Tennis: Graf worries despite winning

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STEFFI GRAF, the No 1 seed from Germany, and the fourth-seeded Argentinian, Gabriela Sabatini, had straight-set victories in the German Open in Berlin yesterday.

Graf beat the American, Ginger Helgeson, 6-2, 6-2 to become the first player to reach the quarter- finals while Sabatini moved into the third-round after defeating another American, Kimberly Po, 6-4, 6-0.

Graf needed 10 minutes to break Helgeson's serve, but then the German's power proved too much despite the world No 1's anxiety about her forehand, which gave her problems in her first-round encounter. 'I hope I can solve that problem in the next match.' Graf said.

Helgeson is enjoying the best year of her four years as a professional, having climbed to No 35 in the world as well as winning her first title at Auckland in January.

Sabatini, the 1990 US Open champion, is seeking to end a drought of two years without a tournament win. Last year she forced Graf, seven-times winner of this tournament, to three sets before losing in the final.