Rittner fills Graf's shoes in Federation Cup Replacement's win advances Germany

July 27, 1991

NOTTINGHAM, England -- They won it for Steffi.

Teen-agers Barbara Rittner and Anke Huber captured their singles matches yesterday to lead Germany to a quarterfinal victory over Italy in the Federation Cup, despite the absence of top player Steffi Graf.

The triumph set up a semifinal clash against Spain, which defeated Indonesia on singles victories by Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

The other semifinal today will feature the United States and Czechoslovakia.

Rittner, 18, who won the girls' singles title in the Wimbledon juniors earlier this month, became a last-minute replacement for Graf -- who flew home after tearing a shoulder tendon in Germany's second-round victory over Canada.

Rittner responded with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat of Italian veteran Raffaella Reggi, and 16-year-old Anke Huber clinched a victory in the best-of-three series by winning, 6-2, 6-3, over Sandra Cecchini. Italy then won the doubles when the Germans retired after one game.

Graf, who will be sidelined for three weeks with the shoulder injury, called Rittner and Huber from her home in Bruhl, Germany, on Thursday to wish her teammates luck.

"I think we both wanted to win for Steffi," Rittner said.

The German team had the luxury of replacing the Wimbledon women's champion, Graf, with junior champion Rittner.

Martinez won the opening singles, 6-2, 6-0, for Spain with a 53-minute defeat of Suzanna Wibowo of Indonesia. But Sanchez Vicario needed more than two hours to finish off 40th-ranked Yayuk Basuki, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. The doubles was not played.

Canadian Open

MONTREAL -- Ivan Lendl almost gave away his quarterfinal match to Jim Grabb, but the six-time champion finally overcame the little-known American.

The tournament's top seed endured a 3-hour, 6-minute match to beat Grabb, 7-6 (10-8), 6-7 (9-7), 7-5.

"I was not exactly at the top of my game," said Lendl, still recovering from an infection to his right hand this month. "I was there mentally. I was keen, but it can happen any time."

In other quarterfinals, French Open champion Jim Courier beat fellow American Derrick Rostagno, 6-3, 6-3; Petr Korda of Czechoslovakia upset No. 6 Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; and Andrei Chesnokov of the Soviet Union outlasted Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

The win makes Courier a threat to win the hard-court event.

Rostagno, who had won two of four matches against Courier, gained a service break in the first game of the opening set, but that was the high point.

Tied at 3-3 in the opening set, Courier held serve by winning at love and then broke Rostagno on a cross-court backhand.

Chesnokov, who acknowledged that he was not in top physical condition during his match, required 2:24 to dispose of Matsuoka.

Chesnokov and Matsuoka had split the first two sets and both players held serve in the third set, in which Chesnokov led, 6-5. Matsuoka gave away three game points and was broken to end the match.

Dutch Open

HILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Second seed Karel Novacek defeated Franco Davin of Argentina, 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-2, to advance to the semifinals of the $250,000 ATP tournament.

Novacek, a Czechoslovak ranked 13th in the world, will face fourth seed Magnus Gustafsson today. Gustafsson lost a first-set tie-breaker, but rebounded to defeat Marc Rosset of Switzerland, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-4, on the clay courts of the Melkuisje tennis center.

Dutchman Mark Koevermans, who upset top seed Sergi Bruguera of Spain on Wednesday, will face Jordi Arrese of Spain in today's other semifinal.

Westchester Ladies Cup

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Top seed Laura Gildemeister of Peru reached the semifinals of the rain-marred tournament.

Gildemeister eliminated Marketa Kochta of Germany, 6-2, 6-4, in a match that was moved from outdoors at Manhattanville College to indoors at Sound Shore Tennis Club in Porchester, due to thunderstorms and rain.

"This was my best match of the tournament," said the 27-year-old Gildemeister, Peru's top female player the past seven years.

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