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TENNIS U.S. WOMEN'S HARDCOURT CHAMPIONSHIPS : Graf Makes First Run at No. 1 Seles

March 31, 1991|From Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Monica Seles will retain her No. 1 ranking no matter what, but today's match against Steffi Graf could be an indication of how long her reign will last.

Graf and Seles advanced to the final of the U.S. Women's Hardcourt Championships Saturday, setting up their first encounter of the year.

Seles held off Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere of Bulgaria, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, and second-ranked Graf was in vintage form during a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Julie Halard of France that took only 41 minutes.

"It will just mean that she or I were better that day," Seles said, downplaying today's match. "I will have to serve and return better and be more aggressive than I was (Saturday)."

Graf, 21, and Seles, 17, will meet for the first time since Seles defeated Graf for the 1990 French Open title.

Seles gained the top ranking on March 11, ending Graf's record 186-week reign.

"It's not winning a tournament or winning against someone special," Graf said. "It's me I'm concerned about. I just want to do well."

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