Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg won semifinal matches in the Queen's grass-court tournament on Saturday and will meet for the 35th time in their careers in the title match.
The 30-year-old Edberg beat top-seeded Thomas Muster 6-7 (7-2), 6-3, 6-2, ending the Austrian's recent strong run on grass in the major warmup for Wimbledon.Second-seeded Becker won his semifinal 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 over No. 4 seed South African Wayne Ferreira. The victory boosted Becker's record against Ferreira to 8-1.
Edberg, the two-time Wimbledon champion who will retire after this season, now has an 8-0 record over Muster, including four victories on Muster's favorite surface, clay.
Muster, winless on grass prior to this season,a Davis Cup tie in February on grass and won three straight in this Wimbledon warm-up before falling to Edberg.
Becker holds the career edge over Edberg. He's won their last seven matches and holds a 24-10 advantage. It will be their first match on grass since the 1990 Wimbledon final, which Edberg won. Of five grass-court matches, Becker has won three - but in finals on grass at Wimbledon, Edberg holds a 2-1 advantage.
"I wish we could play the Wimbledon final in about three weeks... because he's 2-1 against me in finals," Becker said. "It's a classic I would say."
The Edberg vs. Muster semifinal was also a classic with the grass-court player against the clay-court specialist. Muster lost but proved he can handle grass.
Muster won the first set on a 7-2 tiebreaker. Edberg served to go ahead 5-3 in the set, but Muster won the next three games before Edberg held his serve to force the tiebreaker.
Edberg's serve deserted him in the first set, allowing Muster to come to the net often, capitalizing on Edberg's weak second serves.
Edberg regained his serve and confidence and took the second set. He broke Muster to go up 5-3 - the only break in the set - and then held serve to win.
The third set was vintage Edberg. He broke Muster to go ahead 2-1 early. His first serves hit the mark, his forehand shots improved, and he came to the net at almost every chance to cut down the court against the Austrian.
"He hits the ball so hard," Edberg said. "He served well on his first serve and you really have to work hard to beat him. He can definitely play on this grass, especially if it's and hard like it has been here."
Muster was emphatic about his improved play on grass and his right to be seeded among the top four at Wimbledon.
"I'm not just a clay-court specialist. I've had too many good results on other surfaces."
And he lobbied for a seed at Wimbledon, which opens June 24.
BIRMINGHAM, England - American Meredith McGrath upset No. 1 seed Brenda Schultz-McCarthy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday in the semifinals of the DFS Classic grass-court tournament.
McGrath, the No. 10 seed, will play second-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France in the final.