Davenport departs for the better U.S. OPEN

September 04, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The top American women's seed, No. 6 Lindsay Davenport left the U.S. Open yesterday, saying she has to get quicker to get better.

Davenport lost to unseeded and 44th-ranked Mana Endo, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), because she had only one answer to everything Endo did.

She tried to hit harder and harder from the baseline.

"I don't feel like I am nimble enough to go cover those volleys," Davenport said. "I don't feel comfortable going back for overheads yet, so it is hard. Maybe if I can get a little faster, a little more comfortable and confident in myself, I will be able to do that a little bit better."

For Endo, the victory brought a cascade of smiles and her first round of 16 at the U.S. Open.

"I feel no fear," Endo said. "I feel great."

Davenport said she will go to San Francisco next week to meet with Don Chu, a trainer who has worked with other players.

"Maybe he can tell me some secret that will increase my speed," said Davenport, who is 6 feet 3, 165 pounds.

He's low, but at least left

No. 1 seed Pete Sampras' opponent today is 30-year-old qualifier Roger Smith. He is from the Bahamas and holds the distinction of being the lowest-ranked player left in the draw at 187.

Pierce on Pierce

While No. 4 women's seed Mary Pierce is busy winning tennis matches at the U.S. Open -- yesterday, she beat Judith Wiesner, 6-2, 6-4 -- Pierce's father is busy questioning her efforts and those of her coach.

A story in the New York Post quoted Jim Pierce as saying Mary "has no mobility, no endurance whatsoever. She used to have the best serve in women's tennis. She used to have the best return, the best backhand. What's happened?"

Nick Bollettieri, Pierce's current coach, says she's gotten better.

"All you have to do is check the results," Bollettieri said. "Last year she was 28th in the world. Now she's seeded fourth at the Open. She's in as good a shape and is as happy as ever. She's enjoying the game. If we're going backward, then our numerical system is wrong."

Pierce is in the round of 16 and will next play Iva Majoli, a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Anna Smashnova yesterday.

Reneberg dreams on

Richey Reneberg still says the best match of his life was his five-set victory over Boris Becker in the first round.

But he hasn't exactly been chopped meat since.

Yesterday, he moved into the fourth round in a Grand Slam singles tournament for the first time in his eight-year career. He did it by beating Richard Fromberg, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.

"I know anything can happen the next time you go out on the court," Reneberg said. "But I feel like right now, I am hitting the ball well; I feel all my strokes kind of seem to be in a groove . . . but you've got to be ready for anything."

Meanwhile, Markus Zoecke, who beat No. 2 seed Goran Ivanisevic, was defeated by Gianluca Pozzi, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Shriver among 16

Pam Shriver and women's doubles partner Liz Smylie won to move into the round of 16. Shriver and Smylie, the No. 4 seeds, made quick work of Nancy Feber and Sandrine Testud, 6-2, 6-2.

No. 1 seeds Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva, trying for the Grand Slam-clinching tournament title, advanced by defeating Jenny Byrne and Julie Richardson, 6-3, 6-4.

Bobkova encouraged

Radka Bobkova managed to break No. 1 seed Steffi Graf on her first service game in the second set yesterday before losing, 6-2, 6-3.

"It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be before the match," said Bobkova, who is ranked 109 and who was playing in the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

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