The match most had hoped for--a showdown between Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg--became impossible Saturday when Borg was upset by Johan Kriek in the semifinals of the Infiniti Champions tournament at Sherwood Country Club.
But if top-seeded Connors plays today as well as he did in a 7-5, 6-3 victory over John Lloyd, the fans shouldn't be disappointed.
Lloyd, 39, broke Connors' service four times, including the first game of the match. Connors, 41, answered with five breaks of his own, including a break in the final game of the first set when he put two cross-court backhands and a forehand past the serve-and-volleying Lloyd.
Connors advanced to today's 1 p.m. final against Kriek by doing the usual: hustling, returning seemingly impossible baseline shots for winners and never quitting before a capacity crowd of 3,104.
"He played unbelievable," Connors said of Lloyd. "But I returned as well as I ever have. We were running down every ball."
Connors came back from an 0-2 deficit in the first set by holding his second serve and outlasting Lloyd in a 22-point game to make it 2-2. In the second set, Lloyd trailed, 4-1, but got back to 4-3 and had a chance to get even with his serve. But Connors broke him with three return winners and served out the match.
Second-seeded Borg, after prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker Friday against Harold Solomon, was hampered by stomach flu in a 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) loss to Kriek.