Arguably the best ‘ATP 250’ final in history featuring amazing tension in terms of the scoreline throughout. It was a high-quality encounter of two great competitors: the 21-year-old Hewitt – the best player in the world & almost 11 years older Agassi, still in his prime. Hewitt manufactured magnificent performance hitting 62 winners (Agassi 31) to save five mini-match points & two match points in the 2-hour 57-minute duel (!):
# Agassi breaks at 2-all after an 8-deuce game (needed 9 break points)
# at 4-all Hewitt saves mini-match point with an ace down the T
# in the tie-break he trails *2:5 hitting the centre line on second serve, then saves a match point at *5:6 with a forehand winner after a 15-stroke rally
# Agassi leads *3:1 (30/15), then squanders four mini-match points at 4:3 – FH error, two FH winners of Hewitt, & his service winner (6 deuces)
# Agassi has his second match point at 5:4 – Hewitt serves an ace down the T
# in the tie-break the crucial is a point which gives Hewitt a 5:3* lead – during a rally the Australian plays his first dropshot of the match, Agassi chases it to be lobbed after Hewitt’s volley & responds with a tweener only to see Hewitt’s stoic BH-stop-volley; the crowd gives them a standing ovation right afterwards
Hewitt’s route to 13th title:
1 Michael Llodra 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
2 Paradorn Srichaphan 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(6) – 4 m.p.
Q Todd Martin 6-3, 7-5
S Jan-Michael Gambill 7-5, 6-4
W Andre Agassi 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) – 2 m.p.
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