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Agassi Wins Another Title

From Staff and Wire Reports

Andre Agassi won a record sixth title at Key Biscayne, Fla. -- and third in a row -- by defeating Carlos Moya, 6-3, 6-3, Sunday in the Nasdaq-100 Open final.

Agassi surpassed his wife, Steffi Graf, who won the tournament five times.

“I finally beat her at something,” he said. “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.

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The second-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. Despite a steady breeze, he served eight aces, lost only seven of 38 points on his first serve and wasn’t broken.

“The key was his serve and my serve,” Moya said. “I’m supposed to serve better than him, and today I didn’t.... He played great. He didn’t give me any chance at all.”

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 from 1993 to 1995.

Agassi, who won his first Key Biscayne title in 1990 when he was 19, earned $500,000. Moya won $250,000.

Ranked No. 2 in the world, Agassi heads into the clay-court season as the player to beat.

While No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt lost his opening match of the tournament, Agassi won his third title of the year and improved to 18-1, best on the men’s tour.

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His only loss was to Thomas Enqvist at Scottsdale, Ariz., in February.

The streak includes his eighth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

“It has been incredible,” he said. “It’s hard to believe it’s all still possible out there. It’s hard work, and it’s a lot of luck and staying healthy. I’ve been blessed with a body that’s holding up.”

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Former ATP official Larry Scott has been hired as chief executive officer of the WTA tour.

Scott, 38, signed a five-year agreement with the tour to succeed Kevin Wulff, who left after 18 months for a job with Adidas. Most recently, Scott was ATP chief operating officer and president of ATP Properties.

Miscellany

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia easily won the long-course gold medal in the Cross-Country World Championships at Avenches, Switzerland, a day after winning the short race. He also won both titles last year.

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Bekele, recovering from food poisoning and typhoid, covered the eight-mile course in 35 minutes 56 seconds. He finished 13 seconds ahead of Patrick Ivuti of Kenya.

Edith Masai of Kenya became the first woman to successfully defend her short-course title, winning a final sprint with Werknesh Kidane of Ethiopia.

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The Ice Dogs (21-43-4, 46 points) moved into fifth place in the West Coast Hockey League with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Anchorage Aces at the Long Beach Arena.

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The loss dropped the Aces (20-45-5, 45) to sixth. Mike Barrie and Trent Clark scored for the Ice Dogs in the shootout.

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England defeated Ireland, 42-6, at Dublin, Ireland, to win the Six Nations, Europe’s premier national rugby tournament. The victory also gave England its first sweep of the season series since 1995.

In other matches, France beat Wales, 33-5, to finish third and Scotland beat Italy, 33-25, to finish fourth.

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