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Tennis Roundup : Too Many Aces: Lendl Wins the $150,000 Pot

January 12, 1986|From Times Wire Services

A powerful serve carried top-seeded Ivan Lendl to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Jimmy Connors Saturday in the singles final of the $500,000 AT&T Challenge at Atlanta.

Lendl had 13 aces and 10 other service winners in the match, which earned him $150,000. He never lost a service game and broke the service of Connors twice in each set. The match lasted 1 hour 31 minutes.

Connors, who entered the tournament seeded fourth and collected a $100,000 second-place check, won his share of the long rallies but was unable to keep Lendl's service in play often enough.

The doubles final was won by the Swedish team of Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd. They downed Americans Kevin Curren and Mark Dickson, 7-6, 5-7, 6-2.

"I was very happy with the way I served today. It's the first time I felt 100% all week," Lendl said.

"I felt so good and so loose I had trouble concentrating for a while. But I didn't let him get back at my serve and find little openings," he said. "My game is getting there. My footwork is much better. Now the consistency is what I have to show."

Connors said Lendl was hard to beat, but that he felt good about his effort anyway.

"He was just booming his serves in there, which was difficult. I wanted to make him hit five or six shots instead of four, but I wasn't able to do that today," Connors said.

"He was just bombing his serves in there which makes it difficult. When Lendl's on and he's swiping through the ball with winners it's difficult."

Lendl, the world's No. 1 ranked player, earned the victory on his third match point when Connors hit a forehand wide. Connors had survived two match points when Lendl missed two backhand passing shots.

"I had a little trouble in the beginning establishing myself from the base line. I didn't let him get back into the match today," Lendl said, referring to his 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 victory over Connors Wednesday in the round-robin portion of the tournament.

Connors opened the match with penetrating ground strokes that had Lendl scurrying from side to side. But Lendl got the first break in the fifth game of the first set on two forehand winners and a pair of unforced errors by Connors.

Lendl held serve in the next game with three consecutive aces and then broke again for a 5-2 lead when Connors made three unforced errors in the seventh game.

The seventh game of the second set also proved decisive.

Connors fought back from 15-40 to deuce, but then hit a forehand and a backhand into the net to go down 4-3.

In his next service game, Connors saved two match points but hit a pair of forehands out to end the match.

At Washington, Martina Navratilova needed only 58 minutes to eliminate Zina Garrison, 6-1, 6-2, in the quarterfinals of a $150,000 Virginia Slims tournament.

Garrison, the world's No. 8 player, has yet to win a set in 12 matches against the world's No. 1 player.

"I didn't mix it up enough," Garrison said. "Other than that, I don't think I served that bad or played that bad."

Navratilova faces West Germany's Claudia Kohde-Kilsch in today's semifinals. Kohde-Kilsch, the world's No. 5 player, defeated unseeded Bettina Bunge, 6-4, 7-5, in another quarterfinal match.

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