KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — In a complete turnaround from last year's U.S. Open final, Miloslav Mecir beat top-seeded Ivan Lendl, 7-5, 6-2, 7-5, Sunday to win the International Players Championships.
The last time the world's No. 1 player lost in straight sets was to Boris Becker at Wimbledon.
The ninth-seeded Mecir took full advantage of an uncharacteristic number of errors by Lendl to beat his fellow Czechoslovakian for the first time in three meetings.
Lendl double-faulted at least once in five of Mecir's six service breaks and finished with seven double faults and four aces, while hitting just 43% of his first serves.
"Today I played much better and had much better confidence," said Mecir, who lost dismally to Lendl, 6-4, 6-2, 6-0, in the 1986 U.S. Open.
In the 11th game of the third set Sunday, Mecir typified his ability to get to any shot with a diving forehand that curled around the net judge as he won the crucial point in the match.
The match lasted 2 hours 35 minutes and offered a contrast between two styles of play and behavior.
While Lendl complained about line calls, a malfunctioning sound system and towels on the court, Mecir kept his composure.
He broke Lendl's serve in the first game of the match, but Lendl did his part by double-faulting on the final point.
Mecir made up for losing his own serve in the eighth game of the set by breaking Lendl at love in the 11th, with the help of two double faults.
One Lendl double fault per game contributing to service breaks by Mecir in the first and fifth games of the second set. Meanwhile, Mecir was cruising on his own service game, never allowing Lendl a break point in the set.
Lendl tested Mecir's composure with a service break in the second game of the third set, but Mecir came back to break Lendl's serve in the seventh and 11th game. Lendl hit a backhand wide to end it on Mecir's third match point.
Lendl hasn't won an event this year, having played only in the Australian Open in January, where he lost in the semifinals to Pat Cash.
Mecir, who already has won in Auckland and Sydney this year, earned $112,500 Sunday, while Lendl pocketed $56,250.
Lendl reached the final with a grueling 4-hour, 42-minute semifinal victory over Jimmy Connors covering two days because of rain delays. Mecir, meanwhile, had an easy last step to the final, winning when Yannick Noah defaulted early in the second set because of a shoulder problem.