YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Lendl's Serve Doesn't Give Mayotte a Chance to Get Into the Match

April 15, 1985| Associated Press

DALLAS — Ivan Lendl's serve Sunday was like a Nolan Ryan fastball: untouchable.

The Czechoslovakian won his second Buick WCT Finals title and $150,000 with a blistering serve that had America's Tim Mayotte spellbound.

"It was powerful, accurate and dominating," Mayotte said. "He got in so many first serves I had no chance."

Lendl, who had nine aces, agreed his serve was unstoppable in the 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

"I felt very confident in my serve," Lendl said. "It is back to where it was three or four years ago in speed, placement and consistency. I had some arm problems for awhile but now they have gone away. I served very well and it put a lot of pressure on Tim. It was a good victory."

Mayotte, the 1981 NCAA champion from Stanford, said he couldn't feel bad because Lendl played so well.

"Right now he's just a better player," Mayotte said.

(Tonight, Lendl, the world's No. 2 player, will face the world's No. 1 player, John McEnroe, in a Challenge Series exhibition at the Forum, following a 6 p.m. match between Aaron Krickstein and Ilie Nastase.

(McEnroe, who had planned to attend tonight's Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns fight in Las Vegas, agreed to fill in for Jimmy Connors Saturday afternoon after Connors aggravated a back injury in his WCT semifinal match against Lendl.)

On the way to his victory Sunday, Lendl received two double-fault gifts at critical times from Mayotte, who is ranked 16th in the world and received $80,000 as runner-up.

The hard-fought first set lasted more than an hour with Lendl winning the tiebreaker, 7-4. Lendl broke Mayotte's service in the fourth game, but Mayotte came back right back with a break in the fifth game. Lendl, who had a 6-0 record against Mayotte going into the championship match, became so frustrated at one point that he banged his racket into the net and was constantly talking to himself.

However, Mayotte, who was seeking the biggest payday in his career, double-faulted on the sixth point of the tiebreaker, opening the way for Lendl to win the first set.

Lendl's driving serve hit the untouchable stage in the second set. He served six straight love games while Mayotte double-faulted again at a critical time to lose his service in the ninth game. Mayotte hotly contested the call, but umpire Leon Lipp wouldn't overrule it.

Mayotte's service collapsed in the third set. Netted first serves and two more double-faults made it easy for Lendl to break service in the third, fifth, and sixth games.

It was a far better showing than Mayotte had ever made against Lendl, the 1984 French Open champion. Mayotte had only won two sets in the previous six meetings against Lendl.

Lendl, who won the WCT Finals in 1982, came into the match after getting a second-set default on Saturday in the semifinals from Jimmy Connors, whose bad back flared up again.

Mayotte had a tough four-set victory over Joakim Nystrom.

Los Angeles Times Articles