Wed, 24 Aug 1994

Yayuk reaches career high world ranking

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian number one women's tennis player Yayuk Basuki earned a morale booster for her U.S. Open campaign as she reached her career high world ranking, following her torrid showing at the just concluded Canadian Open.

The latest world rankings issued by the Women Tennis Association (WTA) on Monday moved up the 23-year-old Yayuk to 28 from her previous number of 34. Yayuk becomes the third Asian women player to be rated in the top 30, behind world number six Kimiko Date and number 25 Naoko Sawamatsu, both from Japan.

The Indonesian, who started her professional career in 1990, broke through the 30th in the world after taking the China Open crown in Beijing last February. Another victory on home soil at the Indonesia Open gave big serving Yayuk her only second title this year.

Yayuk beat Bulgarian tenth seed Magdalena Maleeva en route to entering the third round of the US$750,000 Canadian Open, the warm-up tournament for the Grand Slam championships in New York next week. Argentinean world number fifth Gabriela Sabatini, however, ended her stunning run with a 6-1, 6-4 win.

The grass court specialist also moved to the Wimbledon fourth round for the straight third time last June.

Yayuk has never gone farther than the second round in the U.S. Open since 1991. She retired early at the season-ending Grand Slam series last year, crashing to Belgian Sabine Appelman 5-7, 4-6. The Aug. 29 - Sept. 11 event will be Yayuk's last proving ground before donning the national colors at the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima this October.


The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) has planned to pit Yayuk against almost retired Martina Navratilova in a farewell tour here early next year. Navratilova, a major absentee at the U.S. Open, will retreat from singles competitions next year.

Pelti secretary general Eddy Katimansah said yesterday that the Women Tennis Council (WTC) had barred the proposal, saying that Navratilova should tackle a player of the same age or a player ranked not higher than 50 in the world.

The exhibition match was scheduled as a side dish of the $160,000 Indonesia Women's Open championships vying for Madame Soeharto Cup in January, where title holder Yayuk will be among seeded players.

The rating of the women's tournament, the fourth edition, will be accelerated, following negotiations with the Australian Tennis Federation (ATF). The tourney, formerly offered a total cash prize of $100,000, will replace the one held by ATF in Brisbane.

Indonesians will go on enjoying the tennis extravaganza as they celebrate their 50th anniversary with the $300,000 Indonesia Men's Open held just a day after the women's event.

"Hence, Pelti has decided not to organize and not to approve of any exhibition match," said Eddy, adding that long pipe-line tennis activities, including the World Doubles grand prix final championship, would prevail his mind.

Pelti also disagreed on another plan to pit Yayuk and Sabatini next month. (amd)