AUSTRALIAN OPEN 1988
Mats Wilander became the first foreign player to win the Aust-ralian men's championship a third time...Evading all the hoo-ha is a Wilander speciality. The quintessential quiet achiever, the silent Swede likes nothing better than to sneak unobtrusively through a draw while his more flamboyant rivals are attracting the headlines and the consequent extra pressure. Wilander won the Australian title in 1983 and 1984, and was runner-up to Edberg in 1985. Yet, though he was seeded third behind Lendl and Edberg, nobody gave him a great chance this time; he had finished runner-up to Lendl in three big events in 1987, and on this court both Lendl and Edberg, if not Cash, seemed likely to hold an edge over him.
The resolute Swede gradually showed he was a dangerous contender by matching Cash's feat of reaching the semi-finals without conceding a set...By the time Edberg and Wilander met, it was obvious the older Swede had the better form...Against Wilander the defending champion played erratically though bravely, so that Mats could not sustain his superiority until the fifth set, which he put away 6-1...
What a gripping and fitting climax the final was! It must rank as one of the most memorable matches played in Australia...for the courage of both players and for the drama of the fifth set. Cash twice came within two points of victory at 5-4 in that set, his athleticism and will to win looking likely match winners almost to the end. Yet Wilander's victory was deserved, for he was the more consistent, making fewer unforced errors, and he was resourceful enough to vary his tactics, mixing some daring net attacks with his solid backcourt play in the latter stages. When it was all over, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6 to Wilander in 4 hours 28 minutes, the 15,000 crowd, who have come to regard Mats as an honourary Aussie, provided an ovation that would surely have been no greater had the result been reversed.
(World of Tennis 1989)