Novotna Wins 11th Straight, Defeats Basuki In Advanta Semifinals
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) _ Jana Novotna will play for her third tournament title in two months after beating Indonesia’s Yayuk Basuki 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals Saturday at the Advanta Championships.
Third-seeded Novotna extended her winning streak to 11 matches with solid groundstrokes and crisp volleys against another serve-and-volleyer.
She will face Sunday the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal, which pitted No. 1 Steffi Graf against Marianne Werdel Witmeyer, who has upset two tournament seeds.
Like her second-round match against Lori McNeil, Novotna found herself racing to beat Basuki to the net. In the first set, Basuki got there first more often, but couldn’t put the points away. Novotna broke the 33rd-ranked Basuki at love in the first set when Basuki slapped one shot into the net and two others long.
Novotna didn’t waste any time breaking Basuki in the second set, though she had to work harder. Basuki staved off two break points, but then punched a passing shot into the net as Novotna sprinted forward. She broke her twice more to go up 4-1 and win the match, each time on an errant Basuki volley.
Novotna won her most recent tournaments at Zurich and Chicago, and is among the few top-ranked women still fresh in a season that ran long with Olympic and Federation Cup competition. In fact, she said she’s not even ready for the season to end after next week’s Chase Championships.
She cruised to the semifinals, beating 1995 Advanta finalist McNeil and Anne Miller. Basuki beat Russian Anna Kournikova and Kimberly Po easily, then came from behind to down local favorite Lisa Raymond in three sets.
Graf, the tournament’s defending champion, a winner of her last six Grand Slams, has struggled with a knee injury and personal turmoil amid her father’s trial in Germany for tax evasion. She whipped Amy Frazier and Chanda Rubin Thursday and Friday in her first two matches since early October.
Witmeyer, ranked 114th in the world, used a powerful forehand to upset No. 5 Anke Huber and No. 12 Barbara Paulus to advance.
The winner of Sunday’s final collects $79,000.