In the Internet space we can drift in different directions of time, so I decided to add once per week descriptions of the biggest tennis events of the 80s and 90s. There won’t be any chronology in that, just when I want attaching a specific major tournament to my website, I’ll do this. I want to mix it up so don’t expect for example Wimbledon week by week. I should have done all tournaments in two years, so there’s an assumption that in 2014 I might be posting majors from years 2000-2010. I hope it’s an interesting idea because analyzing tournaments from the past we can underline occurrences which at the time seemed irrelevant, but it’s been changed through the years, some things look otherwise in a perspective of time. Furthermore it should be a solid database of non-active players and their thoughts. Compilations consist of articles written at the time by various authors, my remarks in blue, I also added ranking numbers ruling on my blog [brace brackets] and tie-break scorelines. Below the header there are vital pages in menu, so shouldn’t be any problem with navigation, the attached tournaments to the homepage will be linked to the “major” pages, I have also added a new category: History. First Wimbledon ’87, the tournament started one month after Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had been born, was won by Pat Cash , who displayed amazing serve-and-volley performance in the fortnight to get his only singles major 🙂
Wimbledon, Great Britain
June 22, 1987; 128 Draw (16 seeded) – $1,467,542; Surface – Grass
First round (Author: Jim Sarni, Staff Writer)
Due to heavy rain, the first round lasted five days instead of standard two days!
Ivan Lendl , was taken to four sets in his first match by Christian Saceanu, an 18-year-old West German ranked 175th in the world who entered the 128-player draw through qualifying. Lendl won 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in 2 hours, 22 minutes after rallying from 2:4 in the fourth set. “I don’t expect things to go well at Wimbledon,” said Lendl, the Czechoslovakian-turned-Connecticut Yankee whose least-favorite playing surface is grass. “It’s a struggle from day one when I come over and work on my game. It’s a struggle with the weather, with my game, my footwork, most of the things.”
Wimbledon, rained out Monday for the first time in nine years, struggled with intermittent drizzle again yesterday. Courts were uncovered and covered several times before play finally began nearly four hours late, at 4:13 p.m. local time, when Boris Becker took center court against Karel Novacek  of Czechoslovakia. Becker won his 15th consecutive Wimbledon match, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
Stefan Edberg  defeated countryman Stefan Eriksson  6-0, 6-0, 6-0, the first time in 40 years a player won at love in three sets at Wimbledon. The serve-and-volley specialist lost just 34 points as he became the third known player – and the third Swede – to win every game in a match at Wimbledon. The others were Lennart Bergelin (1946), who later coached Bjorn Borg, and Torsten Johansson in 1947. Johansson not only did it in the first round, but repeated the performance in his second-round match. “When I was at 5-0 in the third set I thought about giving him a game,” Edberg said, “but then thought maybe I’ll never get another chance to do it in a Grand Slam event. But I feel very sorry for him.”
After beating fellow American Marty Davis , 6-1, 7-6(3), 7-6(1), to reach the second round at Wimbledon , Jimmy Connors  said the sport had grown into a globe-hopping exercise in endurance since he joined the pro tour in the early 1970s. “When I first came into the game there was no money, so I played because I did enjoy it,” he said. “But the game has changed. I don’t want my little boy or my little girl to play. It’s not natural.” Connors said tournament schedules that take a player from the Far East to South America and Europe and back in successive weeks wreaks havoc on the body. “The way the game is now, we’re trying to please everyone. It’s not normal for a healthy body to fly from Tokyo to Buenos Aires without time to rest and recuperate in between. That’s the business. I think tennis players, more than other athletes, are defying the laws of nature.” Connors has won a men’s record 105 tournaments in his career, including two Wimbledon championships and six other Grand Slam titles.
