Tennis: Window of opportunity for Graf

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STEFFI GRAF'S hopes of adding the Toray Pan-Pacific Open in Yokohama, Japan, to her haul of titles increased even before she beat the home country's Kimiko Date 6-1, 7-5 in yesterday's first round.

Gabriela Sabatini, the defending champion, withdrew before the tournament, still suffering from the flu she picked up in Australia last week.

Mary Pierce of France, the No 6 seed, retired during her match against the American veteran, Pam Shriver, with a back strain. Two more seeds, Helena Sukova and Lori McNeil, both lost, leaving only half the seeded players still in the running.

The 40-year-old Jimmy Connors opened his 23rd professional season with a 6-4, 6-4 win over his fellow American, Richard Matuszewski, in the first round of the Volvo men's tournament in San Francisco yesterday.

Results, Sport in Short, page 35