Sampras, Chang restore order to men's bracket U.S. OPEN

September 07, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The record number of early-round upsets in the men's draw at this year's U.S. Open seems like ancient history now at the National Tennis Center.

The pretenders, great and not-so-great, are mostly gone, leaving few surprises among the quarterfinalists. More will be leaving today, with the familiar names and aces remaining.

Thomas Enqvist and Wayne Ferreira departed yesterday before a huge crowd and under a hot sun on the Stadium Court and relentless pressure from their high-ranked, high-profiled opponents.

Enqvist, a 19-year-old Swede who caused a stir here last week by upsetting 16th-seeded Andre Agassi in the opening round, was unable to reproduce that magic against second-seeded Pete Sampras in a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), fourth-round defeat.

Ferreira, a 21-year-old South African who reached the quarterfinals here a year ago before losing in four sets to seed Michael Chang, put up even less of a challenge yesterday to the No. 7 seed, losing 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in a little more than two hours.

Things went so badly for Ferreira toward the end of the second set and in the beginning of the third that he lost 20 straight points, including the first four games of the third set at love.

"I got a little upset maybe of the two sets and got a little bit loose and didn't play as well as I should have," said Ferreira. "I was more frustrated on the chances I had [only one of 10 break opportunities converted]. I got to the stage where I was right there and just didn't take advantage of what I set myself up for."

Neither did Enqvist.

The top-ranked junior player in the world as recently as 1991, Enqvist had an interesting week at his first Open. First came his victory over Agassi, which was followed by a bout with dehydration after practice the next day.

And finally, a run all the way to the fourth round, where he had the misfortune of running into Sampras. After letting an early break opportunity get away at 3-2, 30-40 in the first set, Enqvist watched Sampras close out the set with 11 consecutive service points.

"I didn't return too well," said Enqvist, who hadn't made it out of the first round in any of the other Grand Slam tournaments this year. "He was serving pretty well. He was too good."

The victories put Sampras and Chang into a match that will be a renewal of a rivalry that began in Southern California 14 years ago, when the two were 7.

"You wouldn't recognize Pete because I was taller than he was," said Chang, smiling at the memory and at the fact that he is now at least five inches shorter than the 6-foot-1 Sampras. "Pete had just kind of got his serve in."

Said Sampras: "He's the same type of player that he was then when I was playing him in Poway as he is today. . . . The point is never over with Michael until the ball bounces twice or someone hits out."

While Sampras dominated the rivalry as a junior, Chang has had the upper hand since they turned pro. Chang's first victory came during the second round of his only Grand Slam title, at the 1989 French Open, when he blasted Sampras in straight 6-1 sets. He won their first five matches and six of eight overall.

While it might not be the most interesting quarterfinal matchup -- that could be No. 1 seed Jim Courier and No. 8 Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine, if both move through their respective fourth-round matches today against No. 15 Cedric Pioline of France and No. 10 Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands -- it provides a contrast rarely seen in men's tennis.

The difference in their games was certainly on display yesterday: Sampras had 19 aces against Enqvist, including several on second serves. Chang had two against Ferreira, but made only 26 unforced errors. Though the signs are still pointing toward a Sampras-Courier final, don't count out tennis' little big man.

"Basically I take it one at a time," said Chang. "It is for me best to take it piece by piece."

The pieces are certainly falling together here. And the pretenders are leaving. Sampras hasn't looked at the draw sheet to see who is on the horizon. All he has to do is go to the players' lounge.

"I know who's left in the tournament, I see them in the tournament," said Sampras.

Round up the usual suspects. The familiar names and aces.

NOTES: In a fourth-round match last night, No. 12 seed Thomas Muster of Austria beat unseeded Brad Gilbert, 6-2, 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2. He will face No. 14 seed Alexander Volkov, who beat another unseeded American, Chuck Adams, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, earlier in the day.

FEATURE MATCHES

Matches today on the show courts and others involving seeded players in the U.S. Open. All courts begin at 11 a.m. Night sessions begin at 7:30 p.m.:

STADIUM COURT

Day session

Jim Courier (1), Dade City, Fla., vs. Cedric Pioline (15), France; Steffi Graf (1), Germany, vs. Gabriela Sabatini (5), Argentina; Richard Krajicek (10), Netherlands, vs. Andrei Medvedev (8), Russia.

Night session

Boris Becker (4), Germany, vs. Magnus Larsson, Sweden; Sebastian Lareau, Canada, and Leander Paes, India, vs. Matt Lucena, Chico, Calif., and Brian MacPhie, San Jose, Calif.

GRANDSTAND COURT

Day session

Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere (11), Switzerland, vs. Kimiko Date, Japan; Gigi Fernandez, Aspen, Colo., and Natalia Zvereva, Belarus (1), vs. Sandra Cecchini, Italy, and Patricia Tarabini, Argentina; Jamie Morgan, Australia, vs. Wally Masur, Australia.

Night session

Bob Lutz, San Clemente, Calif., and Stan Smith, Hilton Head, S.C., vs. Jan Kodes, Czech Republic, and Ray Ruffels, Australia.

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