Stefan Edberg surprised Boris Becker with power and precision tennis Monday, winning his first Wimbledon title with a 4-6, 7-6 (-2), 6-4, 6-2 victory.
After rain once again held up the final, the third-seeded Edberg, of Sweden, won his third major championship by beating Becker, the 1985 and '86 Wimbledon winner.Edberg brought images of countryman Bjorn Borg back to Centre Court. The victory in an historic match on Centre Court was built on volleys and court coverage that would have made Borg proud.
And it gave Sweden its first men's championship at the premier Grand Slam tournament since Borg completed five in a row in 1980.
Edberg also won the Australian Open in 1985 and 1987. His Wimbledon victory gave Sweden men's titles in all three Grand Slam events this year - Mats Wilander won the Australian and French Opens.
Becker won the first set 6-4, coming back from 3-0 down, before Edberg came back to win the second set 7-6 (-2).
Almost 24 hours after the match was suspended by rain Sunday evening, Edberg took the lead with two sets of brilliant, attacking tennis.
He converted break point on a service return down the line for a 2-1 lead, served for 3-1 at love and never allowed Becker so much as a break point as he served out the set to move to within one set of his first Wimbledon title.
Becker, who calls Centre Court his home after two championships there, in 1985-86, was frustrated by Edberg's game and his own inability to take charge.
At one point in the fourth game, he slammed his racket to the turf, and was warned for equipment abuse by umpire Gery Armstrong.
Becker served his fifth and sixth double before holding in the seventh game, held off one set point in the 10th game on Edberg's serve, but could do nothing when the third seed closed out the set with a forehand crosscourt volley into an open court.
Edberg was on top in the biggest match of his life, and he pumped his fist in exhultation.
Edberg took control in the second set.
The Swede, seeking his third Grand Slam title, missed a slew of break points - three in the second game of the set and one in the eighth - but overcame Becker with power and court coverage.
Edberg gave Becker little room to fit in passing shots, and Becker had problems with his own serve, double-faulting three times.
The West German, trying to win Wimbledon for the third time in four years, made some great shots of his own, chasing down forehands and backhands from corner to corner.
The two held serve through the set, but the tiebreak was all Edberg's.
He won the first five points on two service winners and three backhands - two clean volley winners and the third so strong that Becker could get only the frame of his racket on it as he lunged and fell flat on his face.
Becker got two points on service winners before Edberg closed out the set with two service winners of his own.
After waiting 171/2 hours to get back on court, almost a full days after the match originally was scheduled to begin, the West German and the Swede played for 16 minutes, with Becker completing a five-game run before missing a set point.
Edberg held in that ninth game on a service winner, but then the rain took over again, and officials suspended play.
It was the first time a men's singles final at Wimbledon had started one day and been brought over to finish on another day, and only the second time that happened in any singles final in the tournament.
Over two days, Becker and Edberg have played a total of 39 minutes.
How much more they would play was anyone's guess. The forecast was not good.
"Another day of stoppages seems likely, with rain once again playing a dominant part in today's proceedings," a special forecast for Wimbledon by the London Weather Center said.
Centre Court's 12,472 seats were almost full when play resumed at 1:05 p.m. British time.
Becker, aiming for his third Wimbledon title in four years, completed a run of five games in a row once play resumed after an overnight break due to rain. Edberg led when play was suspended, 3-2, after moving to within a point of a 4-0 lead.