The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ultra-fit Agassi vs tenacious Schuettler

Melbourne, Jan. 25 (Reuters): Rainer Schuettler may have been a relatively unknown quantity two weeks ago but the German has the tenacity and staying power to give Andre Agassi a real fright when they meet in the Australian Open final on Sunday.

The German taekwondo expert has joked his best hopes of beating Agassi could rest on the American ordering a dodgy hamburger from the room service menu in his hotel.

But Agassi, a three-times Australian Open champion, will know better than to buy into any mind games, particularly after watching Schuettler out-hustle ninth seed Andy Roddick 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in their semi-final Friday.

Schuettler has thus become only the second German finalist in Melbourne. However, to emulate countryman Boris Becker, who won here in 1991 and 1996, he must be prepared to break the pain barrier against the ultra-fit, 32-year-old Agassi.

The American, bidding to become the first overseas player to win four menís singles titles in Melbourne, has had a menacing glint in his eye, storming through his 50th Grand Slam for the loss of just one set.

No player has come close to stopping his charge, Wayne Ferreira finding out the hard way how desperately Agassi covets an eighth Grand Slam title in their semis.

Champion here in 1995, 2000 and 2001, Agassi pulled out on the eve of the tournament last year with a sore wrist.

Santoro-Llodra wins

Fabrice Santoro and Michael Llodra on Saturday became the first French team since 1928 to win the Australian Open menís title. They beat top-seeded combination of Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

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