MELBOURNE, Australia — Mats Wilander of Sweden won the Australian Open men's singles title for the third time, defeating Pat Cash of Australia, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6, Sunday in a match that lasted 4 hours 27 minutes.
Cash, who lost the Australian final to Swede Stefan Edberg last year, fell behind Wilander, 6-3, 4-1, when the match was interrupted for the first time by rain. However, the Wimbledon champion came back and won the second set at 7-3 in the tiebreaker, then took the third set, as well.
A second downpour delayed play in the third set with Cash leading, 3-0. Wilander led, 30-0, in the second game before Cash unleashed four winners for the break. Cash held his serve in the third game, and following the delay, Wilander broke back to move within 3-1. The Swede broke Cash in the fifth game on the fourth break point. But in the sixth game he lost his service at love, and Cash went on to win the set. Wilander, however, won the fourth set easily to set up the fifth set, which was played without a tiebreaker.
Wilander, who won Australian titles in 1983 and 1984, broke Cash's serve to start the final set, but Cash broke Wilander back in the fourth game, and the two held service until Wilander broke Cash again in the 13th game.
The Swede then took the decisive game at love to win his first Grand Slam championship since the 1985 French Open.
Wilander converted his first match point, hitting an overhead that Cash was unable to handle.
Wilander evened his record against Cash at 4-4. Cash had beaten Wilander in the quarterfinals en route to winning at Wimbledon last summer.
Cash made 56 unforced errors, to just 14 for Wilander.
Meanwhile, Steffi Graf, the Australian Open women's champion, now has her sights set on winning the elusive Grand Slam.
Graf, 18, won the Australian Open and her second Grand Slam title Saturday with a 6-1, 7-6 victory over Chris Evert.
It was the first step on the long road to winning tennis' four major events in one year.
Graf, the 1987 French Open champion, realistically admitted winning the Grand Slam was a tough goal--but a goal she's firmly fixed on.
"It's a good way to start--the best I could have," she said after beating Evert.
"To win here is very important for the whole year, but I have won just one tournament. It's a long way ahead to start talking about winning a Grand Slam."
Graf's coach, Pavel Slozil, agreed with the West German teen-ager.
"I think there are still players who have a good chance of beating her on grass," he said.
"To win a Grand Slam is a major achievement," Slozil said. "There have been so many players with plenty of ability who failed to do it.
"Bjorn Borg (of Sweden) came so close to winning a Grand Slam but never made it. He was probably the best player of all time and yet there were so many hurdles in his way."
Evert, 33, winner of 18 Grand Slam events, is a good source to judge Graf's potential.
"I would be surprised if she won a Grand Slam--especially this year," Evert said. "I would be surprised if anybody won it--the competition is getting tougher.
"Steffi is (ranked) number one. But there are five or six players who are all very close behind.
"She's a front-runner. She plays better when she's ahead. It's hard to tell how she's going to handle the pressure. None of the players have got her into that situation."
Evert said she was impressed by Pam Shriver during this tournament, and cited Gabriela Sabatini, Hana Mandlikova and No. 2-ranked Martina Navratilova as among the players capable of beating Graf.
"I've said it before: playing Steffi is different from playing anyone else," she said.
"There are a lot of great serve-and-volley players, but there hasn't been anyone like Steffi--except maybe Tracy Austin. And even she didn't hit the ball that hard.
"The more I play her, the more I'm going to get used to her game."
The last woman to achieve a calendar year Grand Slam was Margaret Court of Australia in 1970. Navratilova completed a non-calendar year Grand Slam by winning the 1984 French Open after winning Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open in 1983.