Seles and Williams advance to third round

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The Independent Online

Monica Seles and Serena Williams, the two top seeds, today outclassed their opponents, Miroslava Vavrinec and Tamarine Tanasugarn, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo.

Monica Seles and Serena Williams, the two top seeds, today outclassed their opponents, Miroslava Vavrinec and Tamarine Tanasugarn, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo.

Seles, the Olympic bronze medalist in Sydney, beat her Swiss opponent, a qualifier, 6-4, 6-4.

Seles had trouble with her serve, and the 22-year-old Vavrinec bothered the world's former No. 1 player with some good angled serves, forehand corners and crosscourts, breaking the top seed once - in the third game of the second set. Seles is left-handed.

"I had difficulty moving. I was slow to react," said Seles of the angular serve. "I had a lot of opportunities to break her but didn't capitalize on them. Her serve became more of a weapon."

In the first set alone, Seles couldn't convert four break points in the first game and had three break points slip away in the third.

In their only previous match in the 1999 Toyota Princess, Seles beat Vavrinec 6-1, 6-0 in the round of 16 players.

"I don't remember the match from last year. Today I played better on key points. Otherwise it was a very close match," Seles said.

Williams, who won the Sydney Olympic doubles gold with her sister Venus, ousted her opponent from Thailand 6-1, 6-4, with a big serve of five aces, big ground shots and sharpshooting down the line.

"I've felt sick last week in the Olympics. I got caught a cold but I didn't take any flu medicine because I was afraid that they're doing anti-doping tests and I was afraid that they might catch me with something," said Williams.

"And I ended up getting really sick. So my conditioning out of 10 is about maybe seven. Usually I'm up there at 10 but I'm not where I want to be," she said, coughing a couple of times during the interview.

"And out of 10 I give myself, my performance, today maybe about a five at the most, or four and half."

Other singles winners of the day were American Amy Frazier, sixth-seeded, who advanced to the third round with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Angeles Montolio of Spain, and wild card Shinobu Asagoe, who beat her Japanese compatriot Yuka Yoshida 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the last first-round match of the tournament.

"I played really well and I am very happy," said the world's 23rd-ranked Frazier. "But Montolio didn't play her best tennis and made more unforced errors than she usually does."

"I was happy with the way I returned and my ground shots were my best shots today. In my next match I play either Bedanova or Mauresmo, I haven't played either of them before and I'm sure that it's going to be a difficult match regardless," Frazier said.

Amelie Mauresmo of France meets Daja Bedanova, a qualifier from the Czech Republic, in a second-round match on Thursday.

In the doubles quarterfinals, the American pair of Seles and Martina Navratilova lost 7-6 (5), 6-2 to the fourth-seeded pair of Australian Jelena Dokic and Corina Morariu of the United States.

Results from the $535,000 Toyota Princess Cup women's tennis tournament at Ariake Colosseum (seedings in parenthesis):

Singles First Round

Shinobu Asagoe, Japan, def. Yuka Yoshida, Japan, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Second Round

Amy Frazier (5), United States, def. Angeles Montolio, Spain, 6-0, 6-1. Julie Halard-Decugis (4), France, def. Nicole Pratt, Australia, 6-1, 6-3. Monica Seles (1), United States, def. Miroslava Vavrinec, Switzerland, 6-4, 6-4. Serena Williams (2), United States, def. Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand, 6-1, 6-4.

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Doubles First Round

Amelie Mauresmo, France, and Nicole Pratt, Australia, def. Annabel Ellwood, Australia, and Rika Hiraki, Japan, 6-1, 7-6 (3).

Quarterfinals

Jelena Dokic, Australia, and Corina Morariu, United States (4), def. Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles, United States, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

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