FRANKFURT. In the day that saw Boris Becker take a big success over Ivan Lendl and save his chances in the race for the top place of world ranking -also winning the round robin at the ATP Finals-, Stefan Edberg replied with a win on Pete Sampras, that closed debates on who is number one in the world for 1990.
If Bum Bum wins the tournament, he will still be disappointed, because the Swede is now safe from any surprise.
Then there'll be long arguing on many questions of the professional tour, but figures will prove Edberg right in any case.
Had he bluffed or not on the question of his straining, yesterday Boris Becker obtained a big win on Ivan Lendl in the last match of the Round Robin, that so he ended with full-score. Had he lost that match, Bum Bum would have left in Stefan Edberg's hands the ranking leadership, even if the Swede had lost his match with Pete Sampras.
(...) Come into the court already knowing of Becker's success, Edberg applied all his energies against Sampras: for the Swede, it was a matter of life and death; win would mean confirmation of his first place in 1990 world ranking, thanks to the 261 points of gap on Boris, and qualification for the Masters' semifinals; loss, instead, would even exclude him from the tournament, due to a worse record than Agassi's and Sampras', giving Becker free way to the 400 point «en-plein» (that he would obtain winning the final).
Today Edberg meets Lendl in the eternal challenge. Becker has to avenge against Agassi the defeat in the US Open semifinal. Now Bum Bum is favourite to enter the final, while in the other half of the draw, anything can happen. It's the race of three to the title.
The plans of world number one
Now Edberg thinks big: «In '91 I'll go for the Grand Slam»
FRANKFURT. On Friday evening, after assuring the top spot in the world ranking thanks to the win on Sampras, Stefan Edberg looked shiny. "It's something really important to me, I never had such a good season before". The Swede admitted that the match against Sampras was one of the most delicate in his career. "It would have been hard -he said- to remain on top for several months and lose the leadership in the last week".
Edberg didn't want to make a "tournament priority standing", but to him this tournament is "almost" as important as a Grand Slam event.
Now he has big plans for '91, meaning he'll try and go for the poker of wins. "Last year -reminded Edberg- I played several important finals without winning them, starting from the one in Paris. And now I want to try all the Grand Slam tournaments"
Stefan didn't say it clearly, but it's evident that his intentions could be those of winning the "poker", that is in Melbourne, Paris, Wi mbledon and Flushing Meadows.
Since ATP computer rankings have been introduced, Edberg is the third Swede to end the year as world number one, after Borg (1979,80) and Wilander (1988).