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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Slow Footwork Troubles 'Lucky' Graf


MANHATTAN BEACH, California -- Steffi Graf, her footwork slow but her forehand sharp, defeated Amy Frazier 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the $450,000 Acura Classic.

Frazier, who won the tournament in 1994, consistently played to Graf's lethal forehand Thursday. The strategy backfired.

Graf, the top seed, broke serve in the third and fifth games of the second set to lead 5-1. Frazier, the No. 8 seed, held serve once more before Graf served out the 62-minute match.

"The match was a little closer in the beginning. She started missing a lot of shots that came very close to the line," Graf said. "If they'd have gone in, it would've been a different story."

With the first set 3-3, Graf broke Frazier with a forehand winner and then served out the set.

"I was lucky," Graf said. "These courts are much faster than at the U.S. Open, but I've got one more week to prepare."

Anke Huber of Germany struggled past Florencia Labat of Argentina 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2 in a third-round match.

Huber, seeded second and ranked fifth in the world, needed more than two hours to eliminate Labat. After losing a tiebreaker in the second set, Huber got back on track in the third set.

"The third set was the best set," Huber said. "I was much better from the baseline, and I had more control. Overall, I can't say it was a great match."

Huber next faces No. 6 Irina Spirlea of Romania in the quarters. Spirlea advanced by beating No. 9 Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-4, 6-2.

In other quarterfinals Friday, No. 3 Kimiko Date of Japan will play No. 7 Karina Habsudova and No. 4 Lindsay Davenport will meet No. 5 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa.

Date advanced Thursday with a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Sandrine Testud of France; Habsudova beat Kimberly Po 6-2, 6-3; Davenport downed No. 11 Natasha Zvereva of Belarus 7-5, 6-2, and Coetzer eliminated Shi-Ting Wang of Taiwan 6-2, 6-1.


Australian teenager Mark Philippoussis claimed another famous victim by using his huge serve to oust third-seeded former world No. 1 Jim Courier at the Pilot Pen International.

Philippoussis, 19, reached the quarter-finals of this $1 million event with a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3) third-round victory Thursday.

"It was very important for my confidence to win this match because I haven't had a win like this in a long while," said 14th seed Philippoussis, whose last big-time victim was Andre Agassi in the third round of the Australian Open.

"Serving well in both tiebreakers was the key for me."

Another Australian nearly made it a glorious day for the underdogs, but unseeded Patrick Rafter fell just short.

Second-seeded Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands, the Wimbledon champion, was forced to rally from 4-1 behind in the third set before turning back Rafter 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

In the day's other surprise, 12th-seeded Daniel Vacek of Czech Republic easily eliminated fifth seed Marcelo Rios of Chile 6-1, 6-1.

Top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the French Open champion, also had an easy advance. The young Russian needed only 77 minutes to beat 15th-seeded Italian Andrea Gaudenzi 6-1, 6-4. ()

(For other results, see Scorecard.)