YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Tennis Roundup : Graf Beats Lindqvist for Her Eighth Title of the Year

October 27, 1986| From Times Wire Services

Top-seeded Steffi Graf swept to her eighth title of the year Sunday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fifth-seeded Catarina Lindqvist of Sweden in the final of the $200,000 Pretty Polly women's indoor tennis tournament at Brighton, England.

The 17-year-old West German, ranked third in the world, took just 60 minutes to win her first title in Britain. She collected $40,000, while Lindqvist earned $20,000.

Graf started slowly, missing two break points on Lindqvist's serve in the second game, and then was broken to trail, 1-2. But she then won 9 of the next 10 games to lead, 6-3, 4-0.

Lindqvist staged a recovery, winning three consecutive games, but from 4-3 Graf regained control, dropping only two more points.

Graf has won each of the eight finals she has contested since April, but it was the first time she had beaten Lindqvist in three meetings.

"It's been two years since I last played her," Lindqvist said. "That is such a big difference. She is so good and so much faster.

"I think Steffi can be No. 1 (in the world) soon, even while Martina (Navratilova) and Chris (Evert Lloyd) are still playing. She is that good. She hits the ball harder than either Chris or Martina, especially on the forehand."

Graf, however, said she did not think she was yet ready to break the Navratilova-Lloyd monopoly of the Grand Slam events.

"I don't think of myself as a Grand Slam winner over the next 12 months," she said, "but it would be nice if it happened."

West Germany's Boris Becker pronounced himself well satisfied after winning the championship of the $375,000 Seiko Super tournament at Tokyo with a 7-6, 6-1 victory over Stefan Edberg of Sweden.

The 18-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion now has won two weeks in a row, having defeated Ivan Lendl in the final of the Australian Indoor last week. Sunday's win gave Becker his eighth singles title and his fifth championship this year.

"I won against the No. 1 player (Lendl of Czechoslovakia) last week, and against Jimmy Connors in the semifinal here," Becker said. "Right now, I think I'm one of the happiest people in the world."

It took Becker, ranked third in the world, just 80 minutes to beat Edberg before a crowd of 11,300 at the indoor courts of Yoyogi National Stadium. He had 19 service aces compared to 3 for the Swede.

"I felt OK, I just couldn't get his serves back," Edberg said. "He serves very well, and I think that's a key--once he gets ahead, it's very hard to catch him."

Becker received $60,000, and Edberg collected $30,000.

John McEnroe was soundly beaten by Spain's Emilio Sanchez, 1-6, 6-0, 6-1, in the final match of an exhibition tournament at Ixtapa, Mexico.

About 2,000 fans attended the match at the temporary stadium constructed especially for the event.

At Vienna, top-seeded Brad Gilbert overcame a knee injury and beat unseeded Karel Novacek of Czechoslovakia, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-0, in the final of a $150,000 Grand Prix tournament.

Los Angeles Times Articles