Tennis: Lendl's revenge: Wilander wilts to old rival

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The Independent Online
IVAN LENDL, the Czech- born American, thrashed his old Swedish rival, Mats Wilander, in the first round of the New South Wales Open in Sydney yesterday.

The match, the first competitive meeting between the former world No 1s since the 1988 US Open final, which Wilander won in five sets, was a one- sided affair with Lendl, now 34, winning 6-2, 6-1. The defeat again raised doubts about Wilander's ability to make a successful comeback.

'As soon as we'd played a few points, I realised Ivan was more match tough than I was,' Wilander said.

Afterwards Lendl said Boris Becker should apologise if he could not back up his allegations of drug-taking in tennis.

Also through to the second round is Pete Sampras, the American world No 1, who defeated Sweden's Jonas Svensson 6-4, 6-2, but Andrei Medvedev, the Ukrainian seeded No 2, pulled out with knee problems and is doubtful for the Australian Open which starts on Monday in Melbourne.

Sampras and Gabriela Sabatini will join several other top players in a special night session at the New South Wales Open today to raise funds for victims of the state's bushfires.