John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors won singles matches Saturday to lead the United States into the final of the World Team Tennis Cup with a victory over the host country, West Germany, at Duesseldorf.
McEnroe had trouble beating Hansjoerg Schwaier, who had upset Pat Cash of Australia earlier in the eight-country tournament. McEnroe had to rally from a 1-4 deficit in the second set to win, 7-5, 7-6, in 1 hour 48 minutes.
Connors had no trouble disposing of Wolfgang Popp, 6-1, 6-3.
Those victories sent the defending champions to the final against Czechoslovakia.
In today final, worth $200,000 to the winning team, McEnroe will play Ivan Lendl, the world's No. 2 player. In last year's Duesseldorf final, McEnroe defeated Lendl, 6-3, 6-2, to lead the United States to victory.
Connors meets Miloslav Mecir in today's other singles match.
Speaking of his chances against Lendl, who beat him in the Tournament of Champions final earlier this month, McEnroe said:
"If I play like I played the set and a half today, I don't think I can beat him. But if I play like the last half of the second set, then I can. It'll be an interesting match."
Against Connors, Popp held his serve in the opening game, but Connors took the next eight games. He dropped his serve for the first time in the third game of the second set but broke back in the sixth for a 4-2 lead and quickly wrapped up the match.
In Saturday's other match, Australia defeated Spain, 2-1, to take second place in the U.S.-led round-robin group with a 2-1 record. Spain (1-2) placed third, while winless West Germany was last.
At Lugano, Switzerland, Bonnie Gadusek defeated Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, to advance to the final of the European Women's Open.
Gadusek will face Bulgaria's Manuela Maleeva for the championship. Maleeva ousted West Germany's Sylvia Hanika, 6-1, 7-6, in the other semifinal.
For Gadusek, it was her fourth victory in six matches against Sukova, the world's fifth-ranked player, who is seeded second in this tournament.