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TENNIS ROUNDUP : Chang Finally Gets Break in Victory Over Grabb

April 02, 1990|From Associated Press

Michael Chang waited all day for the break he needed.

The second-seeded Chang finally broke Jim Grabb's blazing serve in the final set to earn a 7-6 (7-4), 1-6, 6-4 victory Sunday in the final of the Volvo Chicago tournament.

"His serve is just too powerful," Chang said. "I don't think I would have won had I not got that break in the 10th game. I put everything I had into that final game."

Chang, still recovering from a hip injury, got his first tournament victory since the London Indoors in November.

Grabb, a former All-American from Stanford, had 12 aces to just one for Chang and won 81% of his points off his first serve. It was a formula that enabled the fifth-seeded Grabb to blast his way past top-ranked Ivan Lendl in Saturday's semifinals.

It worked again until Chang, from Placentia, broke Grabb in the final game of the match with three sensational passing shots.

"I hit a good serve and all I had to do I think was put that volley away," Grabb said of the final point. "But he came back with a shot I just couldn't handle."

The 18-year-old Chang earned $50,000. Grabb, who received $25,000, won more points, 93-87, forced 48 errors to 37 by Chang, and made only 12 unforced errors to 19 by Chang.

Second-seeded Monica Seles of Yugoslavia won for the second consecutive week, downing Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria, 6-4, 6-3, in the final of the $225,000 U.S. Women's hardcourt tournament at San Antonio.

The fourth-ranked Seles, who won last week's International Players Championships, rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the first set to defeat the third-seeded Maleeva for the fourth consecutive time.

"It became 4-1 so quickly," said Seles, who won $45,000. "I tried to work each point, one at a time. I started driving well and going for it. I got stronger as the match went along. At the beginning, I felt all the pressure."

Seles won six consecutive games to take the first set and gain control of the match.

Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria continued her string of upsets, knocking off second-seeded Arantxa Sanchez of Spain, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, to win a Virginia Slims tournament at Houston.

The fourth-seeded Maleeva, ranked 12th in the world, reached the title match by upsetting top-seeded Martina Navratilova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, in the semifinals.

Maleeva earned $45,000 with the victory, while Sanchez received $22,500.

In the final set, Maleeva raced out to a 4-1 lead before Sanchez won three consecutive games to even the match. Maleeva held, then broke Sanchez for the victory, winning the match with a deep forehand volley.

The match, which lasted 2 hours 20 minutes, was interrupted for about 15 minutes in the third set because of rain.

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