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Becker routs Edberg, wins Stockholm Open

Boris Becker, playing one of the best indoor matches of his career, breezed to a 6-4, 6-0, 6-3 victory over top-ranked Stefan Edberg in Sunday's championship match at the Stockholm Open. The last time Edberg lost a set 6-0 was in the 1989 Wimbledon final against Becker, who won 6-0, 7-6, 6-4.

Becker turned an early hard-hitting duel into a rout in the second set and destroyed any hopes of what was supposed to be a dream final between the world's No. 1 and 2 players.

"Everything I touched was gold," Becker said. "It was probably the best match in my life. It doesn't happen too many times in life, but it happened today. To beat him in Sweden is really something very special."

The German, who also won the event in 1988, served and returned to near perfection on the fast Supreme Court at the Globe Arena.

In the first two sets, he held six times at love and lost only three points with serve. He lost two of those points in game 10 of the first set, when the Swede got to 30-all for the only time.

But Becker responded with a deep, hard serve to go to 40-30. Edberg's lob sailed long on the next point, giving Becker the set.

Edberg will keep his No. 1 ranking on the ATP computer despite the setback, but Becker is breathing down his neck. By next month's ATP Championships in Frankfurt, Germany, Becker could finally achieve it for the first time.

Becker's triumph boosted his indoor record to 25-1 for the year, the only loss coming to third-ranked Ivan Lendl in Tokyo recently. Since the beginning of 1988, only four players have defeated Becker indoors.

Becker earned $137,450 for his fifth ATP Tour title of the year. He also beat Edberg in the Sydney Indoors final early this month.

Edberg, playing his 50th career final, dropped to 9-17 in career meetings with Becker. He received $73,910.