1987-1988 Australian Open: Swedes spoil the party

It would have been only fitting had Pat Cash won the last Australian Open staged at Kooyong. The year was 1987, and so far it had been good to Cash, who’d won Wimbledon back in July. But there”s something special about winning your hometown championship, and Cash had grown to love the so-called “home of the wildfowl” since his days as a little boy watching his parents being coached there.

On a sunny afternoon, the centre court stands were full of nostalgic success-starved local fans as the Melbourne lad and Sweden’s Stefan Edberg staged a gripping display of serve and volley tennis until Edberg emerged a narrow winner, 6-3 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-3.

A few weeks later, Cash had the unusual experience of playing in the first final played in a new stadium just a few kilometres from Kooyong – Melbourne Park. He dearly wanted to atone for his loss to Edberg by winning the 1988 Open on a new court surface, Rebound Ace.
This time, having eliminated Ivan Lendl in a semifinal, he faced Mats Wilander, and again fell in five sets 6-3 6-7 3-6 6-1 8-6.

Source: 2010 official program

Leave a comment