Seventeen-year-old Boris Becker yesterday won his first Grand Prix title, producing 11 aces to defeat fourth-seeded Johan Kriek, 6-2, 6-3, in the $250,000 Queen's Club grass court tournament in London.
Becker, the 11th seed and the world's 29th ranked player, won $35,000 in the traditional Wimbledon warmup.
"It was a dream for me when I was 10 to win a Grand Prix final," Becker said. "This week was fantastic. I played my best tennis and beat a lot of good players."
En route to the final, Becker defeated Pat Cash and David Pate. Yesterday, Becker served five aces in his first three service games and in the sixth game broke Kriek on his fifth break point. He broke Kriek again in the eighth game.
Kriek, ranked 14th in the world, rallied in the second set with superb returns. The eighth game went to four deuces before Becker broke to lead, 5-3. He served out the next game at love, producing three big serves and a final ace for the victory.
Seconds later, Becker realized his parents were there, having flown in from West Germany. "I looked into the crowd and he (Becker's coach, Ion Tiriac) kept on pointing upwards until I saw them." . . .
In the women's $125,000 tournament in Birmingham, England, defending champion Pam Shriver took 43 minutes to rout Betsy Nagelsen, 6-1, 6-0, in the final. Shriver won her third singles title of the year with powerful serving and solid returns.
"She played much too well for me and there was little I could do about it," said Nagelsen, who won 12 points in the first set and 11 in the second.