PARIS, JUNE 6 -- For six years now, the French Open has belonged to two men: Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander. Each has won two titles. Lendl has been a finalist on two other occasions, Wilander on one. Sunday, one of them will win a third title.
The favorite is Wilander, even though Lendl is the top seed, the defending champion and has grown stronger with each match here. Wilander has been even better, though, routing Yannick Noah and Boris Becker in his last two matches. He has won 17 straight matches, all on clay.
"I think Mats will win," Becker said Friday. "I think in a match like this, the player who is stronger mentally will win. I think Mats is stronger mentally."
No one is stronger physically than Lendl. He has talked constantly about his conditioning, and on these courts, where four-hour matches are not uncommon, has often worn down opponents. He will not do that to Wilander, though.
"I know he will get to a lot of balls," Lendl said. "It will be a matter of how well I can attack because I will probably have to do the attacking in this match."
Actually, Wilander has been playing more aggressively in recent months. His serve has improved and he has been taking the net more than ever before in his career. The key for him might be if he can successfully get in and volley. No one is going to beat Lendl by trading ground strokes.
"I'm very confident right now," Wilander said. "I haven't had to play my best to get to the final. But to win it, I know I'll have to. But I always look forward to playing the final here."
Why not? He and Lendl have certainly done it enough in recent years.
Robert Seguso and Anders Jarryd, a pickup team a week ago, won the French Open doubles title this evening. They came from two sets down to beat Frenchmen Yannick Noah and Guy Forget, 6-7 (7-5), 6-7 (7-2), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
The French team was whistled so rudely by the crowd during the last set that Noah whistled back. Seguso became the first American to win a men's doubles title since 1982. Seguso and Jarryd teamed when Jarryd's doubles partner, Stefan Edberg, decided not to play doubles here and Seguso's partner, John McEnroe, dropped out after losing his first-round singles match.
It was Jarryd's third Grand Slam doubles title and Seguso's second. This was the first time they have played together.