Ivan Lendl prepared himself for the Wimbledon title he has never won by beating three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, 6-3, 6-2, Sunday for his second consecutive victory in the Queens Court grass court tournament at London.
It was Lendl's first victory over Becker on grass and the West German said that Lendl played an errorless game on the surface that has frustrated him for so long.
"He just played like a perfect player on grass today," Becker said. "One good thing about today, he can't play better."
Lendl lost to Becker in the 1986 Wimbledon final and the last two years in the semifinals. This victory, just eight days before Wimbledon's opening day, makes Lendl the favorite.
"Before this match, everybody expected me to win. Now we are even," Becker said. "This puts a bit more pressure on his back now that everybody has seen that he can play very well on grass."
Lendl swept five matches in the tournament without losing a set, including a 6-2, 6-4 victory over John McEnroe in the semifinals.
It was evidence that his two months of exclusive grass court practice, first in Australia, at home in Greenwich, Conn., and then for the last three weeks in England, could pay off with his first Wimbledon title.
"I'm playing so much better overall and so much differently than last Wimbledon," said Lendl, who won $62,250 for the 1-hour 14-minute win. "This easily was the best week I've had on grass, putting five matches together like this. Things have been going so well I can't think about anything to complain about."
Zina Garrison defeated Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia, 6-4, 6-1, to win a women's grass court tournament at Birmingham, England, and said she believes she can win the biggest grass court championship of all--Wimbledon.
Garrison needed only 63 minutes to win her first tournament of the season. She had reached just one other final, losing to Martina Navratilova in an indoor tournament in Washington, D.C., and was eliminated early in the French Open.
Her serve kept Sukova on the defensive throughout the match. Garrison returned serve well and ran down Sukova's hardest shots, and pronounced herself ready to try for her first Grand Slam tournament title.
"If I can keep that up anything is possible--even winning Wimbledon," she said.
Her best showing at the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club was in 1985 when she reached the semifinals. She was eliminated in the second round last year.
Magnus Larsson of Sweden defeated Lawson Duncan, 6-7, 7-5, 6-0, to win a $250,000 tournament at Florence, Italy.
Larsson won $32,400; Duncan won $19,090.
Amos Mansdorf of Israel defeated Aleksander Volkov of the USSR, 6-3, 7-6, to win a grass court tournament at Rosmalen, the Netherlands.