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International Players Championships : Graf Trounces Lloyd; Lendl Faces Mecir

March 08, 1987|From Times Wire Services

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Steffi Graf backed up her recent rise to No. 2 in the world rankings by beating Chris Evert Lloyd, 6-1, 6-2, Saturday for the women's singles title in the International Players Championships.

Graf, who was seeded third here because she moved ahead of Lloyd in the rankings only this week, needed just 59 minutes to dispose of Lloyd. Thursday, Graf eliminated No. 1-ranked Martina Navratilova in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-2.

"Now I can say I'm No. 2," Graf said. "Now I beat both of them in three days, and that's something exciting. This is the biggest tournament I've ever won."

The 17-year-old West German earned $150,000. Lloyd picked up $60,000.

Earlier in the day, Ivan Lendl defeated Jimmy Connors, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3, to reach the men's final.

Lendl will play ninth-seeded Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia in a rematch of last year's U.S. Open final. Mecir advanced when a shoulder injury forced fourth-seeded Yannick Noah of France to retire while trailing, 7-5, 5-1.

The Lendl-Connors match, played over two days because of rain, lasted 4 hours 42 minutes.

The wind was gusting at 35 m.p.h. Friday, but conditions were much better Saturday, which also happened to be Lendl's 27th birthday.

Noah, who injured his right shoulder in his quarterfinal victory over Mats Wilander, played tentatively in the first set Saturday and double-faulted to give Mecir the set.

Noah said anti-inflammatory and pain pills he took for his sore shoulder made him dizzy during the match.

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