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Martinez advances in Bank of the West

July 23, 1997

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ Sixth-seeded Conchita Martinez defeated Siobhan Drake Brockman 6-3, 6-2 Tuesday in the opening round of the Bank of the West Classic.

Martinez, the 25-year-old Spaniard who was ranked second in the world in August 1996, ran off 10 straight points in the second set.

The 1994 Wimbledon champion, who has fallen to No. 11 in the world, was playing her first match under new coach Gabriel Urpi, a former Spanish Davis Cup player. The victory improved her record this season to 23-10.

Drake Brockman, a 19-year-old Australian who is ranked No. 132 in the world, double faulted four times in the first set and continually hit into the net as Martinez used an array of spin and drop shots to keep her on the baseline.

Martinez will face Amy Barker in Thursday’s second round. Barker beat Naoko Kijimuta of Japan 4-6, 6-0, 6-0.

Seventh-seeded Kim Po, the only other seeded player in action Tuesday, eliminated Miriam Schnitzer of Germany 6-4, 6-2.

Po, the 15th-ranked player in the world, takes on Japan’s Ai Sugiyama Thursday in the second round.

Top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Martina Hingis begins singles play Wednesday against Magdelena Maleeva of Bulgaria, who won the tournament in 1995.

Maleeva, who has fallen from fourth in the world in January 1996 to 40th entering the tournament, defeated Canada’s Jana Nejedly 6-0, 6-3 Tuesday.

Hingis, the 16-year-old who won Wimbledon last month, is 46-1 this season. She beat Monica Seles 6-2, 6-0 in the 1996 Bank of the West finals.

Hingis tuned up Tuesday by teaming with Lindsay Davenport to beat Debbie Graham and Rita Grande 6-2, 6-4 in a first-round doubles match. Hingis and Davenport are seeded first in the doubles.

Grande, of Italy, won her first-round singles match 6-4, 7-6 (6-3) over Olga Barabanschikova of Belarus to earn a shot at the second-seeded Seles on Thursday.

In other first-round matches Tuesday, Sandra Cacic beat Ann Grossman 6-2, 6-2 and Meilen Tu ousted Erika deLone 7-6, 5-7, 6-0. Tu takes on third-seeded Amanda Coetzer in the second round Wednesday, while Cacic will play the fourth-seeded Davenport.

The $450,000 tournament, in its 27th year, is at Stanford for the first time after previously being held in San Francisco and Oakland. It continues through Sunday and the singles champion earns $79,000.

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