Tennis: Harvey-Wild makes all the right moves: Two unseeded players reach women's final

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The Independent Online
THE FIRST unseeded champion in the 20 years of the women's event at Devonshire Park is guaranteed today. The American contenders, Meredith McGrath and Linda Harvey-Wild, share the distinction of having beaten Martina Navratilova on her second favourite lawn.

McGrath, who achieved the feat on Thursday, capitalised by defeating Yayuk Basuki in the semi-finals, 6-0, 7-5. Basuki is known as the

Jakarta Jaguar, but this is the Volkswagen Cup.

Harvey-Wild ambushed Navratilova in the second round two years ago and advanced to the final, losing to Lori McNeil, who, at No 11, is the lowest seed to win the title.

Yesterday, the world No 43 accounted for Natalia Zvereva, the last of the seeds (No 4), 6-4, 7-5. More impressive moves had been seen from Zvereva on the dance floor at the players' party the night before.

Harvey-Wild has had to play with a support to protect her left knee since injuring herself at Wimbledon four years ago. Though this creates an impression of immobility, there was little doubt who was the sharper here. No sooner had Zvereva raised the possibility of a third set by levelling for 5-5 in the second than she was broken to love.

'Over the last two years I've developed my game and have a greater variety of shots,' Harvey-Wild said, pausing before adding: 'Zvereva has so many different shots, which is good, but you can get into trouble because you're not sure what shot to hit.'

McGrath, who will break into the top 30 if she wins the title, was leading by a set and 4-1 before Basuki showed signs of turning a rout into the semblance of a contest. At 6-5, the American raised her game again, breaking serve to win.

'It was very important for me to win,' McGrath said. 'Today was probably harder than yesterday because of the expectation I had put on


She has not played Harvey- Wild since they were juniors. According to McGrath, they used be be near neighbours. 'We lived only five hours apart,' she said, as if referring to Sussex and Kent rather than Michigan and Illinois.