Tennis Roundup : Navratilova Gets Revenge--and $112,500

From Times Wire Services

Attacking from the start, Martina Navratilova defeated her longtime rival Chris Evert Lloyd to win the women's singles title in the $1.8-million Lipton International Players Championships Saturday at Delray Beach, Fla.

The 6-2, 6-4 victory avenged Navratilova's loss to Lloyd three weeks ago by the same score.

Today, former Stanford teammates, Tim Mayotte and Scott Davis, play for the men's title.

Singles champions each pocket $112,500, with the runners-up collecting $56,250 apiece.

But, for Navratilova, who was playing Lloyd for a record 63rd time, it was the victory--her 32nd of the series--not the money that mattered.

"I don't know how many more times we'll play again," she smiled. "This could be the last time. I could break a leg skiing or Chris could get pregnant."

The humor, though, came afterward. It was all determination on the court.

"The last match I was ready to go from the first point was the U.S. Open," Navratilova said.

She was ready Saturday, beginning the match by breaking Lloyd's service at 30. After Lloyd broke back, Navratilova ripped through the next four games to take a 5-1 lead.

Lloyd saved two set points in the seventh game before holding serve. And when Navratilova went up, 40-0, in the next game, she had triple-set point.

But Lloyd fought back to deuce as Navratilova, up 40-15, double-faulted twice. It was a temporary reprieve, though, as the world's No. 1 player cashed in on her sixth set point.

The two traded service breaks in the second set before Navratilova took a 4-2 advantage when she broke Lloyd in the fifth game and held serve in the sixth.

Lloyd, however, fought back brilliantly, holding her service at 30, then breaking Navratilova to even the set at 4-4.

It was her last hurrah.

Navratilova broke through in the ninth game, then held her own serve at 15 to close out the match in 70 minutes.

"The difference between this one and three weeks ago is that at Key Biscayne I didn't make as many unforced errors," Lloyd said. "Today I wasn't hitting the ball as cleanly.

"I went into the match knowing I could win it. I know I have to play near-perfect tennis to beat her. I had my chances in the second set, but I have to play big points better against her."

Stan Smith and Bob Lutz advanced to the final of the $40,000 Hayes tournament for players 35 years and over at La Quinta.

Smith defeated Colin Dibley of Australia, 7-5, 6-2, and Lutz beat Cliff Richey, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Smith and Lutz meet today at the La Quinta Hotel Tennis Club, with the winner getting $8,000, the loser $4,000.

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