Shriver, Leand paired at Wimbledon

June 19, 1991|By Jim Sarni | Jim Sarni,Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf could meet in the semifinals, Monica Seles is looking at a quarterfinal rematch with Zina Garrison and former Baltimore County neighbors Pam Shriver and Andrea Leand will meet much earlier at Wimbledon -- in the first round.

On the men's side, John McEnroe could challenge defending champion Stefan Edberg in the Round of 16, Jimmy Connors may play Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi opens with Grant Connell, a Canadian who beat Ivan Lendl on grass last week.

Those are some of the coming attractions at Wimbledon, which begins Monday at the All-England Club. The draw was made yesterday.

Navratilova, a nine-time champion who is seeded fourth this year, has a difficult path to another crown. Navratilova is seeded to meet either Jana Novotna or Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals, then Graf or Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the semifinals.

Seles, halfway to the Grand Slam after winning the Australian and French opens, and Gabriela Sabatini also are seeded to meet in the semifinals, but Seles must first worry about Garrison, who upset her last year, then defeated Graf before losing the final to Navratilova.

Sabatini, a semifinalist last year, could face the dangerous Helena Sukova in the Round of 16, then Mary Joe Fernandez in the quarterfinals.

Shriver and Leand hardly are thinking in such grandiose terms, although Shriver did defeat Sukova 7-5, 6-4 in a tuneup tournament in England yesterday.

"Well, we've certainly practiced a lot over the years," Leand told The Sun. "The only time we played a match was in 1982, Atlanta. She beat me in straight sets. I'm looking forward to this. I've got nothing to lose, so I'll go out there swinging."

Edberg, like Navratilova, will have to earn another title. The Swede plays Marc Rosset, the fastest server on the tour, in a tough first-round assignment. Edberg could face David Pate, another capable grass-courter, in the second round.

If Edberg beats McEnroe, he likely would face either Sampras or Goran Ivanisevic, a semifinalist last year, in the quarters, then Jim Courier, who beat Edberg at the French Open.

Boris Becker, the champion in 1985, 1986 and 1989, could play Brad Gilbert, Guy Forget or Michael Chang, then Agassi or Lendl to get to the final again.

"Stefan and I have played better on grass for the past three years than anyone else," Becker said. "You can't say it will be the same final, but we do have the best chance."

Agassi, who is playing Wimbledon for the first time since 1987, opens with Connell, but Agassi has a good draw, with Emilio Sanchez, a clay-courter, as his first seeded opponent.

Connors, who was the 38-year-old sensation of the French Open, would likely meet Sampras, the U.S. Open champion, in the third round.

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