Becker upset in Australian Hardcourt

January 02, 1991

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Magnus Larsson earned the biggest victory of his career yesterday, toppling top-seeded Boris Becker in the first round of the Australian Hardcourt tennis championships.

Larsson, 20, from Vaxjo, Sweden, ran past the three-time Wimbledon champion, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2). It was Becker's first loss in the opening round of a tournament since he was beaten by Goran Ivanisevic of Yugoslavia in last year's French Open.

"Nobody expects to win against Boris Becker," Larsson said. "I was a bit lucky on the important points."

The Swede said he's played better, "but not against such a good player."

Larsson surprised Becker in the first set, breaking the German's opening service game.

Becker captured the second set, but Larsson kept his nerve in the decisive final set tie-breaker, as Becker made a succession of unforced errors.

"From the beginning to the end he took his chances," Becker said. "He hit the ball very hard all the time and often found the lines. I wouldn't say I played badly. I haven't played a match for a while."

Earlier yesterday, in 100-degree heat, Austrian Horst Skoff stormed off the court, defaulting his first-round match against American Jimmy Arias.

Skoff, seeded third and ranked 26th in the world, trailed Arias, 7-6 (7-4), 3-0, when the midday heat got to him.

Skoff said his match should not have been scheduled at that time.

"When you get in the top 40, you should have certain privileges," Skoff said. "I'm not coming back again; that's the only thing I can say."

Hopman Cup

PERTH, Australia -- Goran Prpic and Monica Seles played Yugoslavia into the finals of the team championships with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over France in the mixed doubles Monday.

That gave Yugoslavia a 2-1 win in the match. Prpic and Seles will play either the top-seeded United States or Switzerland in tomorrow's final.

The Yugloslav-French match was tied at 1-1 after Seles beat Catherine Tanvier, 6-2, 6-3, and Guy Forget topped Prpic, 6-4, 6-3, in the singles matches.

Danone Open

BRISBANE, Australia -- Former doubles partners Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova, both of Czechoslovakia and the two top seeds, earned easy victories in the second round. Top-seeded Novotna beat German 15-year-old Marketa Kochta, 6-2, 6-1, and second-seeded Sukova cruised past Australia's Michelle Jaggard, 6-2, 6-3.

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