Last year, Robert Seguso  had his Wimbledon dream match, upsetting Jimmy Connors in the first round. Seguso lost to Sweden’s Mikael Pernfors , the former two-time NCAA champion from the University of Georgia, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(6), 10-8. Teen-age boys with their faces painted blue and yellow, the colors of the Swedish flag, cheered for their hero in the middle of a crowd that stretched seven-deep around Court 3, while Carling Bassett gazed down forlornly from the Tea Room balcony, Juliet watching her Romeo fall at the tragic end. After saving a match point in the fourth-set tiebreaker, Seguso appeared headed for victory, but he never quite got there. Seguso had double break point for 5-2 – and missed them. He served for the match at 5:4 – and failed. He had love-40 for 8:7 and another chance to serve for the match — and blew that. “‘I had chances all over the place,” Seguso said. ”He’s a very good player, but I should have put him away.” The 24-year-old from Boca Raton lives and dies with his strong serve, and Wednesday, he went down in a deluge of double faults, seven down the stretch in the final set. Seguso double-faulted to lose his serve at 5-all, then double-faulted at 40-30 as he served for 9-all. Seguso then lost the next two points — and the match — with missed volleys. ”My rhythm wasn’t there. Ever since my injury, everything has been difficult,” said Seguso, who is making a slow comeback from knee surgery last winter. He has played only four matches – all first-round losses – since the Lipton International Players Championships in March. Pernfors, playing on grass for the first time since a devastating Davis Cup loss to Australia’s Pat Cash last December, didn’t get discouraged after falling behind 2:0 in both the fourth and fifth sets. ‘‘In tight situations, I play better,” said the Swede. ”I was able to hold my concentration. Normally I space out and look at the crowd during long matches.” At 7-all, 15-40, Pernfors hit a topspin lob that just nudged the baseline and broke Seguso’s spirit. “‘I thought it was out,” Seguso said. ”That was an important point, but there were others. I could have been up two breaks in the fifth.” Seguso is Carling’s darling but Pernfors, with his punk flattop, was the crowd favorite. “I couldn’t believe the crowd was totally against me,” Seguso said. ”They were clapping and chanting on my serve. Normally, the crowds don’t bother me, but my concentration wasn’t as strong as it should be. I didn’t understand it. I thought I was in Sweden.”
Great Britain’s Jeremy Bates  outlasted Peter Fleming  in the 18th three-tiebreaker match in Wimbledon men’s singles history 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(0) – to join countrymen Andrew Castle, Stephen Shaw and Chris Bailey in the second round.
”Boris is not serving as well as last year,” said the ninth-seeded Henri Leconte , who ousted Andre Agassi  6-2, 6-1, 6-2 Wednesday. ”Also, now, everyone is starting to get to know his game. They’ve learned that if you can return, you can sometimes force him into double faults. Last year, he was serving aces all the time. But I saw him play at Queen’s and he’s not serving that well. If you return well, Boris gets scared and has problems.”
Paul McNamee  and Todd Nelson  played it out. And played it out. And played it out… McNamee, an Australian, finally beat Nelson, a 26-year-old from San Diego, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 1-6, 19-17. The first-round match, scheduled Monday, began Wednesday and ended 43 hours later Friday on Centre Court. ”The best thing in any sport at my level, the top level, is having the joy of competing,” said McNamee, who saved five match points in the fifth set Wednesday. ”Because all the other matches went quickly, we were put on Centre Court. What people were able to see was not tennis of the highest standard, but tennis that was competitive from two guys in the first round.” Nelson broke McNamee and served for the match at 14:13, but McNamee broke back. McNamee saved a break point, serving for 16:15. Finally, after three deuces at 17:18, McNamee nailed a passing shot to reach match point, then Nelson netted a volley to end the match. At the time it was a record for the number of games in the deciding 5th set in majors, surpassed 13 years later by Schalken and Philippoussis.
