Jensen brothers volley for fun U.S. OPEN

September 05, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The boys just want to have fun and, yesterday, BTC they didn't even let being blown off the Grandstand Court at the U.S. Open interfere with that.

"Got smoked," said Murphy Jensen of the 6-1, 6-2 loss to Patrick McEnroe and Jared Palmer in the third round of the men's doubles competition.

"Yeah, they played better than us, but we kept going for it with a good spirit," said Luke Jensen. "Just goes back to the old textbook."

"Why can't everyone have fun doing it?" wondered Murphy. "How can it not be fun?"

What does it do for them, when they realize the Grandstand and Stadium courts have been packed for their doubles matches?

"It's a dream come true," Murphy said. "You know, my grandstand court in the back yard of my home in Michigan was always filled up when I played there -- as far as I knew. I was always making believe that I was playing here."

Said Luke: "This is like truly awesome."

The Jensens were unseeded, but made a big impression. And though out of the tournament, they won't soon be forgotten.

"We've always played like this," said Luke. "We've played like this since we were kids. Since before TV. I mean, the tennis community knew, the players all knew how we played.

"Patrick McEnroe . . .," began Murphy.

"Played us forever. He knew," continued Luke.

"We've played all these guys for years," said Murphy. "[Pete] Sampras thought I used to cheat in the 12s."

"You did," said Luke.

"Probably. My dad made me serve underhand."

Shriver played out

Pam Shriver and her doubles partner Liz Smylie were played out of the Open yesterday by Katerina Maleeva and Robin White, 6-1, 6-4.

"It was disappointing," Shriver said. "Liz and I have played a lot and this was our worst performance."

Shriver said she felt they were taken out of their match before it even began, when it was delayed by more than two hours yesterday afternoon by a men's five-setter.

Javier Frana, up two sets and serving for the match at 5-2, was forced to a fifth set by Marcos Ondruska before finally pulling it out, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 6-4.

Shriver said she will reconsider her plans to play tennis in Europe in October, and after her charity tournament in Baltimore, Sept. 29, she may take off until the Virginia Slims Championships in New York, Nov. 14.

She also hinted she may have "a fun addition" to the singles play of the Baltimore tournament to announce next week.

Surprise, surprise

Tennis experts advised all who listened not to expect Michael Stich to stick around very long here.

But when the fourth round is played, Stich will be in it, despite a serving quirk that nearly every child is taught to avoid.

Stich beat Byron Black, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-1, on the Stadium Court despite dipping temperatures and gusting winds.

And he did it without once retrieving a badly tossed ball on his serve.

"I just feel if the ball is up in the air, I feel like I have to hit it," he said. "I can't do it any other way. If I toss it to the wrong spot, still go for it. I never have let it bounce or put it up again. Most of the time I toss pretty well."

In round four, the No. 4 seed will face a big challenge from Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov, a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 winner over Carlos Costa yesterday.

None for Elvis

Steffi Graf says, if asked, she would leave a ticket for her box for actor Willem Dafoe. Ann Grossman said she'd find a seat for David Letterman, "so he could heckle my opponent." And Magdalena Maleeva said she'd find room for author Kurt Vonnegut and Nine Inch Nails singer Trent Reznor.

Women's power game

CBS commentator Mary Carillo has nicknamed the women's power game -- women over 5 feet 10 -- "Big Babe Tennis. "Why not?" said 5-11 Mary Pierce. "It gives us some personality."

Sabatini on a roll

No, it's not an Argentine sub to go. No. 8 women's seed Gabriela Sabatini has decided to hang around awhile.

She hasn't made any noise at the Open since winning it in 1990 and she hasn't won a tournament since 1992. But yesterday, she moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Elena Likhovtseva.

"I have lost many times against players I shouldn't be losing to," said Sabatini, who plays Gigi Fernandez, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Ginger Helgeson, tomorrow in a quarterfinal match. "But here, I think I have been playing great tennis. My tennis is improving in these last few weeks, improved a lot. I feel very focused and pretty satisfied that I am getting better."


Stadium Court

Day session

Magdalena Maleeva (15), vs. Jana Novotna (7). Steffi Graf (1) vs. Zina Garrison Jackson (10), not before 12:30 p.m. Michael Chang (6) vs. Andre Agassi, not before 2 p.m.

Night session

Richey Reneberg vs. Todd Martin (9).

Grandstand Court

Day session

Bernd Karbacher vs. Gianluca Pozzi. Mary Pierce (4) vs. Iva Majoli. Thomas Muster (13) vs. Sergi Bruguera (3).

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