Bjorn Borg beat John McEnroe yesterday in Tokyo to set up a finale against longtime foe Jimmy Connors today in the last match of Borg's international tennis career.
Borg, 26, playing with the speed and determination of old, beat McEnroe, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, to gain the final of the four-man, $250,000 Suntory Cup. Borg played his last Grand Prix tour match last week in Monte Carlo.
In the second match of the day, Connors, 30, recovered from a slow start to edge Johan Kriek, 1-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Borg's departure from professional tennis is a decision both Connors and McEnroe said was regrettable. But Borg said he would give "no second thoughts" to the matter even if he beats Connors.
McEnroe blamed the media and its intrusions on the private lives of tennis stars for hastening Borg's departure. "It's a perfect example of a perfect gentleman forced to retire earlier than he should have to," he said.
In the third set, Borg looked like the man who won five Wimbledon and six French Open titles, outlasting McEnroe in long back court rallies and sending backhands into the corner as McEnroe went for the net. He broke McEnroe's serve in the third and seventh games, keeping his own with ease.
"I wanted to win but it was difficult under these circumstances," McEnroe said . . .
Top-seeded Martina Navritilova easily gained the final of the $200,000 Family Circle Cup women's tournament on Hilton Head Island, S.C., with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Bettina Bunge.
The nationally televised match began during a light rain that became heavier and forced suspension of play for about 15 minutes during the first set.
Navratilova will play No. 3 Tracy Austin, who beat Andrea Jaeger, 7-5, 7-5, in a 2 1/2-hour match. Earlier in the day, Austin's strong base line game overpowered Manuela Maleeva, 6-3, 6-2, in a match delayed by rain Friday . . .
Paul McNamee beat rookie pro Mark Dickson, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, in the semifinals of the $300,000 River Oaks International in Houston, and top-seeded Ivan Lendl defeated Bill Scanlon, 6-2, 6-2.