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Tennis Roundup : Lendl's After the Diamonds

November 02, 1987| From Times Wire Services

Ivan Lendl, the world's top-ranked player, defeated Miloslav Mecir, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3, Sunday to win the $923,000 European Community Championship of Tennis.

It was Lendl's fourth victory in the annual ECC tournament at Antwerp, Belgium, since it began in 1982. He needed 3 hours 18 minutes to win the $215,000 first prize.

Mecir, ranked fifth in the world, received $140,000 as runner-up.

After the match, Lendl briefly held the ECC trophy--a gold, life-size racket studded with 1,600 diamonds. It is his for good if he wins the event twice more by 1990.

The award goes to the player to win the ECC three times in a five-year span. Lendl won in 1982, 1983 and 1985 to take the first trophy.

The 1986 ECC was won by John McEnroe, who was ousted by Mecir in Friday's quarterfinals.

Lendl, 27, had a tough first set Sunday against his 23-year-old fellow Czech, whom he has now beaten five times in six meetings.

"I could not power through him," said Lendl, who beat Henri Leconte of France, Tim Mayotte of the United States and Wimbledon champion Pat Cash of Australia to reach the ECC final.

"It was extremely hard for me to win points (in the first set), and it was extremely tiring, too."

Mecir, who reached the final after beating Jean Fleurian of France, McEnroe and Mats Wilander, came apart, however, in the second set.

"In the first set, he (Mecir) played great, and I hoped he wouldn't be able to maintain it," Lendl said.

As it happened, his wish came true.

"He is No. 1. He is the toughest guy to play," Mecir said. "My first set was great. Then I made a couple of easy mistakes, and Ivan was back in shape."

Top-seeded Steffi Graf took just 66 minutes to beat second-seeded Hana Mandlikova, 6-2, 6-2, in the final of the $150,000 European Indoor women's tournament at Zurich, Switzerland.

The 18-year-old West German, ranked No. 1 in the world, collected a first prize of $30,500, while Mandlikova earned $13,800.

It was Graf's 10th tournament victory of the season. In the tournament, she dropped just one set in five matches, against third-seeded Manuela Maleeva in the semifinals.

It was Graf's fourth victory over Mandlikova in their five career clashes. She managed it with five aces and 19 service winners.

At Hong Kong, Eliot Teltscher fought back from a two-set deficit to beat John Fitzgerald in the final of the $200,000 Seiko Super tournament.

It took the 28-year-old from Palos Verdes Estates 3 1/2 hours to defeat the 25-year-old Australian Davis Cupper, 6-7, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-5.

"It's great to end the year with a victory," said Teltscher, who collected a check for $40,000. "I'm now going home for a rest but will be playing a full schedule in 1988."

It was Teltscher's second Hong Kong title. He also won in 1978.

"It was a very tight match," Teltscher said after his victory.

"A 2-0 lead (in sets) is good but is not incredible," he said. "It could be very deceiving. . . . I have seen so many players lose after leading 2-0 before."

Fitzgerald, who received $20,000 as runner-up, said he tired after the second set. "I lost my legs in the third set and allowed Eliot to get a roll on," he said.

Top-seeded John Frawley of Australia defeated 16-year-old Swedish-born compatriot Johan Anderson, 6-2, 6-3, to win the $17,000 Australian hard court championship at Sydney.

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