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Novotna cruises into week two
Posted: Saturday June 26, 1999 04:15 PM
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Two weeks ago, defending Wimbledon titlist Jana Novotna was in serious doubt with an ankle injury. On Saturday, fifth-ranked Novotna cruised into the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Maria Sanchez Lorenzo.
"I wasn't really sure if I'm going to be here. So everything that I do here at Wimbledon for me is a bonus," she said. "And, again, when I step on the court again I will play and fight for every ball."
Novotna, who won the singles and doubles championship last year, said the pressure was on her rivals.
"I feel relaxed, and I feel that the pressure is now on somebody else, not on me, which is very pleasant," she said.
"I have won my first Grand Slam, and now I can just focus on playing and winning maybe another one."
Lorenzo Manta came into Wimbledon with a record of 0-11 in ATP Tour, Davis Cup and Grand Slam events.
Don't tell that to 1996 champion Richard Krajicek.
Fifth-seeded Krajieck, playing on the so-called "Graveyard of Champions" -- Wimbledon's Court 2 -- fell to the 196th-ranked Manta 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 4-6, 6-4 in Saturday's third round.
"There was a point [two years ago] I was thinking about retiring, but I always felt I could do better than this. It's nice that it happened in Wimbledon," said the Swiss.
Manta, 24, has battled shoulder, elbow and hand injuries the last two years. In February his hand went numb.
"I had no blood circulation in my fingers, so I couldn't hold my racket anymore," he said. "After two weks it was OK again."
It's been that kind of career -- until this week -- for Manta, who plays Gustavo Kuerten in the round of 16.
Krajicek was almost matter-of-fact about the loss.
"He's just had a great tournament and it's just disappointing that I started off very poorly," he said. "The last couple of games he returned unbelievable."
Australian Jelena Dokic, who shocked Martina Hingis in the first round, has reached the fourth beating Anne Kremer 6-7 (6-7), 6-3, 6-4 Saturday. And she can see herself getting by Mary Pierce in the next match. "Once it gets to the last 16, last eight, anything can happen and anybody can be there and go to the semis and the final," said the Belgrade-born 16-year old.
Another new-name Aussie also reached the fourth round as qualifier Wayne Arthurs, 28, beat Tommy Haas 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) for a final 16 match against French Open champion Andre Agassi.
"I refuse to be broken. It's my goal," he said.
Arthurs has held serve in all 60 service games in the tournament. He also held all 38 of his service games in qualifying.
"The surface makes everything even out there. If I'm serving well, I can go with probably most guys out there."
Three women qualifiers are through to the round of 16, a Wimbledon Open era record. In addition, two men have reached the round of 16. That's no record, but the five men and women through to the final 16 is. They are: Jelena Dokic, Alexandra Stevenson, Kim Clijstres, Wayne Arthurs and Lorenzo Manta. They've each won three matches here and another three in qualifying.
Former World. No. 1 Lindsay Davenport doesn't have time to spend on the phone talking to prospective doubles partners, so she surfs the internet.
"I go online a lot -- there are so many players on tour and it's hard to call and much easier to e-mail them. My last two doubles partners, Mary Pierce and Corina Morariu, I both got by the computer," third-seeded Davenport said.
"Hopefully it's a good luck thing."
Davenport has won 24 career doubles titles, including the U.S. and French opens, and been a finalist at every Grand Slam venue.
Plain-clothed police officers will try to combat ticket scalpers, a yearly project at Wimbledon. Tickets for the final with a face value of $95 have reportedly gone on the black market for $3,160.
Australian 18-year-old Lleyton Hewitt lost in three sets to three-time champion Boris Becker on Saturday, but said playing three-time Wimbledon champion in his "backyard" was a dream.
"It's any kids dream growing up, idolizing Boris Becker, to be out there on Centre Court at Wimbledon where he's won three times, to be out there playing against him, just seeing how good he really is," Hewitt said.
"He's certainly not the favorite to win, but he's got to be up there," Hewitt said of Becker. "He's serving well now. If he keeps that up, he could go a long way."
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