Seles advances in Pilot Pen

Monica Seles powered her way into the quarterfinals of the Pilot Pen today with a straight set win over fellow Floridian Kristina Brandi.

Monica Seles powered her way into the quarterfinals of the Pilot Pen today with a straight set win over fellow Floridian Kristina Brandi.

Seles' 98 mph (157 kph) ace closed out the 6-2, 6-3 victory, but it was the zip on her pin-point groundstrokes all afternoon that kept Brandi on her heels.

Seles won their only previous meeting - at Wimbledon in 1997 - in three sets on the slower grass surface. The hardcourts of New Haven provided a speedy tuneup to next week's U.S. Open, where Seles is seeded sixth.

"The key to this week is to try to find the balance between working really hard and not getting injured," Seles said.

She had a two-week layoff before the Pilot Pen due to a strained left forearm and said her timing was off.

"This is the first time I played points," she said. "It took me a while to get into it. I got off to a good start and then had a little bit of a letdown."

She went ahead 4-0 in the first set, breaking Brandi twice. Brandi broke back on the fifth game and held serve to pull to 4-2. Brandi managed just one point in the next game as Seles went up 5-2.

Brandi's hustle and net play extended the final game of the first set through six deuces, before sending a Seles return into the net.

Seles continued dominating from either side, muscling her cross-court winners and passing shots from her two-handed grip. She was up a quick two breaks and led 5-1, before Brandi took the next two. Seles served out quickly for the win, holding Brandi to a point in the final game.

"I was timing quite a few balls today. Her balls come in very flat, very low, so they're tough balls anyway," Seles said.

The second-seeded Seles is looking for her fourth win of the year. This is her fifth Pilot Pen appearance and she lost in the semifinals last year to eventual champ Venus Williams.

The top-seeded Williams played Elena Likhovtseva in a night match.

Patty Schnyder upset No. 8 seed Julie Halard-Decugis, 6-3, 7-5 (5) in match that rattled both with close calls.

Schnyder said she avoided hitting near the line because she was afraid a close call would go against her.

"I think there were a lot of bad calls," Schnyder said. "It was really hard to stay calm."

In other matches, Ai Sugiyama beat Jana Kandarr 6-4, 6-4 and Fabiola Zuluaga defeated Meilen Tu 7-5, 6-1.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss