Tennis: Martina primed for revenge

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The Independent Online
IT WAS monkey business on court yesterday at the Direct Line Insurance championships here but Linda Harvey-Wild knows only too well that it has to be a serious devotion to duty this afternoon when the girl from Chicago attempts to improve on a career record against Martina Navratilova that most players would find entirely acceptable.

Played one, won one is the Harvey-Wild head-to-head against a former world No 1 and in today's semi-final she is ready to catch out the 'older lady' of the circuit just as she did a year ago in Eastbourne.

That second-round surprise was Navratilova's earliest round defeat in 11 years and Harvey- Wild's finest victory. It means, though, that she is expecting a tougher examination this afternoon and a different tactical approach from the 36-year-old who needed just 42 minutes to advance 6-0, 6-2 against Japan's Misumi Miyauchi.

Keen-eared watchers of Harvey-Wild's 6-4, 7-6 quarter-final defeat of Australia's Nicole Pratt were bemused by her coach's repetition of the phrase 'Monkeys, monkeys, watch out for the monkeys'.

Later, the recipient of the cerebral advice proffered this explanation: 'In the Wayne's World movie they said 'Monkeys might fly out of my butt' when something outrageous was predicted and the shot that had just beaten me on court was in that category. She hit it from so low down and it went just over the net.'

The women's second seed, Mana Endo, of Japan, bowed out 6-4, 6-1 to Australia's Kristine Radford but the men's No 2, America's David Wheaton, put in double time with two victories, over Nicolas Pereira, of Venezuela, and the Australian, Grant Doyle, to reach the semi- finals.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 39