Tennis Roundup : Uninvited Connors Wins Cup

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Jimmy Connors defeated Sweden’s Mats Wilander, 6-4, 6-0, Sunday to win the $250,000 Suntory Cup exhibition tournament at Tokyo.

Connors joined the tournament as a late substitute for Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, who withdrew because of a thigh injury. It was the fourth Suntory Cup title for Connors, who won in 1980, 1981 and 1983.

Connors, ranked No. 5 in the world, received $110,000. As runner-up, the No. 3-ranked Wilander received $70,000.

Connors, 33, won the first set when the 21-year-old Wilander, serving in the seventh game, double-faulted at 30-40. The second set clearly belonged to Connors, who controlled the match from the base line.


Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia, last year’s Suntory winner and ranked No. 1 in the world, beat Stefan Edberg, a 20-year-old Swede, 6-1, 1-6, 7-5, to come in third in the two-day, four-man contest.

Lendl picked up $40,000. Edberg, a substitute for John McEnroe, took home $30,000.

Wilander defeated Lendl, 6-4, 6-4, on Saturday, while Connors struggled past Edberg, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.

At Amelia Island, Fla., 16-year-old Steffi Graf outlasted fellow West German Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, to win the $40,000 first prize in the Sunkist WTA championship.


The win was the second in a row for Graf, ranked No. 3 in the world. Last week, she upset Chris Evert Lloyd to win the Family Circle Magazine Cup.

With Martina Navratilova and Lloyd not playing in the tournament, Graf and Kohde-Kilsch were seeded first and second.

Graf was warned in the third game of the final set about unauthorized coaching from her coach and father, Peter Graf, who was accused of giving her signals from the sidelines. In the 11th game of the set, she was penalized a point and eventually lost the game.

Graf said her father was not giving signals.

“He was cheering me on and through your emotions you move your hands,” she said.

“Throughout the match she (the umpire) was looking at him (Graf’s father), and I was looking at her looking at him,” Graf said. “I just didn’t look at him anymore.”

Kohde-Kilsch, who received $18,000 for second place, said the rule is unnecessary.

“It didn’t really matter what Mr. Graf was doing because it is Steffi who has to play it,” she said.


Graf said she got a leg cramp during the tiebreaker, which she won, 7-3.

“At the end, I got cramps when it was 3-2,” she said. “All through the match I didn’t really get tired until I got a leg cramp. Traditionally, I haven’t lost too many tiebreakers. I just try to concentrate and keep the ball in play.”

Kohde-Kilsch said she tried to keep the ball away from Graf’s powerful forehand.

“I tried to hit mostly to her backhand,” Kohde-Kilsch said. “But also to her forehand, but not a lot because she is so strong with her forehand. I tried to mix it up.”

At Nice, France, Emilio Sanchez of Spain won an $85,000 tournament, defeating Paul McNamee of Australia, 6-1, 6-3.