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U.S. OPEN NOTES : Ivanisevic's Injury Causes Another Early Loss

August 29, 1995|JULIE CART | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — Sixth-seeded Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia lost in the first round of the U.S. Open for the second consecutive year, retiring in the fourth set of his match against Brett Steven on Monday.

Ivanisevic sprained his ankle in the third set after winning the first two, tried to play on after treatment, and finally quit at 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 3-1 against New Zealander Steven.

Ivanisevic, a runner-up twice at Wimbledon, lost to Markus Zoecke, 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, in the first round last year.

The only other seeded player to lose was No. 10 Wayne Ferreira of South Africa, who lost to Jerome Golmard of France, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

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Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan lost by default after collapsing on the court because of severe leg cramps in the first round.

Matsuoka was leading Petr Korda when he suddenly fell to the court, screaming in pain. He lay on the court, rocking back and forth and clutching his left leg. Because his injury was considered a result of lack of fitness, trainers were not allowed to aid him, at the risk of default.

That turned out to be a moot point, however, Matsuoka saying he knew he would have to default because he was unable to get up on his own.

"Nobody can touch you for cramps," he said "Nobody can touch me. I have to do it myself, to get out of it. All I could do was scream, I was in so much pain. I knew the match was finished."

Korda was given the victory, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-4), 6-7 (10-8), 6-5.

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Andrei Medvedev seems to have come to terms with the conditions at the U.S. Open, which so angered the Ukrainian last year. Food, traffic and weather were nightmares cited by Medvedev in a lengthy harangue in 1994.

After his first-round victory Monday, Medvedev said things were much better.

"The locker rooms are larger and the food is much better," he said. "It seems like the atmosphere is a lot friendlier than it used to be. Perhaps it is the specialty of this Grand Slam [event]--it is loud and fast. That's it, a little bit crazy Grand Slam. At the U.S. Open, so many people, so many players. I mean, just a little bit crazy. You really have to be focused to play. This year, it's a bit more quiet. It's nice."

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Martina Navratilova stepped down Monday as president of the WTA Players Assn., after a year of tumult and, ultimately, disgust with the politics of the job.

Marianne Werdel Witmeyer of Oceanside was elected to succeed Navratilova in the one-year post.

Navratilova has said she never expected the job to take as much time as it did, and she never expected that she'd be busier in her retirement than as an active singles player.

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