Second round (Rich Hoffman, Daily News Sports Writer)
Arguably the biggest upset of the 1987 season: It took only four sets for  Peter Doohan, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Court no. 1. (You can’t say he won by an eyelash, especially because he doesn’t have any. They were removed because of some kind of infection.) It sucked the air and much of the personality out of the men’s side of the tournament. It sent Boris Becker  home without the champion’s trophy for the first time since 1984, when an injured ankle forced him to quit in a match against Bill Scanlon. As such, it marked the first time that Becker has lost a Wimbledon match that he could finish on his feet. “I’m sure when I wake up tomorrow it will feel worse,” Becker said, displaying a wisdom beyond his 19 years. It will feel worse. Much worse – especially if he remembers that Alexander Antonitsch , of Austria, took Doohan to 9-7 in the fifth set on Wednesday. And seeing as how Doohan once attended the University of Arkansas on a tennis scholarship, there remains only one relevant question: “I really would like to go out and have another win and prove to people that this wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Doohan said. “People are naturally going to think that it was just a great win and we’ll never hear from Peter Doohan again. I’ll just try to prove them wrong. I don’t hold it against them for thinking that. I’ll just try to keep up my standard of tennis and get some good wins.” If there has been a bigger upset in Wimbledon history, no one can think of it. Only one defending champion in the tournament’s history has dropped out earlier – Spain’s Manuel Santana lost to Charles Pasarell, of the United States, in the first round in 1967. But Santana wasn’t Becker. In one analogy, Becker played Muhammad Ali to Doohan’s Leon Spinks. But there will be no rematch here. Becker is gone, as is much of the glamour on the men’s side. “I kept thinking that he would crack and that I would win easily,” Becker said. “I kept saying to myself that he is not a Lendl or a Leconte and thought he could not play the four sets as he did. Because I did not think he was so good, I was not going for my shots.” Doohan didn’t win a Wimbledon match in his five other appearances in years 1980-88.
Whatever the reason, it happened. And now it can be noted: Finally, something nice has happened to Ivan Lendl at Wimbledon. The foundation for Becker’s loss was being laid on Court No. 1 while Lendl was on Centre Court, doing his typical Wimbldeon high-wire act. It took Lendl five sets to subdue a rather unknown Italian named Paolo Cane, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-1. Cane, No. 40 in the world, was giving top-ranked Ivan Lendl a very hard time, taking the first set 6-3 and saving two set points for 5:5 in the second before the rain came. Lendl didn’t play well for some stretches, and didn’t play in a very clutch fashion in almost any stretches of the match that was resumed after two rain delays on Thursday. Lendl was only strong in the final set, at a time when Cane’s emotional reservoir had run dry. Even Lendl said: “I thought maybe Cane would choke and he did.” Cane had two game points to lead 5:3 in the 4th set, byt Lendl responded with fantastic passing-shots. But now, all of that doesn’t matter. Despite all of his past problems on grass, and all of his hatred for the stuff, Lendl is now the favorite to win this thing. We’ll see if he still spends his days looking at the sky, searching for the cloud over his head. Becker, meanwhile, can look to one specific place in explaining his defeat: his serve. France’s Henri Leconte, Becker’s frequent practice partner, has been quoted in recent days as saying that Becker’s serve just isn’t what it used to be. And so it happened against Doohan. Becker served the ball on 118 points; Doohan returned 83 of them, or 70 percent. That’s pretty high against Becker, on grass. That’s a lot higher than two weeks ago, when Becker easily defeated Doohan in the grass tuneup tournament at Queens, 6-2, 6-4. “I knew what to expect, and I knew I had to get his service back,” Doohan said. “I didn’t in that match at Queens – I couldn’t get any of his services back. I think he thought today.”
Henri Leconte and Amos Mansdorf  created the first pair to play against each other in four different majors. Leconte won their Wimbledon ’87 match in five sets. He had beaten the Israeli also in three other majors.
