More than Amos Mansdorf’s luck had to change if he was going to beat Brad Gilbert Sunday in the final of the $1.1-million Paris Open.
Mansdorf lost in straight sets to Gilbert earlier this month in Tel Aviv.
This time Mansdorf went for broke and wound up winning the world’s richest indoor tennis tournament, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
“I was taking a lot of chances on the big points, and the ball was going in,” said Mansdorf, who took command in the second set by breaking the American’s serve twice for a 4-0 lead.
For his fourth career title, Mansdorf earned $262,000, more than 10 times his best previous tournament paycheck. Gilbert won $131,000, also his best-ever payday. Neither finalist was among the tournament’s 8 seeded players.
Mansdorf, a 23-year-old Israeli, advanced past the first round when Mats Wilander of Sweden pulled out with the flu.
“I saw the draw and thought I got unlucky to play the No. 1 player in the world in the first round in a big tournament,” Mansdorf said. “But I just got lucky this time.”
Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria broke top-seeded Zina Garrison’s serve 3 times in the 3rd set to win the championship match of the Virginia Slims of Indianapolis, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
“I think it was very good for me that I broke her in the first game of the third set,” said Maleeva, who had beaten Garrison only once before in 5 previous matches. “In the second set she served well, not hard, but deep.”
At Brighton, England, West German Steffi Graf needed only 54 minutes to defeat Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria, 6-2, 6-0, in the final of a $275,000 international tournament.
“I am relieved to have played well,” Graf said. “Once in a while you have a bad day. I had two very bad ones in a row, but today I had a feeling for the ball.”