Nagatsuka spoils Hingis' debut

January 19, 1995|By New York Times News Service

MELBOURNE, Australia -- It was a potential star, not one of the acknowledged superstars, who felt the sting of a premature loss yesterday at the Australian Open.

Like a little girl lost, 14-year-old Martina Hingis, burdened by great expectations since she was old enough to learn her namesake's identity, found herself sent home early from her first Australian Open.

Hingis had developed some great expectations, with the assumption that her diligence would carry her into the quarterfinals of her main-draw Grand Slam debut.

Instead, the 73rd-ranked Hingis admitted her 6-3, 6-4 loss to Kyoko Nagatsuka of Japan, a player ranked one spot ahead of her, was probably the result of tennis overdose.

"I've been away for so long and it's just been tennis and tennis," said Hingis. "It was as much tiredness as anything. Yesterday I just watched other matches, and perhaps I should have done something else."

Last week in Sydney, Hingis interspersed competition with relaxation: she toured the zoo and, missing the horse she left behind in Switzerland, found a stable that allowed her to hire the same horse each day.

But here in Melbourne, all roads seemed to lead her to Flinders Park. It was, she thought, the responsible place to be if she wanted to "be like the adults" and be a real contender.

She had visions of herself dismantling the 16th-ranked Amy Frazier in the third round with a stream of passing shots. And she had hopes of meeting a fellow International Management Group client, Mary Pierce, a player she had already faced under lucrative exhibition circumstances, in the quarterfinals.

But the 20-year-old Nagatsuka, whose home in Chiba City was not in the path of Tuesday's earthquake, spoiled all of the ingenue's plans.

"I don't expect to win as much at 14 as later," said Hingis, who can't go home to school quite yet because of an ongoing commitment in doubles.

"From every defeat you have to learn something, but I don't like it," Hingis said.

Her attitude was quite evident on the court, where mistakes provoked her to petulance. Several times she bounced her racket off the ground, and she stuck out her tongue whenever a shot particularly displeased her.

"The Asians tend to play flat and hard, and I had difficulty with the speed at which she hit the ball," said Hingis, who also had trouble providing any serves that could give Nagatsuka significant trouble.

While Hingis converted all four break points allotted her by Nagatsuka, she saved only three of the 10 opportunities gained by Nagatsuka.

After trailing 3-0 in the first set, Nagatsuka began banging winners from the baseline and won eight straight games before Hingis broke her in the third game of the second set, then held to even the set 2-2.

Hingis broke Nagatsuka again and took a 3-2 lead in the set, but her rally was short-lived. Though the Japanese player forfeited her chance to serve out the set at 5-3 with a pair of double faults, she pummeled the teen-ager into a 0-40 corner in the next game, and Hingis didn't bother chasing the forehand drive that ended the match.

If she expected sympathy from her peers in the locker room, she was in for another disappointment. Hingis said she has pretty much felt like a wallflower in the locker room.

"To them I'm just a 14-year-old," she said.

Pam Shriver of Lutherville, Md., lost her opener, 6-3, 6-0, to Linda

Harvey-Wild of Hawthorn Woods, Ill.

MEN'S SINGLES

Second round Pete Sampras (1), Tampa, Fla., def. Jan Kroslak, Slovakia, 6-2, 6-1; Stefano Pescosolido, Italy, def. Michael Tebbutt, Australia, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2; Michael Stich (7), Germany, def. Alex O'Brien, Amarillo, Texas, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4; Magnus Larsson (15), Sweden, def. Nicolas Pereira, Venezuela, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3; Lars Jonsson, Sweden, def. Richard Fromberg, Australia, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-2;

David Wheaton, Excelsior, Minn., def. Jan Siemerink, Netherlands, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2; Jim Courier (9), Miami, def. Cristiano Caratti, Italy, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1; Martin Damm, Czech Republic, def. Tommy Ho, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., 3-6, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-3; Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Daniel Nestor, Canada, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5; Andrei Olhovskiy, Russia, def. Andrea Gaudenzi, Italy, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3;

Andrei Medvedev (13), Ukraine, def. Lars Rehmann, Germany, 7-5, 6-4, 6-1; Olivier Delaitre, France, def. Jan Apell, Sweden, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-2; Renzo Furlan, Italy, def. Carl-Uwe Steeb, Germany, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2; Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, def. Radomir Vasek, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4; Mark Woodforde, Australia, def. Brett Steven, New Zealand, 1-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3; Michael Chang (5), Henderson, Nev., def. Karim Alami, Morocco, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1;

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