Third round (Rich Hoffman, Daily News Sports Writer)
Sweden’s Mikael Pernfors, who spends the school year playing tennis for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, has had experience with Southern heat and humidity. That experience was important yesterday, when Pernfors outlasted No. 10 seed Tim Mayotte , 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-5. “After two sets today, I would have said I wouldn’t be in the next round,” Pernfors said. “But if I can play well, I can sure threaten some of these players.” The only reason Pernfors was able to win was because Mayotte fell apart in the 80-degree (27 Celsius) heat and high humidity. Even after blowing the two-set lead, Mayotte was up a break, 3:1, in the fifth set. But Pernfors battled back to break Mayotte twice more, including the final game. But it was the Swede who blasted 31 service winners to 21 for Mayotte. And while Mayotte repeatedly went to the net – 144 times to only eight times for Pernfors – the Swede dominated the last three sets, hitting perfectly disguised topspin lobs that repeatedly sailed over Mayotte’s head to land well inside the baseline. “I was just tired out there today,” Mayotte said. “I’ve been here for a month and this is the first time it’s got above 60 degrees. Today was 80 and humid and the adjustment was difficult. You can’t move 100 percent, and you can’t beat a guy like Pernfors because he moves the ball around so much. And movement is the key.” Pernfors plays Jimmy Connors today in the fourth round in a match that could take days to complete. Neither one likes to come to the net very much. Connors came up just 29 times in 245 points yesterday against Kelly Evernden . But Pernfors came up an unbelievably low eight times in 301 points against Mayotte. “The way Connors is playing will give me a lot of problems since I’m not serving that well,” Pernfors said. “I wouldn’t put money on me winning the tournament.” Whatever, everyone should have hours to savor Pernfors’s tennis, and Pernfors’s haircut. It is your basic ’50s crewcut on top, but the sides are just about shaved clean; punk whitewalls, if you will.
Guy Forget  won second five-setter in a row coming back from a one-set-to-two deficit as he ousted Paul Annacone . In the previous round, in a prestigious French duel, Forget overcame  Yannick Noah 3-6, 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-4, 9-7 saving two set points in the 2nd set.
Doohan’s Magic: Peter Doohan lives – barely. The guy who decisively beat Boris Becker last Friday reverted to his scrambling form yesterday, coming back from two sets down to defeat Leif Shiras, the world’s 166th-ranked player, by 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 12-10. “There’s a lot of pressure from the public and the press expecting me to go a long way in this tournament,” Doohan said. “Being down two sets to love certainly doesn’t make things any easier.” Doohan plays Slobodan Zivojinovic  of Yugoslavia in the round of 16 today. Zivojinovic served 26 aces yesterday in eliminating the last British player, Jeremy Bates, 7-6(5), 7-5, 7-6(8). Zivojinovic, 23, nicknamed “Bobo,” is 6 feet 4, 223 pounds (198 cm, 101 kg), and was a semifinalist here last year. Ivan Lendl defeated him in five sets. “He’s got an ideal game to play on the grass,” Bates said. “It’s like brute force, really. If he serves well, he’s going to be difficult to beat.”
“I’m like a pretzel out there,” Jimmy Connors said after beating New Zealand’s Kelly Evernden, 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3, “twisting and turning and jumping, lunging and diving, doing whatever it takes to get the ball back in play“. Connors, a Wimbledon champion in 1974 and 1981 but without a tournament victory in nearly three years, swept through the first two sets against Evernden, then battled back from a 3:0 deficit to send the third set to a tiebreaker, which the unseeded New Zealander won 7-4. In the third set, with the temperature and humidity soaring, Connors kept hitting service returns for winners and coming to the net for put-away volleys, wrapping up the victory on his second match point when Evernden hit a return into the net.
Mats Wilander , a loser in the championship match of the French Open earlier this month, had trouble early against Jonas Svensson , but won the tie-break 7-0 and coasted from there. He built a 3:0 lead in the third set with a solid net game, moved to 5:3 on the strength of strong serves and forehand winners and broke Svensson for the match on a winning volley, a forehand cross-court passing shot and two Svensson errors, the last one a forehand into the net.
