Tennis Roundup : It’s a $900,000 Victory for Lendl

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Ivan Lendl earned money and prizes worth $900,000 Sunday by beating John McEnroe in the $850,000 European Champions’ Championship at Antwerp, Belgium.

In addition to the $200,000 winner’s check for his 1-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory, the world’s No. 1 player received a life-size, 13.2-pound gold racket studded with 1,420 diamonds totaling 100 carats and valued at $700,000.

The bonus prize was offered to the first player to win the tournament three times in a five-year span. Lendl, who also won in 1982 and 1984, made it a year inside the time limit.


McEnroe, the 1983 ECC titlist, earned $130,000 Sunday, but his defeat was not at the expense of his sense of humor.

Looking at Lendl next to him, he said: “I think, we agreed we were splitting the racket.” As Lendl joined the crowd in laughter, he added: “Ah, well, I guess not.”

McEnroe, who said he didn’t feel in top condition, praised Lendl’s performance and partly blamed his own lack of concentration for the defeat.

“Lendl is in better shape than I am right now. I don’t feel like I played badly, I just feel like he played a good match. He really has improved his game.”

It was their first meeting since Lendl beat McEnroe in the final of the U.S. Open.

Lendl opened nervously Sunday as McEnroe won the first set in 31 minutes. But Lendl regained his confidence as the second set went to 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Lendl took a 4-1 lead, but McEnroe fought back to 5-5 before Lendl pulled ahead to win, 7-5.

“In the first set McEnroe was blowing me off the court,” Lendl said. “Then the tie-break was very important to me. After that it was going more and more my way. Once I won the third set, it became easy. John was more aggressive than (at the U.S. Open) in Flushing Meadow, so I got more chances to pass him.”


At Zurich, Switzerland, Zina Garrison of Houston needed just 62 minutes to defeat top-seeded Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia, 6-1, 6-3, to win the $150,000 European indoors women’s tournament for the second year in a row.

Garrison often was able to hammer Mandlikova’s first serve out of her reach into the corners, and to top it off she converted her third match point with an ace.

“That was the best match I played in this tournament, I’m kind of on a high,” said Garrison, ranked No. 6 by the Women’s Tennis Assn. and seeded third in the tournament.

“I thought it was going to be a really tough match, but then I could see that Hana was having trouble, and I kept her under pressure all along.”

Mandlikova tried to get back into the match in the second set as she cut her deficit to 3-2, but Garrison quickly staved off the challenge, dropping only one more game.

Mandlikova came back with Andrea Temesvari of Hungary to win the doubles title, beating the top-seeded team of Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of West Germany and Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.