Second-seeded Monica Seles powered her way into the quarterfinals with a straight-set win over fellow Floridian Kristina Brandi.
Seles’ 98 mph ace closed out the 6-2, 6-3 victory, but it was the zip on her pin-point groundstrokes all afternoon that kept Brandi on her heels.
Seles won their only previous meeting — at Wimbledon in 1997 — in three sets on the slower grass surface. The hardcourts of New Haven provided a speedy tuneup to next week’s U.S. Open, where Seles is seeded sixth.
“The key to this week is to try to find the balance between working really hard and not getting injured,” Seles said.
She had a two-week layoff before the Pilot Pen due to a strained left forearm and said her timing was off.
This is the first time I played points,'' she said.It took me a while to get into it. I got off to a good start and then had a little bit of a letdown.”
Seles is looking for her fourth win of the year. This is her fifth Pilot Pen appearance and she lost in the semifinals last year to Williams.