STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VT., AUG. 4 -- Unseeded Greg Holmes beat second-seeded Jimmy Connors, 7-5, 7-5, in a first-round match of the Volvo International tennis tournament today.
"Basically, I didn't do anything out there to do anyone a bit of good, including myself," said Connors, who saved three match points before netting a volley that gave Holmes the victory.
Top-seeded Ivan Lendl beat Marc Flur, 6-4, 6-3; Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, seeded third, rallied past Kelly Evernden, 6-7 (7-2), 6-2, 6-4; and No. 4 John McEnroe beat Jonathan Canter, 6-3, 6-2.
Connors, 34, had difficulty adjusting to the 1,900-foot elevation atop Stratton Mountain after spending last week in Washington, where he was a semifinalist. His flat forehand repeatedly sailed long or wide.
Holmes, ranked No. 130, said living in Salt Lake City, "might have been an advantage because I just came from there and I'm used to the higher altitude, which really does make the ball fly . . . .The altitude favors someone who hits with a lot of top spin, like I do."
It was Connors' first opening-round loss since Robert Seguso beat him at 1986 Wimbledon. "I was a bit flat," said Connors. "But like a tire, just because I was flat today doesn't mean I'll be flat next week."
"It was a bit hard," said Lendl. "I didn't control the ball very well. It kept flying." But he said the 80-degree heat and high humidity were no problem "because in comparison to Washington, this is cold."