Tennis: Pernfors' surprise success

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MIKAEL PERNFORS, of Sweden, won his first tournament for five years when he defeated the American, Todd Martin, in the final of the Canadian Open in Montreal yesterday.

Pernfors, 30 last month, triumphed 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 against the 13th seed who appeared to have taken contol when he broke the Swede's serve in the sixth game of the final set to lead 4-2.

At 5-4 the American served for the match but Pernfors levelled courageously. This seemed to break the spirit of a tired-looking Martin and Pernfors broke service again before serving out for victory.

Martin had looked set for a quick win as he raced to a 5-0 lead before taking the first set 6-2. But unforced errors in the second set allowed Pernfors, who delighted the crowd with some Boris Becker style lunging and somersaulting, back into the match.

Pernfors, runner-up in the 1986 French Open, was the first unseeded player to win the Canadian tournament and it was his first victory since Scottsdale in 1988. He had fallen to 1001 in the world rankings two years ago after Achilles tendon surgery in 1990.

The Spaniard Carlos Costa beat Magnus Gustafsson, of Sweden in the final of the Dutch Open yesterday. Costa, ranked No42 in the world, won 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in just 85 minutes. Gustafsson, suffering from an upper arm injury, was unable to withstand Costa's power.