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FRENCH OPEN NOTES

Add 'Roland Garros' to Grand Slam Lineup

May 29, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

PARIS — The tournament is called the French Open, but don't tell that to the organizers. They've made an official request to the media to stop using that name and instead use the French name of the site, Roland Garros.

Why? Tournament officials want to maintain the identity of the event.

"If we want to give an identity to this tournament in particular, it needs to be called Roland Garros, since the term French Open can be used for any sport," Executive Director Herve Dutreil said.

He also noted that Roland Garros--named after a French World War I aviator--is the brand name for various merchandise.

The French always have been keen to preserve their language against the onslaught of English. It is illegal not to use French in certain forms of advertising.

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In a tournament dominated by Spaniards--at least in numbers--one of that country's best hopes was bounced out in the second round Wednesday. Ninth-seeded Carlos Moya, the Australian Open runner-up, lost to countryman Carlos Portas, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Portas, one of 12 Spanish players who reached the second round, is ranked No. 68 but got in the main draw through qualifying.

Other seeded players cruised on a cool, breezy day. Top-seeded Pete Sampras looked sleepy and slow but obliterated No. 31 Francisco Clavet of Spain, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

In the women's draw, second-seeded Steffi Graf got little more than a workout from Amelie Mauresmo of France, 6-3, 6-3.

Seventh-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain defeated Chanda Rubin of the United States, 6-3, 6-0. Rubin is ranked No. 25 and is slowly recovering from wrist surgery last summer. She has not yet regained the form that brought her to No. 6 in the world.

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By advancing past the first round, Graf passed $20 million in career prize money and is closing in on leader Martina Navratilova.

If Graf wins, she will collect $654,115 and overtake Navratilova on the women's money list. Navratilova retired in 1994 after winning $20.33 million during her 20-year career.

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TODAY'S FEATURED MATCHES

MEN

* Michael Chang (2) vs. Jerome Golmard

* Richard Krajicek (6) vs. Bohdan Ulihrach

* Marcelo Rios (7) vs. Byron Black

WOMEN

* Martina Hingis (1) vs. Gloria Pizzichini

* Monica Seles (3) vs. Sarah Pitkowski

* Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (6) vs. Ai Sugiyama

* Venus Williams vs. Nathalie Tauziat

* Patricia Hy-Boulais vs. Mary Pierce (10)

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