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Edberg wins first Stella Artois title


LONDON -- Stefan Edberg tuned up for his Wimbledon defense yesterday by winning the $500,000 Stella Artois grass-court tennis tournament at the Queens Club, beating American David Wheaton, 6-2, 6-3.

The Swede underlined his ranking as No. 1 in the world by winning the title without dropping a set in five matches.

"This is the best I've ever played in the run-up to Wimbledon," said Edberg, who never had won the Stella Artois. "And it's more enjoyable going to Wimbledon after a good win like this."

Wimbledon will begin a week from today.

Wheaton, of Minnetonka, Minn., needed courtside treatment for a strained hip muscle at 2-2 in the second set.

Later, he praised Edberg's service return.

"That was the best part of his game," he said. "I tried to vary my serve a lot, and do as many different things as possible, but he just seemed to read it."

In Edberg's only other appearance in the final, he lost to Becker in 1988.

Dow Classic

BIRMINGHAM, England -- Martina Navratilova defeated Natalia Zvereva to win the $150,000 Edgbaston women's grass-court tournament, regaining the title she captured in 1989.

Top-seed Navratilova beat the fourth-seeded Zvereva, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), to claim the $27,000 first prize and her 155th tournament title.

The victory, which she accomplished without dropping a set all week, took her within two of Chris Evert's record of 157 tournament championships.

"I should break the record if I stay healthy," she said. "I wanted match play, which I got, and I'm healthy and I'm not tired."

Yesterday's result did not surprise Zvereva.

"I might beat her on grass when she's 60 years old," said the 20-year-old Soviet. "I'm sure I'll never beat her before then. I was out there wondering why she wasn't winning, 6-2, 6-2."

Florence ATP

FLORENCE, Italy -- Unseeded Thomas Muster defeated Davis Cup teammate Horst Skoff in an all-Austrian final.

Muster, 23, who dropped to the 113th place in the world rankings after knee surgery, needed nearly three hours to beat the top-seeded player in the tournament, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2.

Skoff, ranked 24th by the ATP, was overwhelmed in the third set.

Both players went to the net only when they were forced to by drop shots of the opponent.

Continental Grass Court Trophy

ROSMALEN, Netherlands -- Christian Saceanu, 22, of Germany saved two match points to beat Michiel Schapers of the Netherlands, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5, in the final of this $250,000 competition.

Saceanu was ranked 110th in the world.

Earlier in the day, Saceanu ousted fourth-seed Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland in the semifinal round, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5). Hlasek was ranked 15th by the ATP.

Schapers had beaten second-seeded German Michael Stich, 6-4, 7-6, in their morning semifinal. Stich is ranked ninth.

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