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Injured Kournikova Exits German Open

May 10, 2000

BERLIN (AP) _ Russia’s Anna Kournikova made a dramatic exit Wednesday at the German Open, losing in two hours to Spain’s Gala Leon Garcia after writhing in pain with an injured ankle.

The teen-ager, seeded seventh, drew 7,500 spectators to center court but was beaten by the clay court specialist, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Trailing 4-5 in the final set of the $1.08 million event, Kournikova took a backhand swing and fell to the ground grabbing an ankle.

Kournikova got up and resumed play, but Leon Garcia closed out the match on the next point. That ended a nearly 2 1/2-hour match in which Kournikova twice lay on the court from injuries.

Earlier, she was treated for arm stiffness. That came after she warded off Leon Garcia’s first match point at 30-40.

Kournikova will undergo further examination for the ankle, but has dropped out of the doubles.

Before the injuries, Kournikova kept the crowd entertained by mixing spectacular shots and wild misses against Leon Garcia, ranked 54 places beneath her at 68th.

The Russian squandered five set points against the Spaniard in the second set, attempting to blast winners before finally landing one _ a forehand down the line.

The tournament, whose field already has been depleted by withdrawals and upsets, lost some more big names when world No. 3 Nathalie Tauziat of France, compatriot Amelie Mauresmo and Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario were beaten.

South Africa’s Joannette Kruger downed the second-seeded Tauziat 6-2, 6-0; Argentina’s Paola Suarez beat Mauresmo 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Russia’s Elena Dementieva defeated Sanchez-Vicario 4-6, 5-7, 6-2.

Lindsay Davenport chose not to enter and Serena Williams withdrew with a leg injury, removing some of the toughest competitors for top-ranked defending champion Martina Hingis.

France’s Sandrine Testud, seeded fifth, advanced to the third round, defeating American Corina Morariu 6-1, 7-6 (2), while eighth-seeded German Anke Huber struggled to beat Spain’s Angeles Montolio 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

``I got off to a slow start,″ said Huber, who had an 11-match winning streak snapped by Martina Hingis in the semifinals of last week’s Betty Barclay Cup.

Alexandra Stevenson of the United States and 15th-seeded Ruxandra Dragomir were both beaten, but 17-year-old Blanka Lamade of Germany delighted the spectators with her second straight upset, beating 14th-seeded Sabine Appelmans of Belgium.

Lamade, a wild card entry ranked 568th, beat Appelmans 6-3, 6-1 while showing off some powerful ground strokes and keeping the world No. 26 off balance with drop shots.

Playing only her fourth WTA event, Lamade had beaten 55th-ranked Irina Spirlea of Romania in the first round.

``I had nothing to lose against Appelmans,″ Lamade said. ``I’m playing tennis for fun, not money.″

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