Jakob Hlasek had 13 aces and used his power to overcome the quickness of Michael Chang for a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory yesterday in the Wembley, England, indoor tournament final. Hlasek, who won at Wembley in 1988, celebrated his 26th birthday a day early by winning $42,000 and his first tour event this year.
"I served very well on the big points. He really couldn't jump on me because my first serve was so good," Hlasek said.
Defending champion Chang, one of the top serve returners, managed only one break and rarely threatened. "The most difficult part about playing him today was just getting his serve back," Chang said.
Each player had one service break in the opening set. Hlasek won the first three games of the second set, then wrapped up the title on his fifth match point. He kept Chang moving, continually preventing the American from getting in position to hit solid shots.
The Swiss player said he developed his strategy while doing German television commentary on Chang's second-round win over Jeremy Bates. "That was the first time that I really saw 100 percent what to do. That was a really good hour for me to learn," Hlasek said. "I was concentrating, trying to do a good job on the commentating." He said he learned to stay on the baseline and wait for openings, rather than rush the net on every serve, "because he passes so well."
Jim Grabb and Patrick McEnroe won the doubles over Rick Leach and Jim Pugh, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-3.
Kremlin Cup: The Soviet Union's Andrei Cherkasov won the first men's pro tournament in his country by defeating Tim Mayotte, 6-2, 6-1, in Moscow. Cherkasov capitalized on Mayotte's mistakes in earning $42,800 and 183 ATP points, which moved him from 32nd in the world to 21st. Mayotte earned $25,200 and 78 ATP points to go from 41st to 33rd. "I think I played well, but Andrei played almost perfect tennis," said Mayotte.
New England Virginia Slims: Steffi Graf used aggressive net play to take the final in Worcester, Mass., from Gabriela Sabatini, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. The 84-minute match was Graf's 20th win over Sabatini in 24 meetings since 1985. It was Graf's fourth straight tournament title and 10th this year.
Sabatini took leads of 4-2 and 5-3 in the first set before Graf broke her in the 10th game and forced the tiebreaker, which Graf began with a 96 mph ace. They exchanged breaks in the second set, with Sabatini taking a 3-2 lead. But Graf ran off three games to win the set in 32 minutes.
Jell-O Classic: Conchita Martinez overcame a slow start to defeat Leila Meskhi, 6-4, 6-2, in the Indianapolis final for her third title in four tournaments. Meskhi took a 4-1 lead by surviving two break points to hold in the 12-point fifth game. Martinez, who is 41-9 this year, then started hitting more topspin and slice from her baseline position, and pulled ahead.
Big Four: In the exhibition in Rome, No. 3 Ivan Lendl beat No. 1 Stefan Edberg, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3), in 2 1/2 hours. In the consolation, John McEnroe beat Andre Agassi, 6-3, 6-1.