Mal Anderson defeated Frank Sedgman, 7-5, 6-2, last night to win the championship of the Grand Masters tournament being held in conjunction with the Washington Star International.
Sedgman was the No. 1 seed, and he has won 44 tournaments and more than $330,000 in his Grand Masters career. But this was not an upset.
"He is the toughest player on this tour for me to play," said Sedgman, "He puts me on the defensive and I'm an offensive player. We have played each other evenly. Tonight I guess the six years made a difference."
Sedgman is 53 years old. Anderson 47. Last night, the difference was six games, which translated into a two-set victory and $4,500 first-place prize money for Anderson. Sedgman earned $3,500 for his second-place finish.
"Frank started well, but then I think the heat got to him," said Anderson. "I'm more used to this kind of climate. I have played in more warm-weather tournaments. If he had won the first set, I would have been in trouble."
Last year Anderson won 13 of 17 Grand Masters matches to break his fellow Australian's tour-leading string at three years.
Anderson trailed, 5-4, in the first set. Then, using a constant prssurized net game that often forced Sedgman to the baseline, he won the next three games. He broke Sedgman's serve in the 10th and 12th games.
Anderson won the first three games of the second set. By his third rally of most every point Anderson was posed at the net. Meanwhile, Sedgman was harbored, defensively, at the baseline.
Sedgman won only two games after that and Anderson finished the match by breaking the serve of the former Wimbledon champion (1952) in the last game.
The Grand Master doubles final -- Anderson and Neale Fraser versus Torben Ulrich and Sven Davidson -- will be held at noon today at Rock Creek Stadium.