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Graf Comes Back in Tiebreakers to Win Evert Cup

March 16, 1996

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) _ Steffi Graf, playing her first tournament in four months, came from behind in two tiebreakers Saturday to beat Conchita Martinez and win the State Farm Evert Cup.

Graf, who had foot surgery in December, took a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) victory over Martinez as temperatures hit 117 degrees courtside at the desert resort.

A young ball boy fainted five games into the match, but he was fine after being taken out of the heat.

Currently sharing the world No. 1 ranking with Monica Seles, Graf trailed Martinez 4-2 in the first-set tiebreaker before winning five of the next six points.

In the second set, when the heat contributed to five straight service breaks at one stretch, Graf fell behind 5-2 in the tiebreaker. But she then served an ace, one of only five for her in the match.

Graf went on to win when Martinez double-faulted on the 10th point, hit into the net on the 12th, then hit her return wide on Graf’s final serve.

Graf made 53 unforced errors to 42 by Martinez. However, Graf was able to turn it up a notch after she fell behind in the tiebreakers.

Seles had entered the tournament, but withdrew with an injury the week before it began.

In the men’s Newsweek Champions Cup, running concurrently with the women’s tournament at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Paul Haarhuis and Goran Ivanisevic were scheduled to meet in one semifinal on Saturday, with Michael Chang facing Marcelo Rios in the other.

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