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Becker wins 4th Stockholm

Boris Becker, convinced this is his kind of town, beat Goran Ivanisevic in a four-set serve-and-volley duel Sunday to win the Stockholm Open for the fourth time.

"It must be something in the air in Stockholm that makes me play great here," the German said after a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory in the $1.72-million event on the Globe Arena's fast carpet.

The victory capped a week during which he beat the top three players in the world.

"I can't remember playing as good tennis three days in a row against the best players in the world. I'm just so happy," said Becker, who won his first title here in 1988 at the Royal Tennis Hall and also won at the Globe in 1990 and 1991.

Only John McEnroe had won here four times _ consecutively in 1978-79 and 1984-85.

Becker didn't lose a set en route to the final, ousting third-ranked fellow German Michael Stich in the quarterfinals and top-ranked Pete Sampras in the semis.

The fast surface suits Becker's aggressive serve-and-volley style. In the final, he fired 22 aces.

There were just three service breaks in the match, one in each of the three first sets.

Ivanisevic had 21 aces and a tournament-leading 115.

"I'd like to break Sampras' record from last year (1,011 aces)," said Ivanisevic, who has 999. "I'd like to set some records. If I don't win a Grand Slam, at least people can remember me for that."

Jim Pierce back

BOCA RATON _ Security guards escorted Jim Pierce out of an exhibition tennis match where his daughter was playing.

Pierce, banned from WTA events for abusive behavior, showed up Saturday to see Mary Pierce at the Chris Evert/Ellessee Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic. He waited by the players' walkway in hopes of talking to his daughter.

Mary Pierce was told of her father's visit. She completed her second set and signed autographs before being whisked through a side entrance to a waiting car. She refused to talk to reporters and did not speak to her father, who was escorted to his car by guards and police officers.

Elsewhere

Nokia Grand Prix: Jana Novotna overcame a slight cold and beat Iva Majoli 6-2, 6-4 to win the $400,000 tournament in Essen, Germany.

Hellman's Cup: Top-seeded Alberto Berasategui defeated Francisco Clavet 6-3, 6-4 in an all-Spanish final in Santiago, Chile.

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