St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Raymond can't come back again

Associated Press
Published May 27, 2004

PARIS - Right up until the last point of her second-round loss Wednesday at the French Open, Lisa Raymond probably figured, "I still have a chance."

That's because of the monumental comeback the American fashioned in her opening match. The 28th-seeded Raymond trailed 6-0, 5-0 Monday before fighting all the way back to beat Lubomira Kurhajcova. The final score was 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.

On Wednesday, though, Raymond lost to unseeded Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-4, 6-0.

"I thought I had eight lives left, and I guess I didn't," said Raymond, who's entered in the doubles tournament with Martina Navratilova.

After Kurhajcova won the first 11 games Monday, she served for the match, and at 30-30 was within two points of completing a 6-0, 6-0 shutout. At that point, Raymond harbored no hopes of winning. Instead, she said, "I thought, "I don't want to be a statistic here - losing 0 and 0.' "

Raymond broke serve. But then, serving at 5-1 in the second set, she double-faulted twice to fall to 15-40. Those were the only two match points she faced. Raymond won the next 14 points and constructed a win.

"It should carry over as a positive, to know you have the heart to get into a hole like that and fight and claw your way back," she said after her loss Wednesday. "But I just wasn't there today."

BATTING .500: After a moment in the Grand Slam spotlight, Jerome Haehnel will return to the minor leagues.

The 271st-ranked Frenchman, whose first career match was a straight-set upset of Andre Agassi on opening day, fell to 1-1. He lost to Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

READY TO REST: Fabrice Santoro is ready for some rest.

He's already been on court for 113 games covering 9 hours, 54 minutes in two matches, including a 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Irakli Labadze on Wednesday.

His first-round victory over Arnaud Clement ended at 16-14 in the fifth set after more than 61/2 hours over two days - the longest match on record.

His secret to staying out there against Labadze? Don't try so hard on each and every point.

"When it was 30-love on his serve, I didn't try to catch up. When I thought he was playing well in the third set - he was leading 4-2 - I let him play," Santoro said. "But when I thought it was an important point, then I played 100 percent."

When Santoro called for a doctor because of cramping at a tense point in the match, he decided to lighten the mood.

"I thought I needed a joke to relax," Santoro said. "Well, I just said, 'I called you in to say goodbye, because I think I'm going to die."'

CHINA'S BREAKTHROUGH: Zheng Jie became the second Chinese woman to reach the third round at a Grand Slam by beating 31st-seeded Emilie Loit 6-4, 6-1.

Zheng had never won a match at a major before defeating Dally Randriantefy in the first round at Roland Garros on Monday.

The previous best showing by a woman from China at a Slam was Li Fang's run to the third round at the 1992 Australian Open. She also reached the second round at the 1994 French Open.

Zheng's next opponent: 86th-ranked Tathiana Garbin, who upset defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne 7-5, 6-4.

No Chinese woman ever has won a WTA Tour event.

"In China, many people love tennis, but not so many people are involved in tennis," Zheng said through a translator.

EASY START: Twins Bob and Mike Bryan opened defense of their doubles title and moved into the second round with little effort. Their opponents, Johan Landsberg and Robin Soderling, quit in the first set because Soderling injured his left hip. The Bryans led 5-0.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.