They grew up together in the Serbian city of Novi Sad. They play from the baseline and hit two-handed backhands. They're both 17.
But nobody who saw Ljudmila Pavlov lose two matches yesterday at the Federation Cup in Nottingham, England, would have mistaken her for Monica Seles, who she replaced on the Yugoslav team at the last moment.
"With Monica we would have been in the semifinals," said Branislav Todorovic, an official of the Yugoslav Tennis Federation. "Instead, we lost to Indonesia for the second straight year."
Yugoslavia, which had been expected to be one of the top teams at the 32-nation event with Seles as its top player, now has to fight for a spot in the main draw next year.
Instead of the world's No. 1 player, the Yugoslavs had to use the 828th-ranked Pavlov. Seles, the Australian and French champion, was replaced by a youngster playing in her first major tournament.
"If Monica was here, Pavlov would have been only watching," Todorovic said. "Of course Seles would have won."
Yugoslavia lost, 3-0, to Indonesia in one of yesterday's eight first-round matches. Pavlov lost, 6-3, 6-3, to Suzanna Wibowo, then Nadin Ercegovic lost, 6-4, 7-5, to Indonesia's Yayuk Basuki and Pavlov-Ercegovic lost, 6-2, 6-2, in doubles to Wibowo-Basuki.
Pavlov hurt herself with repeated double faults as she lost five games in a row in the middle of the match against Wibowo.
Seles had been scheduled to play for Yugoslavia, but pulled out late Saturday saying she did not want to reaggravate shin splints. The withdrawal could jeopardize her eligibility for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Since playing in the Federation Cup is a prerequisite for performing in the Olympics, Seles could be barred from the Barcelona Games unless she proves -- with a doctor's note -- that she was unable to play in Nottingham because of injury.
Seles' troubles don't end there. After losing, 6-3, 7-5, to Jennifer Capriati in the final of an exhibition event Sunday in Mahwah, N.J., she was fined $20,000 by the Women's Tennis Association.
The WTA fine was for participating in a non-sanctioned event within 125 miles of an official tour event, the Westchester Ladies Cup in New York that started yesterday.
However, the director of the Mahwah tournament, John Korff, said yesterday that he would appeal the fine on the grounds that the world's top four players are not allowed to move down to a lesser tournament such as the $100,000 Westchester event.
He said he would pay any fines resulting from his tournament that were upheld on appeal. Players in his tournament field of 28 were fined a total of $87,500.
Seles is believed to have received around $200,000 in appearance and prize money in Mahwah.
MONTREAL -- Richey Reneberg, the highest seed not to receive a first-round bye, opened the $1.2 million tournament with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Tim Mayotte.
HILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Thomas Muster of Austria beat Andrei Cherkasov of the Soviet Union, 6-3, 6-3, in the first round.
Thierry Champion of France defeated Guillermo Perez-Roldan of Argentina, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, and Goran Prpic of Yugoslavia downed Karsten Braasch of Germany, 6-3, 7-6, in other opening-round matches.
TAMPERE, Finland -- Claudio Pistolesi of Italy rallied from 4-1 ,, deficits in both sets to upset top seed Veli Paloheimo of Finland, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, and win his first tournament since 1987.