More top seeds play fall guys at Newsweek tennis Mansdorf upsets Korda

Reneberg ousts Washington

July 24, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Newsweek Tennis Classic director Josh Ripple still was standing with a smile on his face last night. It looked real enough, which in itself may be the biggest upset in this tournament.

Ripple has had to watch his top seeds disappear one by one.

No. 1 seed Ivan Lendl began the parade Wednesday, and the departures continued: No. 4 Henrik Holm, No. 5 Alexander Volkov, No. 6 Andre Agassi.

Yesterday afternoon, No. 2 Petr Korda, the event's defending champion was escorted out by Amos Mansdorf, the 8th seed, 6-3, 6-3.

No. 3 MaliVai Washington followed, the victim of an inspired effort by No. 11 seed Richey Reneberg, who reached the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-4 victory.

"The event is much much more than the players," Ripple said. "If we had to rely on them, we wouldn't be able to survive. To lose a ZTC Lendl and Agassi does have an effect, but we're trying to build an atmosphere and environment here that people will come and enjoy themselves no matter what."

Ripple said that on the days when Agassi was playing the tournament had big walk-up and TicketMaster sales. "You still have good sales," Ripple said, "but it does drop off. Still, the tennis will be good no matter who is playing. . . . And as long as

the weather continues to be as wonderful as it has been, I think people will still come out."

If they do, they will see No. 8 seed Mansdorf and Reneberg play in today's 1 p.m. semifinal, followed at 7 p.m. by the other semifinal match between Aaron Krickstein and No. 7 seed Todd Martin, who beat Shuzo Matsuoka, 6-3, 6-3. Krickstein advanced to the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-0, victory over Gianluca Pozzi in last night's first match.

"It's a wide open tournament now," Washington said. "I think Mansdorf, Richey and Aaron are all playing pretty good tennis and any of them could do something here. I hope it's Richey, because next week, I don't want to be the guy who lost to the guy who lost to the guy. I want to be the guy who lost to the guy who won the title."

The championship final is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow.

"The top seeds are getting beat more and more on the tour," Reneberg said. "Every week there are more upsets. It has been amazing.

"I think it's because guys are playing better and better. The level of competition is better each year. And we're playing two out of three sets, and that makes it easier to upset a higher seed. When you're playing five sets at the Grand Slam events, you don't see it happen as often."

Washington said he lost to Reneberg yesterday because, "He came on court with an 'S' on his chest.

"No kidding, there were times out there, when he made some shots, I really did think he had an 'S' on his chest."

But the real difference for Washington was that he didn't make the shots he had to. He had Reneberg on the ropes nearly the entire match, but Reneberg converted four of his six break-point opportunities, and Washington took advantage of two of 13 break-point chances.

"It simply goes to tell you that seeding doesn't mean anything," Washington said.

"It never has, and it never will. When you walk on court, everyone wants to take down everyone else, and you have to make your shots or get beat."

NEWSWEEK CLASSIC

When: Through tomorrow

Where: William H. G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, 16th and Kennedy streets, NW, Washington. From Baltimore, take Interstate 95 South to I-495 (Capital Beltway) West. Take Exit 31 (Georgia Avenue) south to 16th Street.

Tickets: Available at the FitzGerald Center box office or through TicketMaster at (202) 432-7328.

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