Ivan Lendl had a tough time before beating American qualifier  Richey Reneberg 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(0). “I like easy matches and would obviously like to win in straight sets, but it is not my choice that I play such tough matches,” said Lendl, who has been taken to at least four sets in each of the first three rounds. “But they make me mentally tough for the next time it happens.” Alexander Volkov of the Soviet Union is the lowest-ranked player (503rd) and the only qualifier remaining in the draw. He is the first Russian to reach the fourth round since Alex Metreveli in 1975. 20-year-old Volkov had not won a main tour level match prior to Wimbledon ’87!
Fourth round: Scott Ostler, Los Angeles Times
One of the most memorable comebacks of all time. If you had to pick one match from a 17-year career to sum up the essence of Jimmy Connors, Tuesday’s would do nicely: a 1-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 thriller over Mikael Pernfors on Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Pernfors, a 24-year-old Swede, not only blitzed Connors the first two sets, but had him down 4:1 in the third. Connors then took 14 straight points and won the set 7-5. Pernfors grabbed a 3:0 lead in the fourth set, but Connors broke twice to win that one – and the next. Connors advanced to the quarterfinals, where he’ll play Slobodan Zivojinovic today. Also moving into the quarterfinals were three Swedes – third-seeded Mats Wilander, No. 4 Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd – along with No. 2 seed Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia, No. 9 Henri Leconte of France and No. 11 Pat Cash of Australia. Connors suffered a thigh cramp in the fifth game of the last set. “I was always gonna finish the match, if I had to crawl,” he said. Now that would have been Connors-style drama – old Jimbo dragging himself on his knees, tattered and bleeding, his corner throwing in towels but the old warrior rising up now and then to slam a two-handed winner past his peppy little opponent. Connors, the Wimbledon champion in 1974 and 1982, hasn’t won a tournament since 1984 and was knocked out of Wimbledon in the first round last year. Tuesday’s win will necessitate a rethinking of the Jimbo-is-dead school of thought. Instead of wilting under the sun and the persistent baseline volleys of a much younger man, Connors, 34, seemed to grow stronger, fresher and meaner as the 3-hour, 37-minute match wore on. “At 4-1 (down in the third set), I thought maybe I started attacking a little more,” Connors said. “When I broke him at 4-3 and held for 4-4, I felt I started striking the ball much cleaner.” In the final set, Connors broke Pernfors’ serve in the third, fifth and seventh games and then held his own serve in the eighth game with four straight points, closing the match by winning the last eight points. “It seemed at the beginning he was really stiff and not moving well,” Pernfors said. “When I had him down 4-1, I thought I had a very good chance of winning, but he just raised his game. He started moving around the court. He started putting more angle on his shots. When he started doing that, I knew I was in trouble.” The historians talk about 1927, when France’s Henri Cochet was down two sets and 5:1 in the third before coming back to beat the great Bill Tilden in a Wimbledon semifinal. They talk about the time in 1974 when Ken Rosewall was down two sets and 5:3 in the third to Stan Smith, when Rosewall fought off match point in that third set and came back to win.
Connors, a two-time champion, has to return today, however, to play hard- serving Slobodan Zivojinovic, his third match in three days. Zivojinovic posted a 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(11) victory over Australia’s Peter Doohan, who upset two-time defending champion Boris Becker on Friday. Zivojinovic recorded 24 aces, including four in one game.
Quarterfinals: Mike Davis, Gannett News Service
Ivan Lendl, who said he would give up his last two French Open championships for one Wimbledon triumph, beat ninth-seeded Henri Leconte of France, 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-6(6). Stefan Edberg got some help when Anders Jarryd encountered trouble with a dirty contact lens and beat his Swedish Davis Cup teammate, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3. With Britain’s Princess Diana watching from the Royal Box, Lendl served 13 aces and edged Leconte in the tie-breaks. Leconte came back from a 0:2 deficit in the third set with some powerful volleys and tied the tie-break score at 6:6. Then he let it get away, punching an open-court volley far wide, and Lendl wrapped up the match with a backhand volley winner.
