Tennis: Edberg puts poor form behind him

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The Independent Online
STEFAN EDBERG, the former world No 1, ended an eight-month run without a tournament win yesterday when he beat Paul Haarhuis 6-3, 6-2 to win the Qatar Open.

Edberg dropped out of the top five of the ATP rankings last year and saw this competition as a chance to restore his game. On Friday he said he believed he was now playing well enough to win the Australian Open, which begins next week, and yesterday his relief at his rediscovered form was again evident. 'It's great for my confidence,' he said. 'I have had a problem winning tournaments. I always knew I would win another tournament. I was waiting for it to happen.'

The tournament victory was eased by the earlier eliminations of Pete Sampras and Michael Stich, but the actual final caused Edberg few problems. Haarhuis, ranked 42nd in the world, put up a fight for just one hour and 14 minutes, conceding the first set in 34 minutes and holding only one break point in the entire match.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the emerging Russian player, won the Australian men's hardcourt championship in Adelaide yesterday, taking his first ATP tour title with a straight sets victory over compatriot Alexander Volkov.

The historic encounter - it was the first time two Russian players had contested a tour final - lasted a mere 73 minutes. By that time, Volkov had added his name to those of Pat Cash, Karel Novacek and the 19-year-old's other defeated opponents in the tournament, going down 6-4, 6-3.

Lindsay Davenport, the 17-year- old American, won the Australian women's hardcourt title in Brisbane, defeating Argentina's Florencia Labat 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 in the final.