Tennis: Hamstring trouble hastens Graf's exit

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The Independent Online
STEFFI GRAF was forced to make an early exit from the TIG Classic in Carlsbad, California on Tuesday when she suffered a strained left hamstring during her second-round match with Amy Frazier.

Frazier had fought her way back in to the match at 4-6, 7-5, 2-1 when the third-seeded Graf retired. But the 26th-ranked American had no illusions about the likely outcome had Graf stayed healthy.

"I don't really consider it a win." Frazier, who had taken just one set in six previous encounters with the former world No 1, said. "It was 2- 1 in the third, she probably would have won. I didn't win, and to say that I beat her isn't really correct. I'm just happy with the way I played."

Graf nearly escaped unscathed, but suffered the injury at match point in the second set. "It happened at 5-4 on set point." Graf, who has won the TIG Classic four times, said. "It felt like a little pull and then I had trouble going up for my serve. But it happens and there's nothing you can do about it."

Another former champion had a better night as the second seed, Martina Hingis, defeated the American Chanda Rubin 7-5 6-3 in her first match since losing in the first round at Wimbledon. "Maybe it wasn't the best match but I won at the end, and that's the best strategy," Hingis said. "It doesn't matter what you do as long as you win the last point."

With the US Open less than a month away, Hingis hopes this tournament can provide a stepping stone back to her winning form. "I could see where I'm standing, especially against Chanda, who beat me last time," the 18- year-old Swiss said. "It was very important for me to get the confidence back."

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