An article from: La Repubblica
by Gianni Clerici
Edberg is the first finalist: McEnroe looked the one of the Australian Open. Today resume Lendl-Becker and women's final
LONDON. (...) It looked a very close match, as it began, giving tennis (and not players') fans hope for a good five setter. Not certainly favourite in the forecast, Mac was even the first to break serve, thanks to Edberg's complicity: persecuted by a foot fault judge, Stefan fell to double fault twice.
3-2 and then 4-3 up, the old champion gave all his fans vivid hopes, for some balls returned with just a simple wrist flexion, the gesture of someone who wants to get rid of a fly. A couple of big forehands by Edberg in the eight game, though, were enough to irritate and puzzle Mac, who seemed to mislay the coordination he needs for that inimitable serve of his, that action that he only could imagine and execute.
Not only those two double faults left me perplexed. In these two weeks, Mac held university lectures more than press conferences, in which he often used the word "intensity". Mac explained that intensity made him a champion reborn, while I couldn't believe it, even if I wanted.
A look up in the dictionary allowed me to make sure that intensity means not only an emphasized force of action. It also derives from late Latin "intensus" that, if I don't go wrong, means strained. That's it. More than imprecise in serving, and not lightening in his sprints, today's Mac was a strained guy.
He found an excuse for every error, asking to forbid the camera flashes, at the change of court he complained for some drops of water on his chair, and in the end he also found a way to get angry for a little sparrow, that Edberg let fly away with a smile.
This discontinuous but splendid Mac reminded very closely of the player beaten in the only Grand Slam tournament played by him this year, the Australian Open. He delighted all of us, but didn't manage to take a set away from Ivan Lendl, in spite of reaching tie-break two times.
I afforded to write then that, under his rays of light, Mac hid his lacks. He was always an extraordinary tennis player, but also, dear him, a parade champion. More than a Mac's fan, and even some friends, didn't appreciate, and wrote me with the purpose of teaching me a job I've been doing for forty years, dear me. But sports are nice because they allow anyone to express their opinions.
So while Mac kept on delighting us giving us a very refined show, with little behind it, for once I was very far from being satisfied not to have misjudged. I saw Mac recover on Edberg and then lose ground, again and again.
Neither rain, that interrupted the match for 3 hours and 20, could help him. Rested and refreshed, Mac would have a set-point, but Edberg's first serve would bend his wrist.
As McEnroe picked up his stuff, and raised his irreducible fist to greet his fans, I collected my sheets, and thought he was thirty, by now.
Men's semifinal: Edberg (Swe) b. McEnroe (Usa) 7-5, 7-6, 7-6.
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