Al-Ahram Weekly Online   3 - 9 April 2003
Issue No. 632
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Agassi bests Steffi


ANDRE Agassi won a record sixth Key Biscayne title and his third in a row on Sunday by beating Carlos Moya of Spain 6-3, 6- 3 to win the Nasdaq- 100 Open in Florida.

Agassi, right, surpassed his wife, Steffi Graf, who won the tournament five times. "I finally beat her at something," Agassi said with a grin during the awards ceremony. "I'm still healthy and eager, and I enjoy being out here."

Graf and their 17- month-old son, Jaden Gil, were part of the stadium crowd that watched Agassi earn his third title this year and the 57th of his career.

The No 2-seeded Agassi, who turns 33 next month, nearly withdrew before the tournament because of a sore shoulder. But he showed no signs of injury in winning his third match in as many days. In fact, Agassi's serve was the difference in the match. Despite a steady breeze, he smacked eight aces, lost only seven of 38 points on his first serve and was never broken.

"The key was his serve and my serve," Moya said. "I'm supposed to serve better than him, and today I didn't."

Agassi broke Moya for a 3-1 lead in the first set, and a 4-3 lead in the second. The subdued crowd stirred in the next-to-last game when Agassi was serving at 15-40. He dug out of that hole with an ace and a service winner, starting a run of eight consecutive points to close out the victory.

The No 5-seeded Moya was the fresher player because he had Saturday off, but Agassi made sure stamina wasn't a factor, finishing off the Spaniard in one hour, 11 minutes.

The victory was Agassi's 18th in a row at Key Biscayne, breaking the tournament record of 17 set by three-time champion Pete Sampras in 1993-95.

Agassi, who won his first Key Biscayne title in 1990 when he was 19, earned $500,000 and improved to 18-1 this year. His only loss was to Thomas Enqvist at Scottsdale in February. Moya received $250,000.

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