Shriver falls in 1st round, both on and off the court

September 01, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Pam Shriver's season was summed up yesterday when she got back to the locker room at the National Tennis Center after her three-set loss to Amy Frazier in the first round of the U.S. Open.

"I take four months off, recover from a fractured foot, train hard, play a great match, go into the training room and fall right on my [rear]," Shriver said later with a laugh.

It was strangely fitting, since Shriver had let her match agains Frazier slip away as well. After winning the first set and losing a break in the second, Shriver had a chance to serve for the match in the third.

But a poor service game by the Lutherville native opened the door for Frazier, who won the last four games to advance, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. It was the fourth time in as many meetings that Shriver had lost to the 20-year-old from Michigan.

"I wanted to break her and once I did, I wanted to play a tough service game, but it was horrible," said Shriver, who failed to get a first serve in and double-faulted twice. "When you haven't played many matches, it's hard to serve at 5-3 in the third."

Considering that Shriver hadn't played a competitive match since the week before Wimbledon, her performance yesterday wasn't too discouraging.

But Frazier hadn't played since February, when this former No. ++ 15 player started to question her commitment to playing the Women's Tennis Association tour.

After playing a remarkably consistent first set and serving thre aces in one game early in the second, Shriver, 31, began having trouble with her serve. She also began to have problems with Frazier, a hard hitter who likes to pound away from the baseline.

"That kind of player is always hard for me," said Shriver, now ranked 36th, 45 spots above Frazier. "She hits it hard, she likes to hit passing shots and she pounds away at service returns. She's always given me trouble."

It marked the first time since 1989 that Shriver lost in the openinground of the Open, and the second time in a career here that began 15 years ago, when a then relative unknown made a magnificent run to the finals. Shriver has never gotten that far again.

Yesterday it ended with Shriver, unhurt but flat on her back in the training room.

Another first.

"I never wiped out in a training room," she said.

FEATURE MATCHES

Matches today on the show courts and others involving

seeded players at the $9.2 million U.S. Open at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, N.Y. All courts begin at 11 a.m. Night sessions begin at 7:30:

STADIUM COURT Day session Javier Sanchez, Spain, vs. Sergi Bruguera (5), Spain; Steffi Graf Germany, vs. Meredith McGrath, Midland, Mich.; Neil Borwick, Australia, vs. Ivan Lendl (13), Greenwich, Conn.

Night session Nicole Arendt, Gainesville, Fla., vs. Mary Pierce (13), France; Boris Becker (4), Germany, vs. Andrei Cherkasov, Russia.

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