Graf Overwhelms Sabatini

"New York Times"

MELBOURNE, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 26 (AP) -- Steffi Graf, the
defending champion, turned on her awesome power after a shaky start
today and overwhelmed Gabriela Sabatini, 6-3, 6-0, in the Australian
Open to reach her eighth straight Grand Slam final.

After Graf broke for 2-all in the first set, Sabatini won only 14
points the rest of the match. Graf won all but 8 points in the second
set, which lasted only 19 minutes.

"Gaby was not physically there today," said Graf. "She wasn't moving
as fast as she can. I was fully there. I wanted to win very badly."

        Going for 5th Straight Slam

Graf, who hasn't lost a set in the tournament, will go for her fifth
consecutive Grand Slam title Saturday against fifth-seeded Helena
Sukova, who downed unseeded Belinda Cordwell of New Zealand, 7-6, 4-6,
6-2, in an earlier semifinal.

Sabatini defeated Graf twice last year, but those are the Argentine's
only victories over her West German teen-age rival in 17 meetings.

"I couldn't do anything today," said Sabatini, now 0-5 against Graf in
Grand Slam matches. "She moved me around and I couldn't run. She made
no mistakes in the second set, but I let her play that way."

Sukova overcame her erratic ground strokes to reach her third Grand
Slam final in a match filled with 56 unforced errors, 15 double
faults, and 11 service breaks, including four straight in the opening



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