WIMBLEDON, England -- In years past, Pam Shriver might have cried, angry and frustrated after a third-round loss in a tournament she wanted desperately to win.
But, yesterday, Shriver calmly could analyze a defeat at Wimbledon. Her comeback from shoulder surgery remains an ongoing project, subject to dips before a rise. So, a 6-3, 7-5 loss to No. 5 seed Mary Joe Fernandez was neither surprising nor crushing.
"You have to view it as progress," Shriver said. "That's the whole key to this year. I want to keep building on things."
Shriver didn't play badly; Fernandez played better. The first set disappeared with service breaks in the first and final games. But Shriver put up a second-set struggle. She saved three match points while serving at 4-5 in the ninth game. Pushed to the edge again in the 12th game, Shriver finally lost her serve and the match.
"I'm disappointed," said Shriver, of Lutherville, Md. "If I had won this match, I felt I had a really good shot of getting into the quarterfinals. When you get that far, you feel like you're contending."
Fernandez said Shriver shouldn't be discouraged by one defeat.
"Pam looked slow and tentative last year before she got her shoulder operated on," Fernandez said. "She is serving a lot harder and lot more precise now. She is moving well at the net. She will always be a threat."
There were few surprises in the women's third round. Top seed Steffi Graf routed Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia, 6-2, 6-3; No. 2 Gabriela Sabatini defeated Andrea Strnadova of Czechoslovakia, 6-1, 6-3; No. 3 Martina Navratilova defeated Laura Garrone of Italy, 6-2, 6-2; and No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario defeated Lori McNeil, 6-2, 6-4. Also moving quietly through the draw was last year's losing finalist, No. 7 Zina Garrison, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Sweden's Maria Strandlund.
Shriver said she will stay for a few days to watch the action, and, of course, there is still doubles with Navratilova. Her comeback isn't complete, and she wants to do her homework before spending a summer on the hard courts.
"I'm not trying to think ahead, think about rankings or seedings in future tournaments," Shriver said. "I've always had a problem in my career when I've built on expectations. I want to keep good work habits and not get away from a formula. Right now, the formula is to work and work. I'm headed for the gym."