MAHWAH, N.J. -- Steffi Graf won her fifth singles title of the year Sunday when she scored a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Molly Van Nostrand in the final of the $150,000 United Jersey Bank tennis tournament.
Graf, the third-ranked women's tennis player in the world behind Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd, was playing in her first tournament since the French Open.
A virus in June and a broken toe suffered during the Federation Cup in Prague, Czechoslovakia, last month curtailed the summer schedule for the 17-year-old from West Germany.
Graf, who has won 42 of 46 matches this year, earned $29,000 for the singles triumph and $2,400 as runnerup in doubles to increase her season earnings to $333,650. Van Nostrand collected $13,000 for her first final-round appearance.
'It was a tough match because of a strong wind and because Molly played so much better than a 158th-ranked player,' said Graf, a winner over Navratilova and Evert Lloyd this year. 'She played more like she was in the Top 10.'
Van Nostrand, ousted 10 times in the first round in 1986, kept Graf off balance in the first set with numerous line-drive winners. She compiled nine service return winners during the 70-minute match.
Graf was broken in the fifth and ninth games of the first set, but came back to break in the sixth and 10th to square the match at 5-5. She held service in the 11th and jumped to a 0-40, triple set point situation in the 12th. Van Nostrand saved the first two with a pair of aces before a forehand approach shot overshot the baseline.
Behind one set, Van Nostrand jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second with a service break in the opening game. Graf again broke back and ran out the set.
'She was hitting so many winners in the first set that it was unbelievable,' Graf said. 'I didn't think it possible that she could keep it up in the second set.'
Van Nostrand, who upset second seed Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia in the quarterfinals, earned the final-round berth earlier in the day by scoring a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 semifinal victory over qualifier Elna Reinach of South Africa. Rain suspended play Saturday night with Van Nostrand trailing by a service break, 2-3, in the second set.
In the doubles final, the second-seeded team of Betsy Nagelsen and Elizabeth Smylie beat first seeds Graf and Sukova 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 for a $9,500 prize.