Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker during the trophy ceremony after their Stockholm indoor 1991 final
Boris Becker ended a nine-month title drought Sunday, outlasting Stefan Edberg in a serve-and-volley duel between the world's top two ranked players to win the Stockholm Open. Becker, capitalizing on Edberg's sloppy serve in the final set, won, 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2, for his second consecutive title in one of the world's oldest indoor tournaments.
Becker, who trounced Edberg in last year's final, ended Edberg's 21-match winning streak with his first tournament victory since the Australian Open in January.
Edberg, the world's No. 1-ranked player who won the U.S. Open, the Australian Indoors and at Tokyo before this event, led by one set twice in the 3-hour 17-minute final. But Edberg, playing before a sellout crowd of 14,000 at the Globe Arena, served poorly late in the match. Starting midway in the fourth set, Edberg dropped five of six service games.
"I started to lose the rhythm of my serve in the fourth set," Edberg said. "I missed a lot of first serves and gave him the opportunity to return my second serve."
Becker, playing only his second tournament after the U.S. Open, where he suffered a back injury, broke Edberg at love in the final game, ending the match with a perfect lob. It was the first time he beat Edberg in a five-set match, losing previously in the 1989 French Open semifinals on clay and last year's Wimbledon final.
"Every win against Stefan is important," Becker said. "It feels good to have beaten the No. 7, No. 3 and No. 1 players in a row here." Becker, who also won the Stockholm Open in 1988, earned $137,450. Edberg, winner of six titles this year, received $73,910. Becker beat Pete Sampras in the quarterfinals, then rallied from a set down to defeat Jim Courier in the semifinals.