June 28, 1995 in Sports

Top Seeds ‘School’ Teenagers

Steve Wilstein Associated Press
 
Tags:tennis

Wimbledon

Top seeds Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf dismissed a couple of skinny teenagers with dreams bigger than their serves Tuesday, a Tasmanian bedeviled by double-faults and a Martina who is no Navratilova.

Agassi, the 1992 champion, benefited from 17 double-faults by 19-year-old Andrew Painter in a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 rout that took just 77 minutes, barely enough time for them to get red in the broiling sun on another blue-sky day at Wimbledon.

“You don’t really have sympathy when you’re out there,” Agassi said after watching Painter, ranked No. 530, double-fault six times in one game and four straight times in another before shriveling away in embarrassment.

Playing a match for the first time since straining a hip muscle in the French Open earlier this month, Agassi showed how ready he was on the second point of the match. He drilled a backhand return up the middle that Painter lunged for and missed while skidding to the ground.

From that moment, it was if Agassi were out there to take target practice in his new all-white outfit.

“I’ve grown to love it here,” Agassi said after bowing to the whistling, cheering crowd. “I enjoy being a part of history. .. Every time I come back, the emotion and excitement seems to bring out some great tennis.”

Graf, a five-time Wimbledon winner unbeaten in 26 matches this year, won 6-3, 6-1 in 49 minutes and made 14-year-old Martina Hingis look as if she belonged back in the juniors. Graf won easily despite apparently aggravating her chronic sore back, which led her a few hours later to withdraw from the doubles competition today with Martina Navratilova.

It wasn’t just Centre Court experience that made the difference. At 26, Graf simply was faster, stronger and more consistent than the 18th-ranked Hingis, who held serve only in the first game of the match.

“I don’t have to leave in panic, and I don’t have to clean up the house, like I did last year,” Graf said after avoiding the first-round trap that snared her a year ago when she fell to Lori McNeil. McNeil made the early exit this time, losing to No. 14 Naoko Sawamatsu, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Graf was gracious in her appraisal of Hingis, who was named after Navratilova and won the Wimbledon girls title last year a few months before turning professional.

“It’s very surprising that she’s so calm and collected on the court, and she plays intelligent tennis,” Graf said. “At 14, that’s not very often to see. So I think she has a big future.”

On a day when seven former Wimbledon champions played, two of them lost - ninth-seeded Michael Stich and unseeded Pat Cash.

Stich, the 1991 winner who also lost in the first round last year, fell to 27th-ranked Jacco Eltingh, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1. Cash, who won in 1987 and entered as a wild-card this year, quit with an ankle injury after losing the first set 7-6 (8-6) to No. 176 Dick Norman.

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: DAY TWO Results: Men’s Singles: No. 1 Andre Agassi, No. 3 Boris Becker, No. 6 Yvegeny Kafelnikov, No. 11 Jim Courier and No. 13 Stefan Edberg advanced. Women’s singles: No. 1 Steffi Graf, No. 2 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, No. 3 Conchita Martinez, No. 4 Jana Novotna, No. 5 Mary Pierce and No. 7 Lindsay Davenport advanced. Upsets: Jacco Eltingh defeated No. 9 Michael Stich and Michael Joyce defeated No. 10 Marc Rosset. Quote of the day: “Quite honestly, my feeling is the more you play on the grass, the worse you get.” - Agassi, explaining why he doesn’t think his lack of grass-court preparation because of a hip injury at the French Open will affect his performance at Wimbledon.

This sidebar appeared with the story: DAY TWO Results: Men’s Singles: No. 1 Andre Agassi, No. 3 Boris Becker, No. 6 Yvegeny Kafelnikov, No. 11 Jim Courier and No. 13 Stefan Edberg advanced. Women’s singles: No. 1 Steffi Graf, No. 2 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, No. 3 Conchita Martinez, No. 4 Jana Novotna, No. 5 Mary Pierce and No. 7 Lindsay Davenport advanced. Upsets: Jacco Eltingh defeated No. 9 Michael Stich and Michael Joyce defeated No. 10 Marc Rosset. Quote of the day: “Quite honestly, my feeling is the more you play on the grass, the worse you get.” - Agassi, explaining why he doesn’t think his lack of grass-court preparation because of a hip injury at the French Open will affect his performance at Wimbledon.

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