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International Players Championships : Rain Halts Connors-Lendl at Set Apiece

March 07, 1987|Associated Press

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — In a repeat of their wild semifinal last year, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors played more than three hours of raucous tennis Friday before rain halted the match at the start of a third-set tiebreaker in the International Players Championships.

Connors won the first set, 6-3, and Lendl took the second, 7-6, with a 9-7 victory in a tiebreaker. The rain came just in time to cool tempers, which were getting out of control.

Lendl constantly complained about the wind, which was gusting to at least 35 m.p.h., and got a Code of Conduct warning from chair umpire Richard Kaufman while asking for the match to be halted when a few raindrops fell in the middle of the third set.

Later, Connors was hit in the throat by a ball that bounced off the net. When he was given a time violation for taking too long to serve, Connors erupted and got a Code of Conduct warning for his language.

Last year, Connors walked off the court in the fifth set to protest line calls. He was suspended 10 weeks and fined $25,000 for his behavior.

The other semifinal match between Yannick Noah and Miloslav Mecir also was postponed. The rainout, however, was good news for Noah, who sprained a shoulder Wednesday night and was uncertain whether he would be able to play.

Connors and Lendl will resume play at 7:30 a.m. PST, with the other semifinal to follow. Also scheduled for today, at 1 p.m. PST, is the women's final between No. 2-seeded Chris Evert Lloyd and No. 3-seeded Steffi Graf.

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