New York, NY (TSN) – Irina Spirlea and Dominique Van Roost pulled off two first-round upsets on Monday in the $2,000,000 Chase Championship at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Spirlea knocked off Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the fourth seed, in straight sets. The first set went to a tiebreak, with Sanchez Vicario coming back from 6-4 to tie it at 6-6. Spirlea then rattled off two straight points to win 7-6 (8-6). Spirlea dominated the second set, winning 6-1 to advance. <>Van Roost defeated seventh-seeded Conchita Martinez in two sets to earn a berth in the second round. After escaping the first set, 7-6 (9-7), Van Roost cruised in the second with a 6-2 win.
Tuesday’s first-round action has second seed Martina Hingis battling compatriot Patty Schnyder, third seed and defending champion Jana Novotna taking on Steffi Graf and number-eight Nathalie Tauziat meeting Natasha Zvereva.
Graf, who has won 10 straight matches and two titles in a row since returning from wrist surgery, is a five-time winner at this event. She captured the season-ending tournament in 1987, ’89, ’93, ’95 and ’96.
Top seed Lindsay Davenport, fifth-seeded Monica Seles and number-six Mary Pierce will take to the court for the first time on Wednesday. Seles has won this tournament three times (1990-92).
Top prize is worth $500,000.