Prior to the final, the almost 22-year-old Levy of Israel, had just played 8 main-level tournaments. Safin played his another match also against Levy, and won in a similar fashion 6-4, 6-2 (Indianapolis, second round).. It was only when serving for the match that Safin almost let Levy back, but he recovered from 0/40 to win the title in just 54 minutes. “I have more experience than him,” said Safin, explaining the ease of his victory. “He got a little bit nervous and didn’t know what to do or where to go. It was nothing else, because he can play unbelievable tennis. But in the final it’s a little bit tough. Of course my serve gave me confidence because it makes the game much easier, but I knew how to play him. It wasn’t only (a question of) the serve. I could play without, but sometimes you need it to keep him under pressure.”
Safin’s route to his 4th title:
1 Jonas Bjorkman 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
2 Andrei Pavel 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0
3 Nicolas Escude 3-2 ret.
Q Pete Sampras 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(8) – 3 m.p.
S Wayne Ferreira 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
W Harel Levy 6-2, 6-3
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