Williams Sisters Surge at Wimbledon

Wednesday, June 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Williams sisters surged into the third round of Wimbledon with one-sided victories Wednesday, while a rash of upsets claimed two former champions, two of the highest-seeded players in the men's draw and the top attraction in the women's field.

Third-seeded Magnus Norman of Sweden, runner-up at the French Open this month, was stunned by Belgian qualifier Olivier Rochus — playing in his first tour-level event — 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1.

Down 5-0 in the final set, Norman handed his racket to a ball girl who rallied with Rochus. Norman then kissed her on the cheek and won the game, but Rochus closed the match in the next game, basking in a standing ovation from Court 1 fans.

Rochus had played only in second-tier challenger events until this tournament. His brother and doubles partner, Christophe, is also in the Wimbledon draw.

In the ensuing match, Anna Kournikova, the 19-year-old Russian diva who has been the overwhelming focus of media attention, fell 6-3, 6-4 to France's Anne-Gaelle Sidot.

Kournikova, a semifinalist in 1997, was unseeded because of injuries that have limited her schedule. The 28th-ranked Sidot, who had not advanced past the first round at Wimbledon since 1996, served an ace down the middle on match point.

Richard Krajicek, the 1996 winner and only player to beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in seven years, was ousted by South African grass-court expert Wayne Ferreira 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

The 11th-seeded Dutchman had been considered one of the few players capable of challenging Sampras in his bid for a seventh title. Ferreira admitted he was lucky not to have been thrown out for his outburst after a disputed call.

Conchita Martinez, the fourth-seeded Spaniard who won Wimbledon in 1994 and was runner-up at the French Open this month, fell 6-4, 6-1 to 79th-ranked Canadian Sonya Jeyaseelan.

In another major upset, No. 6 Cedric Pioline, runner-up at Wimbledon in 1997, lost 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 3-6, 6-4 to obscure qualifier Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus.

By late Wednesday, seven men's and seven women's seeds — out of a total of 32 — had been eliminated after less than three full days of play.

Paul Goldstein beat Jeff Tarango 3-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 12-10 in a 4 hour, 11-minute match between Americans.

Tarango was kicked out of Wimbledon in 1995 after storming off court and accusing the umpire of favoritism. On Wednesday, he refused to shake Goldstein's hand after the match and accused him of feigning injury when he called for a trainer late in the fifth set

``Did you see him miss any steps?'' Tarango said. ``Of course he was faking the injury. He was fine.''

A shaken Goldstein said: ``In no way, shape or form did I do anything to try and gain an unfair advantage.''

Top-seeded woman Martina Hingis cruised into the third round with a 6-4, 6-1 Centre Court victory over Yi Jingqian of China. Yi, ranked No. 78, pushed Hingis to the limit in the first set but couldn't maintain the pressure in the second.

Venus and Serena Williams have been plagued by injuries this year but they established themselves as serious contenders for the women's title with impressive straight-sets wins.

Serena, seeded No. 8, took just 35 minutes to rout Dutch qualifier Yvette Basting 6-1, 6-0. The second set lasted just 11 minutes.

She then raced over to Court 1 to watch fifth-seeded Venus dispatch Japan's 20th-ranked Ai Sugiyama 6-1, 6-4 in 65 minutes.

Both sisters hit big serves, moving up to net for putaway volleys to complement their stinging groundstrokes.

``It's something we want to do the whole time because we have such large serves that when the ball is floating, it's much easier to end the point than go get in the rally again,'' Venus said. ``Hopefully, this will be a change.''

Serena Williams served nine aces and volleyed sharply against an opponent ranked 187th in the world. Basting, playing in her first main draw at Wimbledon, looked helpless and won only 17 points.

Williams' only lapse came when she double-faulted at 40-0 love on match point. She promptly hit an ace on the next point, then skipped to the net, blowing kisses to the crowd.

The younger Williams is playing in her first tournament since being sidelined in April with tendinitis in her left knee. She reached the third round of Wimbledon in 1998 but made her breakthrough by winning the U.S. Open last year.

``I was popping the serve today,'' Serena Williams said. ``It was amazing. Sometimes I had to pinch myself. That's how it was at the Open. I love to pop 'em like that.''

Noting that she won the U.S. Open after a similar injury layoff, Williams said there was no reason she couldn't do the same here.

``My No. 1 goal is to win Wimbledon now,'' she said. ``Grass suits my game.''

Grass has always been Krajicek's best surface, and he reached the final of the Wimbledon warmup event at Halle, Germany. But Ferreira, who reached the Wimbledon quarters in 1994, excels on grass, too.

Ferreira threw a tantrum after chair umpire Kim Craven overruled a line judge to call his serve out when he was set point down in the first set.

After Krajicek won the set on the next point, Ferreira slammed his racket on the turf, then broke it in half against his chair, drawing a code violation from Craven. He then aimed a four-letter outburst at the umpire that was picked up by TV microphones.

``I can't say I behaved in the right way or said the right things,'' Ferreira said. ``He really should have (defaulted me). I deserved it.''

Martinez is considered more of a clay-court specialist, despite winning the Wimbledon title six years ago. She was outmatched by Jeyaseelan, who had never advanced past the second round at Wimbledon.

The 24-year-old Canadian is no stranger to upsets. Last year, as a qualifier ranked No. 140, she beat Venus Williams at Amelia Island, Fla.

``I was shocked actually how easy it was for me,'' Jeyaseelan said. ``I notice some balls she didn't seem to run down as much. But it's grass and it's faster.''

Grass had been one of Pioline's favorite surfaces. But the Frenchman was outclassed by a player ranked No. 237.

Pioline had 13 double faults and looked nothing like the player who reached the Wimbledon final three years ago, losing to Sampras.

Voltchkov reached the third round of Wimbledon in 1998 but had gone 0-4 in Grand Slam matches since. He hadn't played a single match on the ATP Tour this year.