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TENNIS AT LA COSTA : This Garrison Win Has Glitter


CARSLBAD — The Olympic experience was hardly as fond for Zina Garrison as it was for Jennifer Capriati.

Capriati waltzed home touting a gold medal. Garrison's was scrap metal. She lost in the round of 64, her first match.

"I was disappointed, but I wasn't devastated," said Garrison, who won a gold medal in Olympic doubles and a bronze in singles in 1988 in Seoul, but left Barcelona before the medal round in the recent Olympics in Spain.

She'll be sticking around a bit longer for the Mazda Tennis Classic at La Costa. In Monday night's feature match, seventh-seeded Garrison cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over hometown favorite Ros Fairbank-Nideffer of Escondido.

Garrison played the first set as if she had early dinner plans. In 20 minutes, she rushed to a 5-0 lead by rushing the net and hitting countless volley winners.

"I think I totally threw her off," said Garrison. "Today, I came in way more than I usually do."

Garrison took a 2-1 lead in the second set before Fairbank-Nideffer broke her serve to make it 2-2 before Garrison won the next four games.

It was as aggressive as she's been in more than a year ago.

"I've been working on being aggressive," she said. I figured, hey, I'm No. 14 in the world. Go for it, play tennis."

In the day's longest match, Oceanside's Stephanie Rehe took 3 hours 31 minutes to defeat Argentina's Mercedes Paz, 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

The flip side to that marathon match: Debbie Graham of Fountain Valley lost only three games in a 55-minute match against Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia.

In tonight's featured match, Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini, playing her first match since Wimbledon, will take on Rolling Hills' Kimberly Po, a 6-3, 6-4 winner Monday over San Diego's Gretchen Mager.

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