May 31, 1997 |
While the men's side of the French Open has been denuded of many seeded players, the women are cruising along more or less according to form. Steffi Graf is quietly winning, bemused by the attention lavished on Martina Hingis, who succeeded Graf in the No. 1 position. Graf won with only a slight bobble Friday, defeating Magui Serna of Spain, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, to advance to the fourth round. Fifth-seeded Lindsay Davenport had trouble but beat Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, 4-6, 6-3, 9-7.
May 30, 1997 |
The Swedes, the Spaniards, even the Australians, are making historic inroads in this year's French Open men's competition. No one is talking at all about the Americans. With good reason. Led by top-seeded Pete Sampras, the cavalcade of Americans here includes Michael Chang and Chris Woodruff. Period. The second-seeded Chang advanced to the third round Thursday, defeating Jerome Golmard of France, 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
January 22, 2007 |
James Blake had another Grand Slam disappointment, losing in the fourth round to Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets at the Australian Open today. The 27-year-old Blake has never gone beyond the quarterfinals in 20 majors but came into the season's first Grand Slam tournament confident of improving on that after defending his title at the Sydney International. Instead, it was Gonzalez advancing to the quarterfinals -- 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) -- for the first time in Melbourne.
June 26, 1998 |
And now, for a Williams family update. Serena Williams, 16, made her Centre Court debut at Wimbledon and left in 49 minutes after beating another heralded teenager, Mirjana Lucic of Croatia, in a 6-3, 6-0 second-round victory Thursday. Venus Williams, 18, was on the court for four more minutes than Serena, but matched her younger sister by beating Barbara Schett of Austria, 6-1, 6-2, in the second round. And Venus put her distinctive stamp on the day, hitting a 125-mph serve and six aces.
July 27, 2004 |
The question of the day Monday at the $1.3-million Acura Classic women's tennis tournament concerned whether or not Venus Williams would play her first-round match today against Gisela Dulko of Argentina. The answer is still uncertain. Williams, the tournament champion from 2000 to '02, retired from a semifinal match against Lindsay Davenport at the JPMorgan Chase Open in Carson on Saturday with a sprained right wrist.
September 5, 1998 |
Irina Spirlea watched the forehand return from Serena Williams sail wide on match point. The Romanian screamed something loudly for several seconds, a mixture of Spanish and Italian. "It was a regular match," Spirlea said later, smiling. Yeah, right. Or maybe it was the full moon hanging over the U.S. Open on Friday night. Spirlea's reaction was fairly intense after a 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 third-round victory. Spirlea refused to repeat her winning words, saying: "No, I get another penalty. Another fine.
November 8, 2005 |
The farewell party for the season-ending WTA Tour Championships at Staples Center has the top three players in the world -- Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters of Belgium and defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia -- but is noticeably, and strangely, light in another category: Grand Slam tennis champions of 2005. One of four. Nice odds, say, for the lottery.
November 11, 2005 |
She was safely ensconced in the semifinals, already having won her first two matches in round-robin play, so really there were two viable options for Lindsay Davenport. No. 1: Chase down a few balls, hit some winners, but don't worry about needing to floor the gas pedal if things got tough and just get back to the hotel at an early hour. No.
September 6, 2005 |
Was this a make-up day for the recent woes of U.S. tennis? It couldn't have been designed any better than if it had come out of a five-point plan hatched by the U.S. Tennis Assn. Monday featured good weather, great tennis and even better storylines. Under most circumstances, 35-year-old Andre Agassi's winning a five-set match against Xavier Malisse of Belgium to reach the quarterfinals would qualify as the headliner at the U.S. Open.
August 5, 2005 |
There is but one Russian remaining in the singles draw of the Acura Classic, and her last name isn't Sharapova, Myskina, Dementieva or Kuznetsova. Her first name is Anna. It's Anna Chakvetadze. Not Anna Kournikova. Strange days, indeed, and they aren't limited just to the Russians.