Stefan Edberg, forced to retreat to the baseline because of a painfully twisted ankle, overcame Michael Chang, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), yesterday in the 2-hour 37-minute Volvo-Los Angeles title match.
Top-seeded Edberg was hurt while changing directions in the sixth game of the second set. But in the third set, there wasn't so much as a break point, resulting in a tiebreaker.
The Swede raced to a 4-1 edge behind his strong serve. Fourth-seeded Chang closed to 4-3 before Edberg took the last three points.
The serve-and-volley specialist said the ankle injury forced him to the baseline. "After I twisted it, I had to change my game," Edberg said. " . . . Yes, I thought about defaulting."
"I played really well in the third," Chang said. "When he twisted his ankle . . . it was frustrating not to convert. That's why Stefan is where he is today. He's able to move up a notch."
Steffi Graf survived an error-plagued second set and a strong challenge by third-seeded Katerina Maleeva for a 6-1, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 victory in Montreal.
Graf raced through the first set in 22 minutes, losing just 10 points. Then when she served for the second set, Maleeva recorded her first break, tying at 5. In the tiebreaker Maleeva needed four set points to put it away. Graf committed 21 unforced errors in the set to nine for Maleeva.
Graf took a 3-0 lead in the third and Maleeva rallied for 3-3, only to see Graf hold serve, break at love and hold again.
"It wasn't the easiest, but it feels good to win," Graf said.
Said Maleeva: "I didn't have anything to lose. I wanted to show the crowd I wasn't afraid to play Graf."
This was Graf's first tournament since Wimbledon. She took a month off after having surgery to correct a sinus problem and appeared recharged from the layoff. She hadn't dropped a set till yesterday.
U.S. Pro Championships:
Second-seeded Martin Jaite took advantage of qualifier Libor Nemecek's nervousness in his first final, winning by 7-5, 6-2 in Brookline, Mass.
"This has been the greatest week of my life," said 298th-ranked Nemecek, who earned $25,000 yesterday, more than all of last year.
Horacio de la Pena outlasted seventh-seeded Karel Novacek, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-2, in the three-hour title match in Kitzbuehel. Novacek had routed Boris Becker in a 69-minute quarterfinal.