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It Was a Day for Upsets

Tennis: Sanchez Vicario, Huber and Spirlea lose in second-round at Carlsbad.

July 31, 1997|From Associated Press

CARLSBAD — While Monica Seles struggled through her second-round match at the $450,000 Toshiba Classic on Wednesday, three other seeded players weren't as lucky.

Seles, seeded No. 2, had a tougher than expected match as she held off Japan's Ai Sugiyama, 6-4, 6-4.

But No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain, No. 5 Anke Huber of Germany and No. 8 Irina Spirlea of Romania, all were upset in the second round.

Sanchez Vicario's play was flat and uninspiring as she was swept aside, 6-2, 6-1, by France's Sandrine Testud.

Sanchez Vicario suffered from numerous problems. She was successful on only 34 percent of her first serves. In addition, the Spaniard failed to convert on any of her 12 service-break chances.

"In the first set, I had many break points and many chances, and I lost them," Sanchez Vicario said. "I could have been up 3-0, and instead, was down 3-0."

Testud has beaten Sanchez Vicario twice in a row, including a 6-0, 7-5 win at the Lipton Championships in March. Sanchez Vicario had won their previous three career meetings.

"It was 6-1 and 6-2, but it was so tough," Testud said. "Maybe I played a little bit better on the important points than her."

Huber, who had to go three sets in beating Magdalena Maleeva in the first round, lost 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 to Indonesia's Yayuk Basuki.

In the day's other upset, Natasha Zvereva of Belarus scored a surprisingly easy 6-2, 6-0 victory over Spirlea.

In other matches involving seeded players, No. 3 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa beat France's Anne-Gaelle Sidot 6-2, 6-1; No. 6 Mary Pierce of France defeated countrywoman Nathalie Tauziat 6-2, 6-1; and No. 7 Conchita Martinez of Spain beat Lisa Raymond 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

After a quick start for Seles, Sugiyama battled back to give her opponent a scare.

The match had all the markings of a rout as Seles went ahead 3-0 in the first set. But Sugiyama battled back to win the next four games.

"Every time I get up 4-3 against a top player, I get a little tense," Sugiyama said.

Seles rebounded as she sandwiched two service breaks around holding her own serve to finish off the first set.

"It's a slow court so she turned back a few balls," said Seles, who played her first match after an opening-round bye. "I got impatient.

"I don't think I'm playing great tennis. I'm struggling a little bit with my game. I haven't practiced as much as before so that's what I'm trying to do."

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