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Rediff.com  » Sports » Federer holds off Agassi to win US Open

Federer holds off Agassi to win US Open

September 12, 2005 05:35 IST
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Roger Federer fought off a brave challenge from 35-year-old Andre Agassi on Sunday to beat the American 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 and retain his U.S. Open title.

Seventh seed Agassi rocked the Swiss world number one by recovering from a set down to level the match and lead 4-2 in the third set, but Federer rebounded to become the first man in the professional era to win both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in consecutive years.

"For me this is probably the most special Grand Slam final in my career," Federer said. "To play against Andre here in New York, it's a dream.

"I had to play my best match of the tournament, like I did last year, and like I always seem to do. I don't know how I do it, but it feels great."

Federer won the first set thanks to one break but Agassi, playing some of the best tennis of his career, roared back to level the match and then lead 4-2 in the third.

Federer broke back in the next game, though, and after winning the tiebreak 7-1, he stormed through the fourth set to win his sixth Grand Slam title.

Agassi, who came through three back-to-back five-set battles to reach the final, was pipped in the opening set but, with the crowd roaring him on, held in the first game of the second set and then played an almost flawless game to break Federer for the first time.

SHOWED CLASS

An angry Federer forged ahead 40-15 on the American's serve but Agassi dug deep to save both break points and then a third to lead 3-0.

Federer held serve comfortably but Agassi held on to lead 5-2 and then broke Federer again to level the best-of-five-sets match at one set apiece.

The incredible standard of play was maintained in the third set as neither man yielded a break point in the first five games as Agassi led 3-2.

The American, champion in 1994 and 1999, then played a great game to break Federer and lead 4-2.

The power of Agassi's groundstrokes was forcing Federer into mistakes but the top seed showed his class by breaking back in the next game and then holding to love to level at 4-4.

Agassi, playing outstanding tennis, saved four break points in the 11th game to lead 6-5 but Federer held comfortably to force a tiebreak, and then stepped up his game to win it 7-1.

An early break in the fourth set knocked the stuffing out of Agassi and Federer marched to a 5-0 lead.

The American saved two match points on serve to hold for 5-1, but Federer served out to clinch victory.

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Source: REUTERS
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