STANFORD, California (Reuters) – Monica Seles playing her first match for over two months, struggled initially before beating fellow American Meilen Tu 7-6 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Bank of the West Classic on Wednesday.
The number four seed, who saved two set points before clinching the first set in a tiebreak, said she had suffered no reaction to the foot injury that forced her to miss the French Open and Wimbledon .
I felt really good,'' she said.I started out pretty well and then got nervous. I had problems finding my range. I’ve been practicing but it’s so different in a match. But at least I eventually found my game and began to play better.”
The 27-year-old Seles said she had not considered retiring during her absence from the circuit.
It never crossed my mind,'' she said.I stayed in shape in other ways so once I could hit, I only needed two weeks to start playing competitively. It was more a frustration watching the Grand Slams.
“I was thinking, ‘Gosh I should be out there playing.’ It was really good for me to miss it that much and feel I really want to be out there. I’m as hungry as ever.”
Second seed Lindsay Davenport had few problems on her return to the tournament she has won twice, beating Italy’s Rita Grande 6-3 6-2.
In her first match since losing to Venus Williams in the Wimbledon semifinals, Davenport was far too strong for her opponent.
I played fine until the end of the match when I lost my concentration,'' she said.I love to play here and if I stay under control and concentrate, I do think I can win the title,”
In early action, American veteran Chanda Rubin overwhelmed Russian Elena Bovina 6-4 6-0 to advance to the quarter-finals.
American Lilian Osterloh also earned herself a last-eight berth with a 6-2 6-3 win over Sandra Cacic.
In first-round action, Australian Nicole Pratt overcame Tatiana Panova of Russia 3-6 7-6 7-5.