briefly in 1987. The yard has since been secured, which is good news, because the place is running over with pets. Martina's hostess has seven dogs and seven cats. Navratilova brought two cats and five dogs, including "Yoni," the escape artist. . . . Day off in L.A. and what do you do? Katrina Adams, Lori McNeil and Jeri Ingram ran up the side of a mountain at Will Rogers State Park.