Katerina Maleeva took advantage of a tired Gabriela Sabatini yesterday in Montreal to score a 6-3, 6-4 upset and gain the final of the Canadian Open against Steffi Graf.
It was third-seeded Maleeva's first victory in four meetings with No. 2 Sabatini. She hasn't won so much as a set in six matches with Graf, who cruised past No. 7 Nathalie Tauziat, 6-2, 6-2.
Maleeva controlled the 82-minute match as Sabatini was feeling the effects of Friday's grueling three-setter against Jennifer Capriati and a late doubles match.
Playing with new found aggression, Maleeva served better, returned better and simply outplayed Sabatini.
"I have changed my game a lot. I attack more than I used to. I think women's tennis has changed so I had to change also," Maleeva said.
Graf, meanwhile, appears to have returned to form after a disappointing European season.
"I wanted just to concentrate the whole match through, not make any easy mistake trying things I shouldn't do," Graf said after her 51-minute win. "I think now I'm mentally much much better than a couple of months ago."
Volvo-Los Angeles: Top-seeded Stefan Edberg sandwiched two excellent sets around a mediocre one and beat No. 3 Pete Sampras, 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1. In the final he'll play No. 4 Michael Chang, an easy 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victor over No. 7 Gary Muller.
"I started playing well today," said Edberg, the Wimbledon champion. "He played a good tiebreaker. I got a good start in the third and I just kept the pressure on him."
Austrian Open: Seventh-seeded Karel Novacek defeated No. 6 Horst Skoff of Austria, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in the semifinals in Kitzbuehel. Horacio de la Pena edged third-seeded Emilio Sanchez, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).
U.S. Pro Championships: Qualifier Libor Nemecek beat Darren Cahill, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, in Brookline, Mass., and will face second-seeded Martin Jaite, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Martin Wostenholme, in the final.