LONDON, JUNE 14 -- Boris Becker rallied to beat Tim Mayotte, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, today and reach the final of the $300,000 Stella Artois grass court championships at Queens Club.
In the championship match Monday, set back 24 hours because of rain that has plagued this Wimbledon tuneup, Becker will play Jimmy Connors.
Connors, seeking his first title since October 1984, beat Pat Cash of Australia, 7-6, 6-4, in the other semifinal Saturday.
Becker, the two-time defending Wimbledon champion, was given a severe test by Mayotte, who beat him in the quarterfinals last year on the way to winning this championship.
The rematch was interrupted twice by rain, but the tennis got better after each resumption and reached a peak in the final set when Becker gained one crucial break and held off Mayotte's spirited efforts to break back.
"It was as good as a grass court match could be," said Becker, the world's No. 2-ranked player.
Mayotte, ranked No. 12, proved that on grass, he is as dangerous an opponent as any of the leading players.
Saturday, Mayotte broke Becker in the first game of the match and was leading, 2-1, when rain ended play.
When play resumed today, Mayotte saved a break point to take a 3-1 lead and used strong volleying and solid returns of serve to take the first set.
The second set was halted after 38 minutes because of rain with Becker ahead, 5-4. Becker, who slipped several times on the greasy surface but also produced his familiar leaps, dropped only three points in five service games.
With the score 2-2 in the final set, Mayotte, who had been holding serve without trouble, double faulted. It gave Becker a rare break point and he sent a running forehand down the line that Mayotte reached with his racket, but could not control.
Then, with Mayotte serving at 3-5 to save the match, a Becker backhand clipped the top of the net and just went over for a match point. Mayotte saved it with a volley and won the game, only to have the same thing happen in the next game. A lucky netcord took Becker to 40-30, and he won the match on his second match point when Mayotte overhit a backhand.