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TENNIS NOTES

School Is Still Out for Yelsey

March 09, 2004|Lauren Peterson | Times Staff Writer

Anne Yelsey postponed one test, but she passed another with flying colors.

Yelsey, a Corona del Mar High graduate who won singles and doubles titles at the Easter Bowl/U.S. Tennis Assn. Super National Spring Championships last April, was scheduled to take a final exam today for a statistics class at Stanford, where she is a freshman and the No. 6 singles player for the NCAA's top-ranked women's team.

But as a result of a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 upset victory Monday over Italy's Adriana Serra Zanetti in qualifying competition for the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Yelsey's classwork will have to wait.

"I got it rescheduled," she said. "The professors were really great. They're really good about working with athletes there." She will face Marta Marrero of Spain in the second round of qualifying today.

Although Yelsey had prepared to take the time off from school if she won, that was no given. She lost in the first round of qualifying the previous two years.

Playing in her first professional tournament of the season, Yelsey appeared on the way to another defeat Monday after dropping the first set, 6-3, and falling behind, 5-3, in the second.

"I think it took some time to find my rhythm, but then I finally got it," Yelsey said. "I just started playing with more confidence, and I think when I rallied after being down, she got a little bit discouraged, so it all worked out."

Not so for Los Angeles teenager Riza Zalameda. The 18-year-old Beverly Hills High senior also was awarded a wild-card into the qualifying draw, but she lost to Stephanie Foretz of France, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

After winning the first set and taking a 2-1 lead in the second, Zalameda wilted in the 95-degree heat. Her serve was broken three consecutive times and she dropped five straight games.

"I had that match," Zalameda said. "It just went on too long. It was just maturity. If we would've finished that match about 45 minutes earlier, I think I would've won. But I prolonged it, and in this weather, you just can't do that."

*

Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters, the Belgians who have finished 1-2 in three of the last four Grand Slam events, were seeded the same way in the Pacific Life Open women's singles draw released Monday.

Women's main-draw play begins Wednesday. The men's draw will be released today.

Laguna Beach resident Lindsay Davenport was seeded No. 3, and Anastasia Myskina of Russia was No. 4. Seedings were based on current WTA rankings but took into account the absence of several top players, including No. 6-ranked Jennifer Capriati, who withdrew Sunday because of a back injury, and No. 10-ranked Ai Sugiyama of Japan, who dropped out Monday because of an unspecified injury.

Among other players who have withdrawn in the last eight days are third-ranked Amelie Mauresmo of France; No. 8 Elena Dementieva and No. 30 Elena Bovina, both of Russia; No. 44 Ashley Harkleroad; No. 49 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa; and No. 50 Anca Barna of Germany.

Also absent are No. 7-ranked Serena Williams and No. 17 Venus Williams, who haven't played at Indian Wells since being booed by fans in 2001. Both have also been battling injuries in recent months.

The rest of the top eight seeds in the 96-player draw are No. 5 Chanda Rubin, Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova, both of Russia, and Paola Suarez of Argentina.

*

Pacific Life Open

* When: Today, women's qualifying continues. Women's 96-player singles main draw begins Wednesday. Men's qualifying is Wednesday and Thursday, with the 96-player singles main draw beginning Friday.

* Where: Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

* Finals: March 21 (men, noon; women, 2 p.m.)

* TV: Early-round coverage begins Sunday on ESPN2.

* Tickets: (800) 999-1585.

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