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After stumbling through a weak field en route to her second straight Italian Open title, Gabriela Sabatini says she wants some tough competition.

She'll get her wish soon at the French Open."It's hard to play well when no one from the top is competing," the top-seeded Sabatini said Sunday after downing No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez of Spain 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the Italian Open final in Rome.

In the earlier rounds, Sabatini played listlessly against unheralded opponents such as Italians Laura Golarsa and Laura Lapi.

"The other girls are playing better because they want to beat me," said Sabatini, ranked No. 3 in the world.

"I used to be that way when I was just starting and playing against the top players. Now I'm in a different position. The others have nothing to lose when they play against me. It's very difficult when all the responsibility is on you."


At Isle of Palms, S.C., Jay Berger won his first American title on Sunday, beating Lawson Duncan 6-4, 6-3 in the 79th U.S. Clay Court Championships.

Berger, seeded sixth, was more patient and made fewer errors than Duncan in a match between two former Clemson stars that was delayed an hour because of rain.

Berger, ranked 42nd in the world, won $38,000. Duncan, ranked 75th, earned $19,000.


And at Hamburg, West Germany, Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia won his 78th Grand Prix title Monday when he beat Austrian Horst Skoff 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in the rain-delayed final of the German Open tennis tournament.

Lendl struggled in a difficult opening set as Skoff used his sharp baseline play to move Lendl around the court and catch him out of position.