Seles Hiccups But Gets By Cho

Sixth-seeded Monica Seles continued her quiet march through the main draw, recovering from a mid-match meltdown to record a third-round victory over Korea’s Yoon-Jeong Cho, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.

Seles, champion here in 1991 and 1992, looked like she was going to make quick work of the 106th-ranked Cho in the match in Arthur Ashe Stadium Saturday. Using her trademark sharp angles and a mix of deft drop shots, Seles broke Cho twice in the 23-minute first set and led, 5-1, in the second.

But the 23-year-old qualifier — who had never advanced beyond the first round in her two previous Open appearances — started to find her range. Cho engaged Seles in several long rallies and smacked some big forehand winners, breaking Seles as she served for the match at 5-2.

The American’s concentration then seemed to float away, along with the occasional gusts of wind that disrupted her service toss. A spate of errors — 21 for Seles to Cho’s 12 — saw the former champion drop the next six games and the set, 7-5.

A gutsy Cho could not hang on, as the 28-year-old Seles regained enough of her rhythm to take the third set with a pair of service breaks, including the final game. In the end, Cho, a steady baseliner who moves well, didn’t have the weapons to hurt the former world No. 1 when it counted. The match lasted 1 hour and 51 minutes.

Seles, 28, is appearing in her 12th Open but has not gone beyond the quarterfinals since 1996. She will face the winner of the Martina Hingis vs. Amanda Coetzer third-round match.