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Courier 50 points ahead of Edberg

Jim Courier officially became No. 1 in men's tennis Monday, the first American in 6{ years to achieve that distinction.

The 21-year-old from Dade City moved into the top spot in the ATP rankings with 3,721 computer points to 3,671 for Stefan Edberg, whom he beat in the Australian Open final in January. Courier is the first American at the top of the rankings since John McEnroe, who last was No. 1 on Aug. 26, 1985.

Edberg was idle this week while Courier reached the finals of the Volvo-San Francisco tournament, where he lost to Michael Chang 6-3, 6-3.

But it hardly mattered to Courier, who moved toward the the top by winning the French Open last June, losing to Edberg in the finals of the U.S. Open in September and winning the Australian Open.

"The key for a champion is to win when he is not playing his best tennis," Courier said. "This week I could have played better, but I managed to scrape through until the final."