The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Agassiís drama has more of form than theatrics

Andre Agassi marches on. Looking as sprightly, confident and competent as when he won his first title here in 1990, the 32-year-old American became Nasdaq-100 Open champion Sunday for a remarkable sixth time after a 6-3, 6-3 win over Carlos Moya.

The 26-year-old Spaniard, who had shown ample evidence earlier in the tournament that he is rapidly restoring the form which made him world No. 1 ó albeit for only two weeks ó in 1999, could not divert the American from his record-breaking path.

Agassiís wife, Steffi Graf, who won the womenís title here five times, joined in the ovation, as her husband followed his well-worn path of lifting his game at precisely the right moments for his third consecutive Key Biscayne, worth £330,000.

The 70-minute encounter will be remembered more for Agassiís superb tennis than any drama.

With him breaking for 3-1 in the first set and again for 4-3 in the second, there was never any serious hint of an upset even though he had played three days in succession and Moya had enjoyed a free day on Saturday.

Once again we admired Agassiís range of talents ó his ability to vary pace, to make full use of the court and serve so effectively that he won 31 of his 33 service points. In addition, an immaculately played serve-and-volley point denied Moya one break point in the third game, while an ace and a service winner prevented him from immediately breaking back in the second set.

Moya said: ďThe difference was the respective serves. Iím supposed to serve better than him but I didnít. Only in my first service game (when he saved three break points) was I comfortable with my serve. He puts you under so much pressure with his returns and didnít give me any chances. On top of that I wasnít able to return at all.Ē

The way Serena Williams kept the womenís title in the family for the fifth time in six years reinforced the belief that she has become as dominant a force in womenís tennis as Tiger Woods in golf.

Explaining her often careless, sluggish approach during the first two sets of her 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Jennifer Capriati, the Wimbledon and world champion said: ďI think I was just being lazy and not working hard enough, expecting the win to come without moving my feet.Ē

It was during this period that Williams committed most of her 42 unforced errors, less than when she also beat Capriati in the final here a year earlier, but more worrying because it followed an equally relatively shoddy semi-final performance against Kim Clijsters. Both let her off the hook.

Williams, who would love to go through the year unbeaten but feels ďitís probably impossibleĒ, promises to respond to this wake-up call.

ďIíve slacked off a little but Iíll be back in South Carolina (next week) and Iím actually going to the gym. I havenít done so for about four weeks and I think my trainerís upset about that.Ē

Instead of taking this week off, Williams said she was going to practise. ďI donít think Iíve been practising enough. Thatís why my form is off.Ē

Williams, whose first thought after her second success at a tournament won three times by older sister, Venus, was ďto concentrate on winning the French Open againĒ, admitted that instead of practising between tournaments she has simply been ďhanging out, relaxing and not working. I canít keep doing it like that. Thereís people out there working hard and coming closer.Ē

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