Austin reigns, may put damper on bridal shower

February 25, 1993|By Orange County (Calif.) Register

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The chance of showers this weekend in the desert lessened considerably yesterday.

Not because a TV meterologist predicted it, but because Tracy Austin won another match at the Evert Cup.

"My goal is to cancel two wedding showers," said Austin, who has an April 17 wedding date. "I have one on Saturday and one on Sunday."

She was teasing, of course.

Or was she?

Austin moved into the third round with a shocking 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 upset of 12th-ranked Katerina Maleeva at Grand Champions Resort.

A victory today over Stephanie Rottier, a less worthy opponent at No. 76, and Austin is in the quarterfinals of her first tournament in nearly four years.

Another victory and she is in the semifinals and the showers are off.

If this seemed unbelievable to the approximately 3,500 spectators, it was even harder for Austin to comprehend. This is 1993, not 1979.

"I had to ask Jim Fuhse [event manager for the women's tour] if I really won," said Austin, a two-time U.S. Open winner who hasn't faced a player of Maleeva's caliber since 1983.

"It's tough to believe ... it hasn't sunk in yet."

Austin, who won the U.S. Open in 1979 and '81, has played sparingly the past 10 years because of injuries. This is her second comeback attempt.

Maleeva conceded she had some trouble forgetting who she was playing.

She had even more difficulty explaining how she lost. "I cannot figure it out," Maleeva said.

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