Monica Seles, unseeded in a WTA event for the first time since 1989 despite winning last Sunday in Oklahoma City, fought off four set points to defeat Silvija Talaja of Croatia 6-1, 7-6. Seles, back from five months off because of a stress fracture in her right foot, broke Talaja’s service in the 10th game of the second set and took a 6-5 lead with a game-ending ace. Talaja held service in the 12th game, starting with an ace on her first serve.
Talaja had set point at 6-3 in the tiebreaker but Seles tied it with three volley-ending shots, and again at 7-6 after what Seles called “the volley of a lifetime.”
After a long series of groundstrokes and great returns, Talaja floated a precise half-volley to Seles’ right. The left-handed Seles extended, lifted a backhand over the net, stunning Talaja and tying it again.
That shot was automatic,'' said Seles, who ended the match on an unforced error by Talaja and a crosscourt winner.That’s one of those shots that you just make. I didn’t see it land.”