Graf storms on as Open enters second week

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Steffi Graf was in high gear Monday and Zina Garrison Jackson couldn't stop her.

Graf, her game primed for the year's final Grand Slam tournament, buried Garrison Jackson under a barrage of winners 6-1, 6-2 to earn a berth in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Graf is seeking her second straight singles title and her fourth overall. She also won in 1988-89.

Also advancing into the quarterfinals were fourth-seeded Mary Pierce of France, who defeated Iva Majoli of Croatia 6-1, 6-2; No. 7 Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic, a 6-0, 6-4 winner over No. 15 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, and No. 11 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, a 6-3, 6-0 winner over Japan's Mana Endo.

In the quarterfinals, Coetzer will try and derail Graf's rush to the final, while Novotna, the 1993 Wimbledon runner-up, will meet Pierce, this year's losing French Open finalist.

The first man to move into the quarterfinals was Bernd Karbacher of Germany, who defeated Italy's Gianluca Pozzi 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Graf was her usual awesome self in beating the 10th-seeded Garrison Jackson in only 52 minutes. Only Graf's second-round match took longer, as she needed 55 minutes to eliminate Sandra Cacic. The German downed Anne Mall in 45 minutes and Radka Bobkova in 52 minutes.

There was nothing Garrison Jackson could do to disturb's Graf's relentless march on the hard courts at the National Tennis Center. Her best move was staying out of the way of Graf's ferocious forehand.

Sunday night, Stefan Edberg had only himself to blame.

For years, Swedish tennis players took their clue from Bjorn Borg, roaming the baseline and depending on heavy topspin to pull the ball down into the court. Then along came Edberg and his serve-and-volley game, climbing to No. 1 in the world and winning six Grand Slam titles, including two U.S. Opens.

In a third-round match, Edberg met his clone another Swedish serve-and-volleyer and on this night, Jonas Bjorkman dominated.

Bjorkman had the bigger serves, he had the crisper volleys, he had the more penetrating groundstrokes.

And when it was over, it was Bjorkman who had a fourth-round berth, with a devastatingly easy 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 victory over the fifth-seeded Edberg.

"The game I play is exactly like Stefan's game, so I've always been looking at him, how he plays, and try to do the same thing," Bjorkman said.

Sunday night, he did it better than the real thing.

Bjorkman's next foe will be Joern Renzenbrink of Germany, a 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 winner over Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi.

In other third-round matches Sunday, top-seeded Pete Sampras beat Roger Smith of the Bahamas 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3; No. 4 Michael Stich defeated Byron Black of Zimbabwe 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-1; No. 14 Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia stopped Spain's Carlos Costa 6-3, 6-4, 6-2; Karel Novacek of the Czech Republic outlasted Todd Woodbridge of Australia 1-6, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3); Argentina's Javier Frana eliminated Marcos Ondruska of South Africa 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 6-4, and Jaime Yzaga of Peru defeated last year's surprise finalist, Frenchman Cedric Pioline, 1-6, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1, 6-4.

Advancing to the women's quarterfinals were second-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, No. 5 Kimiko Date, No. 8 Gabriela Sabatini and Gigi Fernandez.

Sanchez Vicario defeated Ann Grossman 6-2, 6-2; Date stopped Leila Meskhi of Georgia 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5; Sabatini ousted Elena Likhovtseva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-1, and Fernandez downed Ginger Helgeson 6-3, 6-4.

Edberg fell heavily on the first point of the 10th game of the match, appearing to injure his right wrist. But he said it was not a major factor in the loss.

"It took a couple of points before it started feeling a little better, but it probably cost me the first set a little," Edberg said. "It was bad timing, but it didn't bother me the rest of the match.

"I lost the momentum a little. He got away with the first set and I think he gained some confidence. Then he didn't really give me a chance because he was serving very well."

The only service break in the second set came in the final game, when Bjorkman broke at 15, Edberg double-faulting on set point.

From then on, it was all Bjorkman, finding angles and passing lanes or booming unreturnable serves.

"I was solid in my serve and volley and never made any easy mistakes," Bjorkman said. "And in the third set, I finally got my returns going. Then everything was there."

Everything except Edberg when the match ended 1 hour, 35 minutes after it started.

Sampras, seeking his third Grand Slam title of the year his only loss was in the French Open had a tougher time than the score might indicate. Smith, the second qualifier Sampras has played in his three matches so far, gave the world's No. 1 player problems with his slice backhand, taking all of the pace off the ball.

"When I started, I didn't have the timing," Sampras said. "I felt a bit sluggish. I managed to get through somehow. He serves well, and I had a hard time with that. It was a good match to get through.

"He has a good serve and he massages the ball well. He has that chip backhand that comes back low. I didn't know what was coming."

Smith fought back from 5-0 in the fourth set, winning three straight games before Sampras closed it out.

"I didn't want it to end," Smith said. "It was a great experience. It was a great feeling, a great week."

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