Novotna, last year's loser, is only looking forward

June 25, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

WIMBLEDON, England -- If there is such a thing as a sympathy vote at Wimbledon, No. 5 women's seed Jana Novotna is the leading candidate.

A year ago, she was on Centre Court, the title there for her taking.

She was soaring. But then she got caught up in one of the biggest chokes the old stadium has seen.

Up 4-1 and serving at 40-30 for what would have been a nearly insurmountable 5-1 advantage against Stefi Graf, she double-faulted.

Graf went on to claim her fifth title and Novotna collapsed in the arms of the Duchess of Kent.

"I haven't seen the duchess yet," she said. "I have to win a few more rounds to do that. But this time I think I might take a handkerchief with me."

Today, she faces Dominique Monami for the right to advance to the women's round of 16.

"I do not look back, no matter how bitter the disappointment," Novotna said. "And I am looking forward to doing even better."

Bad day at the B&B

Martin Keil of Tampa, Fla., returned to his bed and breakfast to find he was being robbed.

"I chased the guy, but he turned around, put his fist in the air and said, 'I have a knife.' So I ran the other way," Keil said.

He lost $400 and a watch and then discovered he and his doubles partner, Ellis Ferreira, had drawn the defending Wimbledon doubles team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde in the first round.

Keil and Ferreira lost, 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).

"I've got to go home," Keil said. "It's been a terrible Wimbledon for me."

Carlsen retires

While brilliant in his upset victory over No. 3 seed Stefan Edberg Thursday, Kenneth Carlsen was too ill to finish his match with Jonas Bjorkman and had to retire.

"I got sick during the night and I was still feeling bad before my match," said Carlsen, who was losing 6-4, 6-4, 1-0 when he called it quits.

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