from The Kokomo Tribune
After getting knocked out of his last two Grand Slam tournaments in the first week, Stefan Edberg needed to do something different before the next one rolled around.
The 28-year-old Swede took a week off from tennis following Wimbledon, then chose to begin the summer hardcourt campaign a few weeks earlier than normal, entering the $650,000 Legg Mason tournament.
Sunday, that decision paid a handsome dividend. Edberg overcame early problems with his serve and needed just 71 minutes to defeat Australian Jason Stoltenberg 6-4, 6-2 to capture the championship.
The victory, Edberg's third in 1994, paid $87,500. However, its worth in terms of preparing for next month's US Open may be incalculable. Earlier in the week, Edberg said he heeded to work on a number of things after his second-round loss to fellow Swede Kenneth Carlsen at Wimbledon. Following Sunday's championship, Edberg, the No. 2 seed, said he accomplished everything he set out to do.
"I won five matches and the title, which is most important of all," he said. "But I also gained a lot of confidence and worked on improving my serve and my game in general. I did all of that, so I'm very pleased with the way things went this week."
So was Stoltenberg. Ranked 47th in the world entering the tournament, he took home his biggest paycheck ever, $46,000. "I felt good on the court," he said, "and I'm going to try to focus on the positives, such as the fact I beat a lot of pretty good players this week, and didn't expect to go this far at the beginning of the week".
Both players had trouble with their service, with the serving player losing the opening point in 10 straight games at one stretch.
Edberg jumped ahead 3-0 in the first set, then the players traded breaks in the firth and sixth games, and again in the ninth and 10th, Edberg moved in front 3-0 in the second set, closing the match with a break in the eighth and final game.
And then there was the heat. Many players say that the combination of the playing surface and hot, humid conditions means this tournament closely resembles those at the Open than any other.
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