MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, JAN. 27 -- In their moments of triumph, champions sometimes hug people, cry or shout.

Seconds after winning the Australian Open on Sunday, Boris Becker ran from the stadium.

This was not just another $250,000 paycheck, even if Becker's 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ivan Lendl gave him a fifth Grand Slam title.

This was about becoming No. 1 in the world rankings, displacing Stefan Edberg, achieving at age 23 the most important goal of his seven-year career.

Pumping his arms, he jogged through a tunnel in the stadium, past bewildered officials, to the grassy park outside.

"He was on top of the world," said Glen Sharam, head groundsman at the National Tennis Center, whom the tournament referee told to follow Becker. "He was ecstatic."

"Keep away," Becker shouted, and Sharam, a professional sprinter when not tending the center, stayed a respectful 70 yards behind.

Finally, Becker ran back just as hard before slowing down in the park on the way back into the stadium. A half-dozen people in the park watched him and applauded, then he disappeared again into the tunnel.

"I just couldn't sit down and relax," he said. "I had to move. There was so much going on inside me. I just had to get out there to be by myself. I was thinking back about the past, how many years I have been {playing}, that I am finally on the top. I was thinking backwards what I had to go through."

In 1985, at 18, he startled the sports world by winning the first of his three Wimbledon titles. He was ranked second the next year, fourth in 1987 and 1988. He rededicated himself to his goal, working harder than ever under the guidance of manager Ion Tiriac and coach Bob Brett, and won the U.S. Open in 1989. But still he wasn't No. 1.

He had never done well here, finishing no better than the quarterfinals in five tries, but he came to Australia five weeks ago to concentrate on winning. He lost in the first rounds of two tuneup events, and almost gave up hope of winning here or getting to the top.

He barely survived a five-set, third-round match against No. 45 Omar Camporese -- at 5 hours 11 minutes the longest ever in the Australian Open.

Ten minutes after taking off on his solitary run, he returned to center court, the crowd of 15,000 and the photographers. "It's unbelievable for me at this moment," he said, accepting his silver trophy. He couldn't express himself, so he merely thanked them, then retreated to the locker room.

He was strangely subdued after playing with fury against Lendl only a short while before. Becker won all four of his previous Grand Slam matches against Lendl in a similarly aggressive manner, beating him at Wimbledon in 1986, 1988 and 1989, and the 1989 U.S. Open final. In other Open events, Americans Patty Fendick and Mary Joe Fernandez won their first Grand Slam doubles title. Seeded fourth, they beat the top-seeded team of Jana Novotna and Gigi Fernandez, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

In the junior boys' final, top-seeded Thomas Enqvist of Sweden struggled before beating Australian Stephen Gleeson, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (3-7), 6-1.

Grant Doyle and Joshua Eagle of Australia won the boys' doubles, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, over compatriots Jamie Holmes and Paul Kilderry.