SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- Left-hander Brad Drewett of Australia scored a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) victory Sunday over compatriot John Alexander to become the first non-seeded player to win the $125,000 Open championship at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club.
The tournament was sponsored by Mutual Benefit Life.
Drewett surprised Alexander, the third seed, in a 2-hour 14-minute final and won $15,000 for his second Grand Prix title.
Andrea Temesvari of Hungary, the No. 1 seed in the women's field, toppled Pam Casale of Fairfield, N.J., 6-3, 6-1 in the championship round after the 17-year-old European had started the day with a 6-0, 6-2 semifinal victory over JoAnne Russell of New York.
Drewett, ranked 133rd in the world, blew a 4-1 lead in the third-set tie-breaker and found himself behind 6-7. The 25-year-old forced an error to work out of the predicament before winning on a forehand service return and a forced backhand error.
'That's the best tennis he has ever played against me,' said Alexander, who is 32. 'Brad doesn't have a strong forehand volley or forehand, but he didn't appear to miss any from that side today.'
Drewett jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second set but needed a service break in the 10th game to even the match. The players exchanged breaks in the second and third games of the third set.
'This is my biggest victory,' said Drewett, whose only other Grand Prix title came last year in a $75,000 tourney in Egypt. He went off the tour in April to win a Mexican satellite circuit tourney after he had gone into a slump.
Temesvari, the top seed in the U.S. Clay Court championships which began Sunday in Indianapolis, overpowered Casale with her powerful forehand groundstrokes. She won $4,000 and Casale $2,000.
The men's doubles title was won by Fritz Buehning of Short Hills, N.J., and Tom Cain of Richmond, Va. They beat Britain's John Lloyd and Dick Stockton of Dallas 6-2, 7-5.