Jimmy Arias successfully defended his title in the Du Pont All-American championships Saturday with a 6-4, 6-4 clay-court victory over Gene Mayer at Harbourtown Racquet Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The victory in the $150,000 tournament was worth $50,000 to Arias. Mayer, the 1983 champion and 1984 runner-up, earned $25,000.
Arias, who entered the tournament unseeded, was never in danger after overcoming a 2-4 deficit in the first set. From that point, Arias won eight of the next nine games, taking the first set and building a 4-1 lead in the second.
“I thought I was in trouble the first set because I couldn’t hold serve,” Arias said. “But then I broke him at love to make it 3-4, and that got my confidence going.”
Mayer attempted a late run in the second set, breaking Arias and then holding serve to close within 4-3. But Arias held at 5-3 and won it two games later at love. Mayer hit a backhand into the net at match point.
Top-seeded Ivan Lendl, the U.S. Open champion, defeated Argentina’s Jose-Luis Clerc, 6-2, 6-2, to advance to the final of the $117,000 Mercedes Cup tournament at Stuttgart, West Germany.
Lendl will meet Brad Gilbert, who upset Czechoslovakia’s Tomas Smid, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
Top-seeded Joakim Nystrom of Sweden advanced to the final of the 34th annual Sicilian championships by defeating Uruguay’s Diego Perez, 7-6, 6-4, at Palermo, Italy.