Sanchez Vicario breezes to victory Maleeva-Fragniere also wins in D.C.

August 27, 1993|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Arantxa Sanchez Vicario express made a stop here last night without being derailed.

The third-ranked player in the world used powerful ground strokes and some untimely unforced errors from Mary Joe Fernandez to win, 6-2, 6-4, on the second night of the Elizabeth Arden Women's Tennis Association Challenge at the William H. G. FitzGerald Tennis Center.

In the second match, No. 12 Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere of Switzerland rallied from a set down and beat No. 23 Lori McNeil of Houston, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The four players were half of eight top-ranked players in the world who took part in the team competition.

Sanchez Vicario and Maleeva-Fragniere represented "The Rest of the World" team, and Fernandez and McNeil represented "The Americas" team.

Tonight, No. 6 Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina will team with Fernandez to play Sanchez Vicario and No. 9 Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic in the first match. Lutherville's Pam Shriver, ranked 36th, and No. 16 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa will meet in the second match.

Sanchez Vicario won the first set by sweeping the last four games with a variety of baseline winners mixed with Fernandez's unforced errors. She and Fernandez had held two service games apiece to tie the score at 2.

Sanchez Vicario, who has won a personal-best four singles titles this year and was a finalist in the U.S. Open last year, said she is not nervous about her chances three days before the U.S. Open.

"I have a lot of confidence," she said. "Especially my game has improved a lot -- especially on hardcourt. . . . I think I'm ready for the Open next week."

Maleeva-Fragniere lost the first set quickly but regrouped to outlast McNeil and win the final two sets.

"I was making a lot of mistakes in the first set," she said. ". . . In the second set, I became more aggressive. I decided to go for more shots. I began to serve better."

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