Stefan Edberg, living up to his new No. 1 men's ranking, took 50 minutes to beat Brad Gilbert, 6-1, 6-1, in the ATP Championship yesterday in Mason, Ohio. It was the most lopsided singles final since the ATP moved to the Jack Nicklaus Sports Center. One game went to deuce.
In last year's final, Gilbert beat Edberg, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5).
"The guy thoroughly beat on me. That's the bottom line. He just beat on me," said Gilbert, who held serve twice in seven tries.
Edberg, who took over No. 1 from Ivan Lendl Friday, limited Gilbert to 27 points.
"This is one to remember, with all the things that have happened this week," said Edberg, who has won his last three tournaments, including Wimbledon. "I became No. 1 after the quarterfinals, and then I proved it. I proved it by the way I've played over the last month and a half."
Edberg went up, 30-40, in the first game with a backhand passing shot and had the break when Gilbert hit a forehand volley. With two more breaks and his serve unchallenged, he sealed the first set. Gilbert got four points in the first three games of the second set as Edberg took a 3-0 lead. "He did everything well," Gilbert said. ". . . He was thumping volleys."
Great American Bank: Steffi Graf won her 50th pro singles title, defeating Manuel Maleeva-Fragniere, 6-3, 6-2, in San Diego. When the U.S. Open begins Aug. 27, Graf, whose third anniversary as women's top-ranked player is Friday, will top Martina Navratilova's record of 157 consecutive weeks at No. 1.
Graf used an array of shots to overcome the baseline game of Maleeva-Fragniere, now 0-12 in their series. Down by 0-4 in the first set, Maleeva-Fragniere won three games in a row, but Graf regained control, accenting it with a backhand volley slam. Graf took a 4-1 lead in the second set on her opponent's errant shots.
Virginia Slims: Top-seeded Jana Novotna's powerful serve and net attack carried her to a 6-4, 6-4 win over second-seeded Laura Gildemeister for the title in Albuquerque.