Richard Matuszewski hadn’t showed signs that he was ready for the kind of match he played Saturday in upsetting Tim Mayotte, 7-6, 6-4, to gain the final of the $510,000 Australian Indoor tennis championships at Sydney.
Last week at Brisbane, Australia, Matuszewski--typically--lost in straight sets to Mayotte, who won a silver medal at the Seoul Olympics.
Matuszewski, 24, is a two-year pro from Hopewell Junction, N.Y. with a journeyman’s swing. He is ranked 136th, and his sights are hardly set on cracking the top 10.
For now, however, Saturday’s victory is reward enough.
“This is definitely the biggest moment of my career,” Matuszewski said of reaching his first Grand Prix final. “I did the right things today and played smart. I just stayed in the points.”
In the other semifinal match, fifth-seeded Slobodan Zivojinovic of Yugoslavia beat second-seeded Andres Gomez of Ecuador, 6-4, 6-2.
Mayotte, 27, ranked eighth in the world, looked tired during the early-afternoon semifinal. He had 5 hours sleep after his quarterfinal ended at midnight Friday.
“I felt flat and had real problems with my serve,” he said.
Matuszewski played defensively and allowed Mayotte to make the mistakes.
Mayotte served 10 double faults during the match, 3 straight in the 12th game of the first set for a break when serving at 6-5.
Defending champion Martina Navratilova and second-seeded Chris Evert easily won their semifinal matches in the $250,000 Virginia Slims tournament at Filderstadt, West Germany.
The top-seeded Navratilova, four-time winner of the tournament and ranked second in the world, had no trouble ousting Eva Pfaff of West Germany, 6-4, 6-2.
Evert defeated Italy’s Raffaella Reggi, 6-3, 6-1.
Second-seeded Jimmy Connors downed Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland to gain the final of the $290,000 Olympia Open tournament at Toulouse, France, against Soviet player Andrei Chesnokov.
Connors won, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, and Chesnokov eliminated Christian Bergstrom of Sweden, 7-5, 6-3.