It was the sixth and last edition of the most lucrative tournament at the time – Pepsi Grand Slam. McEnroe and Vilas faced each other third straight year in this tournament (Mac won all three matches) but their official H2H features only the 1981 final because two previous meetings had a “consolation” status…
There were break points in 10 out of 12 games in the opening set (six breaks in total), Vilas fought off a set point at *5:6 and led *3:1 in the 2nd set. Afterwards 4:3 when McEnroe got nine consecutive games. The prize money:
1. McEnroe – $120.000
2. Vilas – $75,000
3. Teacher – $45,000
4. Gerulaitis – $30,000
“When I was down in the second set, he had a chance of maybe going up there, and then I got back in the match,” McEnroe said. “I never felt like I was really out of it. This is an important tournament to win, obviously, because of the prize money involved. Anytime you can beat the top players on clay, it definitely helps you.”
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