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Facing her toughest challenge of the week, top seed Chris Evert f

April 3, 1988

LARGO, Fla. (AP) _ Facing her toughest challenge of the week, top seed Chris Evert fought off unseeded Arantxa Sanchez 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 Sunday to win her second consecutive $200,000 Eckerd Open.

The one-hour, 49-minute match gave Evert of Boca Raton her first tournament title of the year and earned her $40,000. She won the 32-player event without conceding a set for the second year in a row.

Sanchez, a 16-year-old from Barcelona, Spain, won a spot in the final by defeating unseeded Patricia Tarabini of Arentina 6-2, 6-2 in a semifinal match rained out Saturday and resumed Sunday morning.

In the final set for the championship, Evert jumped to a 5-2 lead before Sanchez made one last charge, holding serve then and breaking Evert to close to 5-4. Evert stayed firm, breaking Sanchez in the final game to win the set and the match.

″I had a pretty easy time until this match,″ Evert said. ″I was surprised how well she played. But I won the match and that’s what counts.″

When she needed to, Sanchez slipped in a drop shot or came to the net and whacked volley winners.

Evert broke Sanchez’s serve to go up 6-5 in the opening set, but Sanchez broke back to send the match into a tie-breaker. Tied at 3-3, Evert raised her level of play and closed out the tie-breaker 7-3.

In other play Sunday, the fourth-seeded team of Cammy MacGregor and Cynthia MacGregor, sisters from Palm Springs Calif., upset top-seeded Rosalyn Fairbank of San Diego and Eva Pfaff of West Germany 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 to move into the finals.

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