Seles and Graf Win; Novotna and Sanchez Vicario Upset

Villanova, PA (TSN) – Steffi Graf and fifth-seeded Monica Seles were among the winners on Wednesday at the Advanta Championships in suburban Philadelphia, but third-seeded Jana Novotna and number-four seed Arantxa Sanchez Vicario were upset. Martina Hingis, the defending champion and second seed, was a second-round winner on Wednesday.

Graf earned a first-round win over Mary Joe Fernandez, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). Graf, who won last week in Germany for her second tournament win of 1998, is unseeded at this event. She will face another unseeded player in Elena Likhovtseva in the second round on Thursday.

Seles also cruised to a first-round win over Irina Spirlea, 6-3, 6-4, and will face Ai Sugiyama in the second round on Thursday. The only other first-round match on Wednesday saw sixth-seeded Nathalie Tauziat capture a 6-3, 6-2 win over Anke Huber.

The upsets came in the second round, Novotna and Sanchez Vicario each fell in straight sets. Natasha Zvereva defeated Novotna, the 1998 Wimbledon champ, 6-4, 6-4, while Amanda Coetzer knocked off Sanchez Vicario, 6-4, 6-1.

Both Novotna and Sanchez Vicario were given byes into the second round, as was Hingis. The layoff didn’t affect the defending champion, who easily beat a weaker opponent than the other two upset victims faced with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Brie Rippner.

In addition to the Seles and Graf second-round matches on Thursday, Tauziat will face Lisa Raymond and seventh-seeded Patty Schnyder will take on Amy Frazier. Raymond, Schnyder and Frazier all won their first-round matches on Monday.