SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Forget, Novotna win Aussie tuneup
SYDNEY, Australia -- Third-seeded Guy Forget won his first singles title outside of his native France yesterday, beating Michael Stich of Germany, 6-3, 6-4, in the final of the New South Wales Open tennis tournament.
Earlier yesterday, sixth-seeded Jana Novotna of Czechoslovakia upset second-seeded Aranxta Sanchez Vicario, 6-4, 6-2, to win the women's singles final.
Sanchez Vicario led 3-1 in the first set but then lost seven straight service games. The Spaniard had lost just 13 games without dropping a set in reaching the final.
Forget, who has spent nearly two months in Australia since first arriving here for the world doubles championships in November, did not drop a set all week in the $425,000 tournament.
"I think I've had the best possible preparation for the Australian Open," Forget said of the first Grand Slam event of 1991, which begins today in Melbourne.
Forget's three previous tour wins were in France, including the 1990 Bordeaux title. He won the world doubles title with friend Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland, competed in the Hopman Cup in Perth and then chose the New South Wales event for his final tuneup for the Australian Open.
Last year, countryman Yannick Noah won the New South Wales title.
Forget needed just 73 minutes to beat Stich, who lost his second final in consecutive weeks in Australia. Stich fought off four match points on his serve in the ninth game of the second set, but couldn't hold off Forget when the Frenchman served for the match at 5-4.
New Zealand Open
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Fourth-seeded Karel Novacek beat unseeded Frenchman Jean-Philippe Fleurian, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), to win the $175,000 New Zealand Open.
Fleurian had beaten top-seeded Emilio Sanchez of Spain and fifth-seeded Brazilian Luis Mattar on his way to the final.
Novacek, ranked 35th in the world, won his fourth singles title and his first on a hard surface. His three previous wins had come on clay.
Sanchez and Sergio Casal, the No. 2 seeds, beat the top-seeded Canadian team of Glenn Michibata and Grant Connell, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, in the doubles final.