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"It is fantastic and I can't believe it. It still hasn't sunk into my system yet" - Stefan Edberg straight after winning his first Wimbledon title. Read the article

Lendl Survives 2 Match Points To Beat Edberg and Gain Final

from The New York Times

MELBOURNE, Australia, Friday, Jan. 25— Ivan Lendl gladly took the gift of 12 double faults by Stefan Edberg, including one at match point, and marched into his third consecutive Australian Open final.

The top-ranked Edberg lives by his serve, and today it deserted him as he fell, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, to the two-time defending champion in just over four hours of center-court suspense and blunders.

Edberg, of Sweden, gave Lendl the title last year when he was forced to withdraw from the final in the third set with a strained abdominal muscle. This time, he gave Lendl a victory by faltering on the big points.

Lendl will face the winner of today's second semifinal, which matched Boris Becker with the unseeded Patrick McEnroe.

The usually unflappable Edberg had two chances to put the match away when he served with a 5-4 lead in the fourth set.

Edberg netted a backhand volley to drop the first match point at deuce, then double-faulted after getting his second match point on a service winner.

Lendl didn't waste the opportunity. He smacked a forehand return past Edberg for break point, then evened the set when his forehand clipped the top of the net, hopped past Edberg and landed inside the baseline.

After Lendl raced to a 6-2 lead in the tie breaker, Edberg saved one set point but gave Lendl another gift by double-faulting again.

12 Aces for Lendl

Edberg looked demoralized as he came out for the fifth set. Lendl broke him in the first game with the help of another double-fault to break point. Edberg came back briefly, breaking back to 1-1, but was broken again at 15-40 on a backhand volley into the net in the fifth game.

Lendl, who served 12 aces, suddenly came up with a case of serving blues, double-faulting twice while trying to end the match in the 10th game. But Edberg again netted a backhand volley, then Lendl finished it off with a forehand winner in the corner, far out of the reach of Edberg's backhand.

Lendl ran to the net, pumping both fists over his head, then consoled Edberg with a pat on the back.

Lendl Survives 2 Match Points To Beat Edberg and Gain Final

 

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