Zvereva, Fernandez bow out Doubles loss ends Grand Slam streak


C NEW YORK -- There will be no Grand Slam this year for the top-ranked women's doubles team of Natalia Zvereva and Gigi Fernandez. And there will be yet another day of tennis for the No. 2 seeds, Helena Sukova and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

Sukova and Sanchez Vicario stopped a run of six Grand Slam doubles titles for Zvereva and Fernandez with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in last night's U.S. Open semifinal. Sukova and Sanchez Vicario will play the ninth-seeded team of Amanda Coetz

er and Ines Gorrochategui in today's noon final.

"I think it's just another loss," said Fernandez. "We knew we won six Grand Slams in a row. We have to be proud of what we accomplished."

The loss prevented Zvereva and Fernandez from becoming the first women's double team since Pam Shriver of Lutherville, Md., and Martina Navratilova to win the Grand Slam in doubles in 1984. Fernandez said the fact that they had waited more than five days since their last match played into the defeat.

Asked how much she thought about the match and the Grand Slam, Fernandez said, "About 24 hours a day."

The victory was of some consolation for Sukova, who earlier in the day lost to Steffi Graf in the women's final, and for Sanchez

Vicario, who

lost to her doubles partner in Friday's semifinals.

After breaking their serve to go ahead 4-3 in the third set, %J Sukova nearly opened the door for Zvereva and Fernandez to get back into the match in the final game. But after missing two volleys on the first two points, Sanchez Vicario served out the match.

"I think the advantage we had was that all the pressure was on them," said Sukova, who won the mixed doubles title Friday with Todd Woodbridge of Australia. "When the match got tight, they felt the pressure."

Said Fernandez: "I think we got a little tight when it got to 4-3. There were some nerve involved. Our level definitely dropped from the first set to the second and the third."

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