Becker, Lendl will meet for Australian crownPatrick...

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January 25, 1991

Becker, Lendl will meet for Australian crown

Patrick McEnroe's magical run at the Australian Ope crashed against the stark reality of Boris Becker's 23 aces and leaping volleys.

Becker, stunned by a first-set loss to the No. 114-ranked McEnroe, revved up his game and roared back to win 6-7,6-4,6-1,6-4 today and join two-time defending champion Ivan Lendl in the men's final.

Lendl gladly took the gift of 11 double-faults by top-ranked Stefan Edberg, including one at match point, to win 6-4,5-7,3-6,7-6(7-3),6-4.

Two days after McEnroe, 24, hurt his back in the quarterfinals, he played without pain or a back brace and with no fear of Becker, the world's No. 2 player.

McEnroe, who is still alive in the final of the men's doubles with partner David Wheaton, matched his brother John's best single showing in this tournament--a semifinal appearance in 1983.

Edberg lives by his serve, and he died by it, falling in just over four hour of suspense and blunders. Edberg gave Lendl the title last year by quitting with a strained stomach muscle in the third set. This time he gave Lendl a victory by chocking on the big points.

Pro basketball

Isiah Thomas of the defending NBA champion Detroit Pistions probaably will have an operation to repair his badly injured right wrist soon and miss 12 week of play, coach Chuck KDaly said today.

He said recovery is expected to take about 12 weeks "which would take us pretty much through April." The regular season ends April 21.

Thomas was examined Wednesday by wrist specialist Dr. Kirk Watson in Hartford, Conn. He found a ligament connecting two bones was badly damaged, allowing them to separate.


Say goodbye to another member of the Minnesota Twins' world championship team. Free-agent third baseman Gary Gaaetti, considered the heart if not the soul of the 1987 champions, agreed to a four-year contract worth approximately $11.5 million with the California Angels yesterday.

Gaetti turned down an offer from the Twins worth at least $7.1 million and as much as $11.6 million for four years.

In addition, six players in salary arbitration agreed to contracts, reducing the remaining players in arbitration to 125. Texas pitcher Bobby Witt got the biggest deal, a three-year contract worth $7.3 million.

High schools

Former Washington Redskins quarterback and Super Bowl hero (MVP in 1988) Doug Williams has been named athletic director and football coach at Point Coupee Central High School in New Roads, La. Williams, 35, will be paid $32,000 annually.

The courtroom

A misdemeanor charge of possession of cocaine was filed against Southern California quarterback Todd Marinovich, Orange County deputy district attorney Mike Koski said.

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