The improbable Wimbledon of Jimmy Connors continued today, taking him past muscular Yugoslav Slobodan Zivojinovic 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-3 and into the semifinals of a tournament the 34-year-old American first won 13 years ago. Connors came back less than 24 hours after winning a thrilling five-set match to reach the final four on the grass courts of southwest London for the 11th time a year after a first-round elimination at the All-England Club. The last time Connors won a tournament was October 1984 in Tokyo. His last Grand Slam tournament win was the U.S. Open in 1983. He was slipping in the rankings and it looked earlier this year as if he soon would soon out of the top 10 for the first time since the ratings were originated, in 1973. But saying repeatedly, “I can still play,” Connors fought back. Seeded seventh in the tournament, he became America’s last hope for the men’s championship when countryman Johan Kriek was eliminated Tuesday. And against Zivojinovic, he held off Father Time for at least one more day with a game that right out of the how-to-win book he virtually wrote more than a decade back – strong service returns, passing shots down the lines and sharply angled volleys. He won on his fourth match point when Zivojinovic netted a backhand volley. Connors saluted the crowd by holding up his index finger – No. 1. In his 11th Wimbledon semifinal appearance, Connors will face 11th-seeded Pat Cash, who upset third-seeded Mats Wilander 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. Connors beat Cash last month in the Queens Club tournament, a feat Wilander couldn’t match in his first quarterfinal at Wimbledon. ”I wasn’t playing bad,” said Wilander , who also lost to Cash at Wimbledon in 1984 and 1986. “He just returned my serve too good, but I think Connors has a chance against him. Connors has better ground strokes than me with no topspin. It works better on grass.”
Semifinals: Mike Davis, Gannett News Service
Now there are only Pat Cash  and Ivan Lendl, and if that match-up for Sunday’s final doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, there is at least this consolation: They were by far the better players in the semifinals Friday, and they clearly are the best players in this tournament. Cash, the flamboyant, 22-year-old Australian with the earring and the headband and the spike haircut and the great grass-court game, put the plug on Jimmy Connors‘ crowd-pleasing, storybook run through his 16th Wimbledon, to the tune of 6-4, 6-4, 6-1. “I expected the crowd to try and lift him,” Cash said. “Jimmy is a very emotional player and he uses that (crowd support), and I wanted to get on top of him and not let him get pumped up.” Cash did that initially with his serve, against which Connors got exactly one point in the first set. The rest of the Aussie’s early game was pretty abysmal, but when he got a break point in the 10th game he cashed it. Jimbo tapped into the rhythm of the match only once after that. Down a break in the second set, he broke back to 4:5 with one of his few penetrating returns, which forced an errant volley. But then, serving to square the set, Connors muffed an easy put-away on a high ball at the net, bringing him back to deuce. What happened next was no good for Jimbo at all. He got an ad his way but double-faulted, then watched a deep Cash volley hit the baseline in the corner. The third set should have been prohibited viewing for small children. Cash broke Connors at 15-40 in the second game, at love in the fourth, and served out, toting up his ninth and 10th aces en route. So Connors went out with a whimper from a Wimbledon in which he made the fortnight’s biggest bang. Winless for three years and 42 tournaments, he played exciting, enthusiastic tennis for five matches and captured the imaginations of the public and media.
