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Tennis Roundup : Leconte Defeats Mecir and Wins German Open for First Title in 2 Years

September 22, 1986| From Times Wire Services

Henri Leconte of France, using deft backhand strokes and well-placed drop shots, beat defending champion Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 Sunday to win the $315,000 German Open at Hamburg, West Germany.

Leconte's play confused Mecir and disrupted his strategy. Mecir, whose nickname is Big Cat because of his smooth movements on the court, seemed awkward and off-balance.

Leconte, who is ranked No. 7, fought off the affects of a lingering virus to win his first major tournament in two years. He won $42,000 and Mecir, who is ranked No. 9, earned $21,000.

After splitting the first two sets, Leconte took command to win the third set and broke Mecir's serve, and his confidence, in the fifth game of the fourth set for a 3-2 advantage.

Mecir, who reached the final of the U.S. Open earlier this month, chided himself and looked away in resignation as Leconte dominated the rest of the set for the victory.

At Largo, Fla., unseeded Lori McNeil culminated a week of upsets by beating her best friend, Zina Garrison, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, to win the $125,000 Eckered Open.

McNeil's win, the first in her pro career, was her fourth straight upset over a seeded player. Garrison was second-seeded.

In the third set, McNeil appeared to be in trouble, trailing 1-2 with three double faults. But she rallied to win five straight games and clinch the match.

"Even though I lost, I'm glad I lost to Lori," Garrison said. "Both of us planned to be the first blacks in the final of a tennis tournament but our coaches (John Wilkerson and Willis Thomas) told us that it doesn't matter who wins today because we'll be playing somebody different on Monday."

McNeil won $25,000, while Garrison pocketed $11,000.

Sylvia Hanika of West Germany beat Angeliki Kannelopoulou of Greece, 7-5, 6-0, in the final of a $75,000 women's tournament at Athens.

After a close first set, Hanika took just 20 minutes to overpower Kannelopoulou with a combination of smashes and play at the net.

She won $13,000, while Kannelopoulou, who has never won an international tournament, earned $6,450.

Dick Stockton and Bonnie Gadusek beat Raul Ramirez and Anne Smith, 6-4, 7-5, to win the Ford Sports doubles championships at Laguna Nigel Racquet Club.

"Bonnie carried me all week," Stockton said. "I've never played with her before, but she holds more than her own up there (at the net). She's got a great serve, she's very competitive, she volleys well, and she doesn't let herself get intimidated by any man."

Said Gadusek: "Oh, I feel I played well, but Dick really played well. He covered most of the court and poached for me the whole match. And his serves were great, too."

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