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TENNIS ROUNDUP : Agassi Still Tough on Hard Courts

From Associated Press

Even after fending off two match points and rallying to defeat Richard Krajicek, Andre Agassi refused to give himself much credit for winning the Volvo International title.

“I just got a little lucky, that’s all,” he said after beating the Netherlands’ Krajicek, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, in Sunday’s final at New Haven, Conn.

“There’s no excuse for me to win this match,” Agassi said. “I was down match point twice against a guy serving bombs.”

Agassi has won four consecutive titles and seven this year, a career best. The $150,000 prize pushed his 1995 earnings to $1,992,946.

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The victory also improved Agassi’s record on hard courts to 46-2 and came eight days before the start of the U.S. Open, in which he will defend his title in the year’s final Grand Slam tournament. He has reached the final in every hard-court event he has played this year and hasn’t lost a match on the surface this summer.

“These weeks have given me a lot of confidence,” Agassi said. “My mind’s in shape, my body’s in shape, my game’s in shape. Now, all I have to do is [go to the Open] and take care of business.”

Agassi, who needed little more than an hour to eliminate each of his first four opponents this week, got off to a bad start Sunday.

After losing his service only four times leading up to the final, Agassi was broken five times, the last time putting him in a 6-5 hole in the second set.

Krajicek, known for a serve that has been clocked at 134 m.p.h., was serving for the match and set up his first match point with a 128-m.p.h. ace, his 14th of the match.

“I still, quite honestly, felt pretty confident until he had a few aces,” Agassi said. “I felt like, ‘Yeah, I’m 130 m.p.h. away from game, set, match.’ ”

The two went to deuce three times, with Krajicek saving one break point before Agassi returned a 123-m.p.h. serve with a beautiful forehand passing shot to force the tiebreaker.

“He showed why he’s No. 1,” Krajicek said. “He had a great running forehand at match point.”

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Agassi easily won the tiebreaker, capitalizing on five unforced errors by Krajicek, who seemed to lose his concentration.

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Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist won his fourth title of the year, defeating Bernd Karbacher of Germany, 6-4, 6-3, at the RCA Championships.

The victory improved Enqvist’s hardcourt record this summer to 18-4, and lifted him into the Top 10 in the world rankings.

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Karbacher, ranked 27th, fought his way into his first hard-court final with victories over second-ranked Pete Sampras and No. 17 Todd Martin. But he was clearly overmatched by the hard-hitting Swede at the Indianapolis Tennis Center.


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