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Tennis Roundup : Fatigued Connors Defaults in Final to a 17-Year-Old

September 21, 1987| From Times Wire Services

The biological clock keeps ticking on tennis star Jimmy Connors. And never was that more evident than in the final he lost Sunday at Amelia Island, Fla.

Connors, at age 35 still the top-ranking United States men's player, had to default in the final of the duPont All-American Tournament. Connors, looking dehydrated in the 100-degree heat, said he was exhausted and could not continue. And that was after the seventh game of the first set.

And who won the title with Connors' default? A 17-year-old, Andre Agassi, of Las Vegas, who was leading, 4-3, when Connors stopped.

"I would rather have lost in the third set than have this happen," Agassi said. To which Connors responded, "If there was any way I could have continued, I would have done so."

Pam Shriver won the women's final, beating Stephanie Rehe, 1-6, 7-6, 6-0. Shriver was two points away from losing the match when, at 4-5 of the tiebreaker, she stunned Rehe with a behind-the-back shot that turned the set, and the match, around.

Unheralded Claudio Mezzadri of Switzerland, ranked 61st in the world, became the first player from his country since 1983 to win a Grand Prix tour title, when he beat Tomas Smid of Czechoslovakia in the final of the Geneva Open, 6-4, 7-5. Mezzadri, 22, showed no effects of his 3-hour 39-minute semifinal victory Saturday over Ulf Stenlund of Sweden.

Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, despite losing five straight games in the second set, won the $300,000 Pan Pacific Open at Tokyo. She beat Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria, 6-4, 7-6. Sabatini reeled off a 4-0 lead in the second set, then lost the next five before struggling through the tiebreaker to win.

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