HOUSTON -- Top-seeded Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert Lloyd may have thought they were taking a break from competitive singles with a mixed doubles match against Pablo and Laura Arraya.
But Thursday's win, 7-5, 6-4, in the first round of the $400,000 world mixed doubles championship left Connors impressed with the Argentine brother-sister team.
'They had good ground stokes,' said Connors. 'They just stayed back and waled away at the ball. If the ball stays in it stays in, if it goes out it goes way out.'
Evert Lloyd said she has cut down on doubles competition. 'I think if I played doubles very often, I would have been burned out on tennis a long time ago,' she said. 'I usually play doubles one out of every four or five tournaments.'
Carling Bassett and Eric Korita, a late replacement for Jimmy Arias who dropped out because of a strep throat, defeated the team of Raffaella Reggi and Tim Mayotte 6-4, 6-1 in a match that lasted only 47 minutes.
Korita's booming serve paced his team to a 6-4, 6-1 win over Reggi-Mayotte in a match that lasted only 47 minutes.
Ilie Nastase and Lisa Bonder defeated Melissa Brown and Owen Davidson 7-5, 6-4 in another first round match. Brown suffered a service break in the 11th game of her match to allow Bonder and Nastase to grab a 1-0 lead in sets. But it was a service break of Davidson in the ninth game of the second set that allowed Bonder and Nastese to claim the match.
Connors said he had been out of mixed doubles contention thanks mostly to Nastase.
'I abandonned playing doubles in 1975,' Connors said. 'With Nasty (Nastase) as my partner we got fined so much that I couldn't afford to play it anymore.'
Betsy Nagelsen and Butch Walts were taken to three sets before posting a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 triumph over Elizabeth Sayers and hometown favorite Sherwood Stewart.
Nagelsen and Walts grabbed a 4-0 lead in the third set and held service to record to 6-2 victory. Sayers was also broken in the first set, losing the seventh game while the Nagelsen-Walts team converted their serves into wins.
Bonder and Nastase will face Zina Garrison and Sammy Giammalva in a quarter-final match Friday while Nagelsen and Walts advanced to a match against fourth-seeded Billy Jean King and Peter Fleming.