Tennis: Teenager stuns Sabatini

Click to follow
The Independent Online
LINDSAY DAVENPORT, a 16- year-old schoolgirl who turned professional last week, defeated the No 3 seed, Gabriela Sabatini, 7-6, 6-1 in the third round at the Virginia Slims of Florida yesterday.

Davenport hit a succession of baseline winners against a listless Sabatini, who has been suffering from a virus. Davenport made her professional debut at last week's tournament in Indian Wells, California, where she won three matches before losing to Mary Joe Fernandez in the quarter-finals. She was ranked No 159 at the end of last year and is No 73 now.

Sabatini, who has won this event three times, is without a coach after firing Carlos Kirmayr at the Australian Open.

'I knew she wasn't playing her best, and I wanted to take advantage of it,' Davenport said. In the second set Sabatini did not win a single service game against the 6ft 2in newcomer and Davenport, despite being slow around the court, dictated most of the points with deep or sharply angled drives.

The top seed, Steffi Graf, and the No 2 seed, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, also advanced to today's quarter-finals in straight sets.

Results, Sport in Short, page 33