WEST PALM BEACH, FLA., NOV. 27 -- Pat Cash swept the three other competitors in the $1 million Stakes Match tennis tournament today to take the first-day money lead with $350,600.
Cash beat Stefan Edberg, 15-11; Ivan Lendl, 15-11, and John McEnroe, 15-10. The 15-point games had to be decided by two points.
Each player started with $250,000. They won or lost $2,000 for each ace or double fault, and rallies earned $200 per hit for the winner. Each game was worth an additional $30,000.
"It was a good day, but the way this thing is set up I could lose it all tomorrow," Cash said. "It's like playing big tie breakers, and my record is good with tie breakers."
Lendl, No. 1 in the world, won his other two matches for $300,400, outlasting McEnroe, 24-22, and Edberg, 15-7. McEnroe beat Edberg, 17-15, for a 1-2 record and $214,400. Edberg, 0-3, had $134,600.
After round-robin matches Saturday, the two players with the most money qualify for Sunday's double Stakes.
Lendl said he likes the format. "It's something like the Skins Game in golf, and I love to play that for fun," he said. ". . . You play short matches against different opponents, one after the other. It's hard adjusting so quickly."
With the score 21-21, McEnroe lost a chance to break Lendl's serve when his volley was just out. McEnroe smashed his racket to the court, breaking it and drawing a $500 fine.
But McEnroe said he found the format interesting. "It worked out better than I anticipated," he said. "Obviously, it's a new event and the kinks have to be worked out."
Said Edberg: "I found it hard to play. You can win your serve for $200 and then lose a rally for $1,600. The only way to play it is to keep the ball in play."