Muscle pops Reneberg's hopes

September 06, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- If Richey Reneberg had cried last night, no one at the U.S. Open would have blamed him.

He had just manhandled No. 9 seed Todd Martin in the first set of their fourth-round match when a fluke injury forced him to retire from the match.

Reneberg has been playing as if he intended to win this tournament, but when he went up for a kick-serve in the last game of the first set he felt "something pop."

The pulled hamstring in his left leg forced him out, holding a 6-3, 0-3 lead.

"Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe it," Reneberg said of his disappointment. "My whole career, I've never done that well in Grand Slams; I felt I had a very good shot here to advance, possibly, you never know.

"When I had to hit a kick-serve to the outside I felt something in my leg kind of snap. After that, I thought it would just kind of go away, but it didn't. Then I tried the second set and there was just no way.

"It would have been foolish to try to beat Todd Martin on one leg."

Martin advances to the quarterfinals and will face Bernd Karbacher of Germany. Karbacher earned his quarterfinal spot yesterday with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Gianluca Pozzi.

"This is not the way you want to advance, especially after being beaten and outplayed so thoroughly in the first set," Martin said. "He jumped on me from the start, he was so eager for the occasion.

"And I feel bad for Richey, because this is no way to go out of your best tournament."

Reneberg had pulled off one of the biggest upsets here, when he ousted No. 7 seed Boris Becker in five sets in the first round, 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5).

He followed that up with three-set victories over Jordi Burillo and Richard Fromberg, and looked poised to pull off another upset of No. 9 Martin. Steffi Graf had time for a lot of things yesterday after running No. 10 seed Zina Garrison Jackson off Stadium Court, 6-1, 6-2, in 53 minutes.

For instance:

One day she'd like to be a part owner of an NBA team and right now she likes the Miami Heat.

"I go to their games a lot," she said. "But I am actually a Knicks fan, because I have seen my first basketball match at Madison Square Garden and I am in love with it."

Who is her favorite player?

"Patrick Ewing," she said.

Has she met him?

"No, but there was this incident where I saw the Knicks play at San Antonio and I was sitting courtside and Patrick was like getting a ball close to me and like, how do you say, twinkles the eye at me."


"Yeah, but that is all. What I like about him is he is very quiet. I think he is not the kind of guy that has a lot of hype around him. He is very calm and I think I like that."

Grand Slam march

No. 1 women's doubles partners Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva yesterday kept their hopes for a Grand Slam sweep alive with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kristie Boogert and Nicole Muns-Jagerman.

International mix

For the second straight year, but for only the second time ever, the eight women's singles quarterfinalists here represent eight different countries.

Graf (Germany) moved into the mix yesterday, as did Amanda Coetzer (South Africa) with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Mana Endo; Mary Pierce (France) beating Iva Majoli, 6-1, 6-2; and Jana Novotna (Czech Republic) by eliminating Magdalena Maleeva, 6-0, 6-4.

Already in are four quarterfinalists who play today: Gabriela Sabatini (Argentina) vs. Gigi Fernandez (United States); and Kimiko Date (Japan) vs. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain).

Agassi on par

Andre Agassi says he is hitting the ball better than ever. "But playing great tennis is a culmination of a lot of things," he said. "I've hit the ball pretty good before, but if it's not balanced with that competitive spirit, that focused concentration, then it doesn't do you any good.

"It's like golf. You can hit all the fairways, hit all the greens. But if you don't get it in the hole, you lose."

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