Chris Evert Lloyd ended more than two years of frustration Sunday, defeating Martina Navratilova, 6-2, 6-4, to win a $150,000 women's tennis tournament at Key Biscayne, Fla.
It was the first time in the last 13 matches between the players that Lloyd was able to beat the world's No. 1-ranked women's player. And it was the first time Navratilova has lost in straight sets since 1981.
Lloyd, ranked No. 2, last beat Navratilova in December, 1982, when she scored a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 victory in the final of the Australian Open.
Lloyd's victory evened their lifetime series at 31 wins each.
"I was a little afraid after the first set," Lloyd said following the 66-minute match, "because I don't think I've ever played that well in my life."
The loss was the first for Navratilova since her record winning streak was ended at 74 matches by Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia in the semifinals of last month's Australian Open, and only her seventh loss since 1982. She had a 54-match winning streak ended by Hana Mandlikova in January, 1984.
"What can I say, I just had a bad day in the office," said Navratilova. "I never got into a rhythm. When I'm not hitting 50% of my (first) serves, I can't play serve and volley. I was missing a lot of balls by inches, but I was missing a lot of balls by 10 feet.
"I think this is probably the best she has ever played against me. I don't think I would have been able to win if I was playing a little better, but at least I could have made it interesting."
The match was played on a cement court before a standing-room crowd of more than 4,000. The last time Lloyd beat Navratilova on cement was in 1978 at Palm Springs.
Lloyd, who earned first-place money of $23,000, said: "Beating Martina is the important thing for me after so long. I have had my chances against her the past few times we have played and it's been very frustrating that I haven't been able to beat her."
At Philadelphia, top-seeded John McEnroe, shrugging off a knee injury, rallied to beat Miloslav Mecir, 6-3, 7-6, 6-1, and win his fourth straight U.S. Pro Indoor championship.
McEnroe twisted his right knee while hitting his first serve at 30-40 in the second game of the second set. He double-faulted on the point, losing his serve. He lost his serve again in the sixth game to lose, 5-1.
But McEnroe ignored the injury and came back to take the next four games and the set eventually went to a tiebreaker.
McEnroe also changed his style of play against the 20-year-old Czech, who had upset second-seeded Jimmy Connors on Saturday. The strategy apparently worked.
"I decided to stay back and rally, and I think it threw him (Mecir) off," McEnroe said.