Shriver breezes, is confident for No. 5 Fernandez

June 30, 1991|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Sun Staff Correspondent

WIMBLEDON, England -- Two matches down and a breakthrough to go, Pam Shriver is right on schedule at Wimbledon.

Yesterday, she breezed through the second round by defeating Argentine clay-court specialist Bettina Fulco, 6-0, 6-3.

The victory set up Shriver's first real test of the tournament, today's third-round pairing with No. 5 seed Mary Joe Fernandez.

"If I play well against Mary Joe, it will be one of those matches that is a toss-up," Shriver said. "She still has an edge. But I've got a chance and it should be close."

Fernandez defeated Audra Keller, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1. Although she is a steady top-10 performer, Fernandez prefers clay and hard courts to grass. She has never advanced beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon.

"Pam was in the top for so many years, you just can't forget that," Fernandez said. "She has a tough mind. She has the kind of game that affects other people."

Shriver, in the midst of a comeback from shoulder surgery, has performed marvelously on grass this month. If she gets by Fernandez -- who beat her in straight sets at the Lipton Players Championships -- it will be another sign that her recovery is nearly complete.

"Pam has been playing progressively better," said Shriver's hitting partner, Eric Riley.

"This is her surface. She will go on the court believing she will have a good opportunity to win. But she will treat it as just another match. She is determined and her performance so far isn't surprising."

* Sandon Stolle said it was the thrill of a lifetime.

He was on Centre Court at Wimbledon against John McEnroe. In a nearby broadcast booth was his father Fred, a three-time Wimbledon finalist now doing commentary for Channel 9 in Australia.

"I couldn't believe we were all at Centre Court," said Sandon Stolle, the former No. 3 singles player for Texas Christian who is in his first year on the tour. McEnroe won the match, but not without a fight, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-0, 7-6 (9-7).

"When I won the second set, my dad stood up and put his arms in the air," the younger Stolle said. "I knew it had to be him. I never had a feeling like that."

* Almost lost in the midst of the circus of 62 singles were these upsets: Brenda Schultz defeating No. 6 Jana Novotna, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, and Linda Harvey-Wild defeating No. 12 Natalia Zvereva, 6-4, 6-1.

* The match of the day: Thierry Champion of France brushing aside two match points and ousting former titlist Pat Cash of ZTC Australia, 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 4-6, 6-1, 12-10.

"I never got any rhythm out there," Cash said. "It was a difficult loss."

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