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Schett Upset in New Zealand Tennis

January 6, 1998

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) _ Unseeded Julie Halard-Decugis of France put a year of injuries behind her to upset fourth-seeded Barbara Schett of Austria in the New Zealand Classic women’s tennis tournament Tuesday.

Schett was one of two seeds to fall on the second day at Stanley Street with fifth seed Sandra Kleinova of the Czech Republic losing to Christina Torrens-Valero of Spain 6-4, 6-4.

However, Halard-Decugis’ performance _ a 6-0, 7-5 win _ was more notable after she was stricken by knee, shoulder and wrist injuries that restricted her to only one appearance last year.

She played in Tokyo where she lost her first-round singles match to Natalia Zvereva before teaming with American Chandra Rubin to make the final of the doubles there.

Halard-Decugis said having no form coming into the tournament meant she had to put up a good showing.

``I had to play aggressively and I’m very happy with the result because Barbara is a very good player,″ she said. ``It is good to be able to come back and know I can beat players in the top 40.″

Tournament third seed Dominique van Roost of Belgium had little trouble in accounting for Italian Francesca Lubiani, winning 6-3, 6-3.

In other matches, Christina Torrens-Valero of Spain beat fifth-seeded Sandra Kleinova of Czech Republic 6-4 6-4, Anne Miller of the United States downed Miho Saeki of Japan 6-4, 6-4 and American Sandra Cacic beat Adriana Gersi of Czech Republic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

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