Mary Pierce seemed to have everything going for her: momentum, homecourt advantage and a new happy-go-lucky attitude.
But on a day Spain celebrated a historic double at Roland Garros, Pierce was soundly beaten 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday by Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the final of the French Open."I was tense," said Pierce, playing in her first Grand Slam final. "I wanted to win too much. I was taking everything too seriously. Up until now, I have just been enjoying myself, but today I was too nervous."
While the 19-year-old Pierce failed in her bid to become the first French woman to win the championship in 27 years, Sanchez and Sergi Bruguera became the first Spaniards to sweep the titles at a Grand Slam event.
As King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain looked on, Bruguera defended his men's title by downing countryman Alberto Berasategui 6-3, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 in an uninspiring match between one-dimensional clay-court players.
Sanchez Vicario looked forward to the celebrations back home.
"It is going to be crazy," she said. "When we go back, the airport is going to be crowded with people."
Both finals were played on the same day because the women's match was suspended by rain Saturday after just 17 minutes of play. It was the first time since 1979, when both finals were scheduled on separate days for the first time, that the two title matches were staged together.
Throughout the tournament, Pierce exhibited a joie de vivre that contrasted sharply with the sad, troubled teen-ager who was best known as the daughter of Jim Pierce, banned from her life and women's tennis because of his abusive behavior.
Now coached by Nick Bollettieri, Pierce reached the final while losing only 10 games in six matches, a French Open record. She was coming off a semifinal rout over once-invincible Steffi Graf and was enjoying her new superstar status in France.
But Pierce couldn't cope with Sanchez Vicario, the 1989 French Open champion who is probably the quickest and best defensive player in the game.
The match provided a perfect contrast of styles: the tall, blond, angular Pierce, hitting for winners at every opportunity; and the short, dark, Sanchez Vicario, running everything down, floating back lobs, mixing up the pace. The attacker vs. the counter-puncher.
Pierce hurt herself by committing 51 unforced errors, compared to 30 for Sanchez Vicario.
"She gets a lot of balls back," Pierce said. "She also fights a lot. She never gives you any free points. She doesn't attack very much, but when she has her chances, she will attack."
But both players agreed that the most important factor was Sanchez Vicario's edge in experience. The 22-year-old Spaniard was playing in her fourth Grand Slam final.
"I think she handled all the circumstances and situations better than I did," Pierce said.
"I knew how to handle it," Sanchez Vicario said. "There was a lot of pressure for her. I was more ready mentally than she was today."
Virtually the only mistake Sanchez Vicario made was in her victory speech. Speaking in English, she thanked the queen of Spain for supporting her, even though it was the king who had watched her match. The queen arrived later for the men's final.
The match started where the players left off Saturday evening - with Pierce ahead 2-1 and holding a break point. Pierce converted immediately by ripping a backhand winner to go up 3-1.
The next game proved to be pivotal. It lasted 16 minutes, went to deuce six times, and offered three game points for Pierce and four break points for the Spaniard. Sanchez Vicario, who repeatedly made great defensive gets and lobs, finally won the game.
Instead of being up 4-1, it was 3-2 for Pierce. Sanchez Vicario then won the next game for 3-3, giving her the momentum to take the set.
"Those were two very tough games for me to lose, and that has been the difference - the important points, the close points when it counts," Pierce said. "I have been winning those, and today Arantxa did."
Both players had trouble holding serve in the second set. Sanchez gained the advantage by breaking for 4-3. Three games later, she served out the match. When Pierce's backhand flew wide on the second match point, Sanchez Vicario let out a scream of delight, dropped her racket and held up her arms in triumph.
At the trophy ceremony, Pierce shared a long hug with Francoise Durr, the last French woman to win here in 1967. She then thanked her mother, brother, cousins, aunts and coaches - everyone but her father. And she singled out Bollettieri "for being with me through the hard times."
The men's match featured players with similar styles. Both stayed far behind the baseline and traded groundstrokes in long rallies, with little variation.
The crowd seemed indifferent, almost disinterested. When the match ended after 2 hours, 22 minutes, there was only muted applause from the fans.
After winning the first set handily, Bruguera came back from a 1-4 deficit to win the second. Bruguera suffered a letdown in the third set, but came out rejuvenated in the fourth and raced to a 4-0 lead. He broke for the match in the seventh game, forcing Berasategui into a backhand error.
Berasategui, who said he was more nervous meeting the king than playing in the final, slammed 22 winners off his unique forehand - hit with the same face of the racket as his backhand. But those winners were more than wiped out by his 65 unforced errors.
"To control the forehand of Alberto, I think it is almost impossible," Bruguera said. "But you don't have to be afraid of one shot. The other players were so afraid of Alberto, they almost lost even before they played. I know how to play him and I know his weaknesses and that helped me a little bit."
Berasategui had reached the final without losing a set. He was the first unseeded finalist since 1986 and was trying to become the first non-seeded player to win since Mats Wilander in 1982.
"My dream came true for me," he said. "I never thought of making the final here."
Spain captured a third title Sunday when Jacobo Diaz won the junior boys' event. The junior girls' title went to 13-year-old Martina Hingis of Switzerland, who won for the second year in a row and also captured the girls' doubles title.
Former U.S. college stars Jonathan Stark and Byron Black won the men's doubles, beating Sweden's Jan Apell and Jonas Bjorkman 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). In women's doubles, Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva combined for their eighth Grand Slam title by beating Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond 6-2, 6-2.
Dutch players Kristie Boogert and Menno Oosting won the mixed doubles, defeating Larisa Neiland of Latvia and Andrei Olhovskiy of Russia, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.