Hana Mandlikova warmed up for the Australian Open with a convincing 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Pam Shriver in the rain-delayed final of a $100,000 women's tournament Sunday at Brisbane, Australia.
"I'd like to celebrate my Australian passport with a win in the Open in Melbourne," said Mandlikova, the Czechoslovakia native who has applied for Australian citizenship. She has not won a major tournament in 18 months.
Living up to their world rankings, the No. 4-rated Mandlikova and the No. 5 Shriver ignored the slippery surface and gave a display that had the crowd roaring throughout after the start of the match was delayed 90 minutes.
Mandlikova broke Shriver twice in the opening set and won it in 26 minutes.
In the second set, however, Shriver changed tactics to offset the topspin shots of Mandlikova.
Shriver charged to the net and swamped Mandlikova with an avalanche of volleys.
"I should have climbed in right there, but I played back on my heels," Shriver said, referring to the first set.
But Mandlikova recovered and dominated the match as she broke Shriver in the fifth game of the deciding set.
"I feel I'm an Aussie already," Mandlikova said. "Pam is very popular here, but I thought the crowd was on my side. I hope to be taken as an Aussie. I love the country and I want people to accept me."
Mandlikova recently married a former Czech who now runs a restaurant in Sydney.
The weather did take its toll in the doubles final for Mandlikova and Australian Wendy Turnbull, who were facing Australian Liz Smylie and American Betsy Nagelsen.
The match was stopped at 3-3 in the first set, and it will be completed in Sydney during the week where the players will assemble for the New South Wales Open.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker of West Germany defeated Jimmy Connors, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, in an exhibition match at Frankfurt, West Germany.
Becker needed 2 hours 58 minutes to outlast Connors, who often neutralized Becker's booming serve with well-placed returns.
The turning point came in the sixth game of the third set, when Becker broke Connors' serve as the American began to tire.
The 19-year-old West German, ranked No. 2 in the world, went a break up in the fifth game of the first set, but Connors immediately replied to even the score. Becker then again broke Connors' serve in the seventh game and then held on to win the first set.
The 34-year-old American, who is No. 8 in the world, rallied in the second set with some spectacular returns and passing shots. After the set went into a tiebreaker, Connors raced to a 6-0 lead and took the set by winning the tiebreaker, 7-2.
Australia's Wally Masur held off Bill Scanlon in a second-set tiebreaker to win the South Australian Men's Open at Adelaide.
Masur, a member of Australia's Davis Cup champions, beat Scanlon, 6-4, 7-6, winning the tiebreaker, 7-2.
Scanlon did get one title Sunday, teaming with Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia to beat Australians Peter Doohan and Laurie Warder in doubles, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Top-seeded Ralph Hertzog of Switzerland rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over third-seeded Ricardo Camargo of Brazil to win the boys' 18 title in an international junior tournament at Port Washington, N.Y.
Unseeded Brenda Schultz of the Netherlands won the girls' 18 final, beating sixth-seeded Olga Tsarbopoulou of Greece, 6-4, 6-2.