It appeared that Lendl would be convincing on the tournament’s 11th day. He began by ripping Stefan Edberg‘s first three serves for winners, grabbing a love-40 lead. But the Swede won the next five points to hold serve and begin a 3-hour, 2-minute match. In the sixth game, it was Lendl who had his service broken. Edberg fought off a break point in the next game to run his lead to 5:2, then held in the ninth game at love to close out the first set. Again the two settled back to booming serves and crisp, finishing volleys, showing power if not imagination. Lendl seemed in trouble serving at 4:4, 15-30 in the second. Then, in the 10th game, he reached break point on Edberg’s serve with a sizzling backhand that the Swede netted. Lendl converted the service break and pulled even at one set apiece with a backhand service return cross-court that Edberg could only watch whiz past. The match was decided, as it turned out, in the third-set tiebreaker. Edberg got to set point (6:5) with a net-cord winner, and in a remarkable display of emotion for the Swede, he actually shook his fist. Lendl came right back with a service-return winner. And when Edberg got his second set point with a marvelously imaginative drop volley, Lendl got even with a first-serve return winner to Stefan’s backhand. When the set ended, on one of Lendl’s sizzling forehand passing shots, Edberg was clearly deflated. “If I had won that, it would have been different,” he said. “I let him back in the match.” Lendl noticed that Edberg was “really down. At that point, he lost some pace on his serve. It just made me all the more confident.” The match was pushing the three-hour mark in the final set when someone cried out, “Come on, Jimmy!” They’d seen enough of Lendl-Edberg, and Ivan obliged with a key service break for 5:2, then a relatively easy service game. The match ended on an ace, only the seventh of the day for Lendl. He won 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(8), 6-4.
Final: Bob Greene, Associated Press
Pat Cash used his devastating serve to crush Ivan Lendl 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-5. Sunday and become the first Australian since 1971 to win the Wimbledon men`s singles championship. Lendl, the world`s top-ranked player, still has never won the title he covets most. Ranked 413th in the world after an injury-plagued 1986 and the 11th seed entering the tournament, Cash showed Lendl how to play on grass, the one surface Lendl, the No. 2 seed, has been unable to conquer. Cash won 20 straight points on his serve in the second set. After his victory, he climbed through the stands to embrace his family and friends. Cash, 22, joined Rod Laver and John Newcombe as the only Australians to win the world`s most prestigious grass-court tournament since the open era began in 1968. Australians dominated throughout the 1950s and `60s. Newcombe was the last to win – 16 years ago. “We showed them,” Cash told his coach, Ian Barclay. It was the second straight trip to the Wimbledon final for Lendl, who had said beforehand he would give up some of his biggest victories to win tennis`s most coveted prize. Instead, he left with another defeat. “I was a bit more confident,” Cash said. “I was playing on my best surface“. His serve was awesome, his return of serve devastating. There was nothing that Lendl, the reigning U.S. Open and French Open champion, could do on a hot, sunny day to cool down the charging Cash. “I thought I played very good, tight tennis for a set and a half,” Lendl said. “He just played great.” After he lost the ninth point in the tie-break, Cash won 20 straight points on his serve before he double-faulted in the second game of the third set. He sailed through the second set without losing a point on his service. That gave him the opportunity to go for broke on Lendl`s service games. And it paid off. “It didn`t matter how I got the ball back,” Cash said, “I just had to do it, and that is the way you have to play, especially on grass.“ Lendl agreed: “He barely missed any first serves and I couldn`t make any impression on his serve. He was putting so much pressure on my serve. He was getting returns back, lobbing, dinking. I thought I coul hang in there, maybe win the tiebreaker or something. But he played well in the tiebreaker.” After Cash held to begin the match, he had five break points on Lendl`s serve. But Lendl finally was able to hold service in a game that took 14 minutes to play, by far the longest of the day. In the tie-break, Cash raced to a 6-1 lead, giving him five set points. He needed them all as Lendl won four straight points before Lendl`s backhand service return down the line was wide and Cash won the tiebreaker 7-5. By then, Cash was cruising on his service games and Lendl was struggling, trying everything in an attempt to get back into the match. It was to no avail. After Lendl held to begin the second set, Cash won the next five games, breaking his opponent at 15 in the third game from deuce in the fifth – a game that saw Lendl double-fault three times, hurling his racket to the ground in disgust after the third one gave Cash break point. Cash was up two sets to none with victory in sight. In winning, Cash earned $220,100 almost double the $122,830 earned by Bjorn Borg for five Wimbledon titles. The Australian lost only one set in the entire tournament, to Michiel Schapers in the third round. It was his fourth title.
This entry was posted in History
. Bookmark the permalink