Andrea Jaeger came of age in women's tennis yesterday with her first victory over Chris Evert Lloyd, 7-6, 6-4, to win the $150,000 Avon Championship of California for the second straight year.
Jaeger, a 16-year-old from Chicago, seemed like a mirror image of Lloyd with her two-fisted backhand, high lobs, deft drop shots and powerful base line strokes. But Jaeger added a scrappiness and desire that Lloyd lacked.
It was Lloyd's first tournament in two months, and Jaeger took advantage of that layoff to run the 27-year-old veteran around the court and win the $30,000 top prize. Jaeger had lost six previous matches against Lloyd.
Jaeger fell behind in the first set with a number of unforced errors, but came back from a 2-5 deficit to win in a tie breaker. Throughout the rally she talked aloud to herself, slapped her leg and broke Lloyd's rhythm with timely pauses to wipe off her racket.
Meanwhile, in Genoa, top-seeded Ivan Lendl's relentless forehand wore down second-seeded Vitas Gerulaitis to give him the title in the second annual $300,000 WCT Bitti Bergamo Memorial tennis tournament.
Lendl's 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory earned him $100,000.