WIMBLEDON, England -- Before this year, Britain's Samantha Smith had never won a match at Wimbledon.
But yesterday, Smith pulled off a major third-round upset, defeating 1994 champion and No. 8 seed Conchita Martinez, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
RTC "I've got a lot more confidence and self-belief that I can go out there and win these matches," Smith said.
She showed that confidence against Martinez, beating her experienced opponent on virtually all the tough points and driving her right out of Wimbledon.
Martinez said she was appalled by her performance, because she was up 4-1 in the opening set before it was delayed by darkness Friday. When the match resumed yesterday, she had lost her spark.
Asked what went wrong, she said: "Pretty much everything.
"I played really, really badly," Martinez said. "I didn't return well. I couldn't break her serve. I was really rushed."
Martinez added that she "should have won in two sets easy."
"If I was there, I think I am much more superior and I have a good game," she said. "But I felt I was not there."
The constant interruption of play during Wimbledon's first week has taken its toll on many of the competitors, who constantly have to warm up in anticipation that the rain will stop.
But most of the tour veterans have adapted.
Reigning champion and No. 1 women's seed Martina Hingis defeated Elena Likhovtseva, 6-2, 6-1. In the round of 16, Hingis will meet Tamarine Tanasugarn, a 6-4, 6-0 winner over Cara Black.
No. 6 Monica Seles overcame a few rain delays and defeated Yayuk Basuki, 6-2, 6-3. In the next round, Seles will meet No. 14 Sandrine Testud, who defeated her in the third round here last year.
It took Chanda Rubin three days to complete her remarkable second-round win over Tara Snyder, 3-6, 7-5, 11-9. Next up for Rubin is a third-round match against No. 7 Venus Williams.
If Williams wins that match, she could next face her younger sister, Serena, whose third-round opponent is Virginia Ruano Pascual.
Pub Date: 6/28/98