Tennis: Schultz trumps Majoli with a record 22 aces

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The Independent Online
FACING Brenda Schultz, according to Clare Wood, is like 'being mugged in a dark alley by a super thug'. Yesterday's victim, in the DFS Classic at Edgbaston, her groundstrokes wounded and bleeding, was the third seed, Iva Majoli.

The 16-year-old from Zagreb, Croatia, is one of the great prospects in the women's game. But being the coming force is no protection against a force 10 serve and yesterday she succumbed 6-4, 5-7, 6-0.

Schultz, the fifth seed, unveiled a record 22 aces yesterday which is an extraordinary amount of fire power for a women's match - a contest where, even with modern rackets, an outright winner is still regarded as an exception. The high mark for a match before yesterday was 16 when Schultz met Seles at Wimbledon in 1989.

Five came in her first two service games alone. 'No one serves harder than her,' Majoli said. 'You have to be lucky to get the ball back.' Does she stand further back to receive?. 'Of course,' she said, 'I didn't want to break my wrists.'

Schultz, who won this tournament two years ago, broke Majoli in the third game, which proved the decisive moment of the first set, and had ample chances to take the second. The problem, Schultz said, was that her serve was going so well she could not get the rest of her game going. 'I wasn't playing enough volleys,' she said. 'Sometimes, if the ball is not coming back to you, it's difficult to get a rhythm. I could have won the set 6-2, instead I lost it 7-5.'

It proved to be the last resistance from Majoli who, tired by a set and half she had to play against Kristine Radford in the morning, capitulated in 15 minutes.

Schultz will now meet the holder, Lori McNeil, who defeated South Africa's Joanette Kruger, 6-3, 6-4.

The other semi-final will be between Zina Garrison Jackson, the beaten finalist last year and the winner four years ago, and Nathalie Tauziat, who defeated the four-times champion Pam Shriver, 6-1, 6-3. Garrison Jackson beat Laura Golarsa, 6-4, 6-2.

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