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Old 01-05-2003, 02:41 AM   #5
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An article to go with the pictures

Koubek Swats Gambill to Top Race After Qatar Win
Sat Jan 4, 1:05 PM ET

DOHA (Reuters) - Unseeded Austrian Stefan Koubek earned the distinction of topping the ATP Champions Race following his 6-4, 6-4 win over American Jan-Michael Gambill in the final of the season-opening Qatar Open on Saturday.

Koubek's third career title followed victories in Atlanta in 1999 and Delray Beach in 2000.

"I am happy that I won my first tournament of the news season. I am also happy to know that I will be ranked number one for the first week in the ATP Champions Race," a beaming Koubek said.

"This is a memorable victory for me as I have been able to play consistently well," the world number 54 added after pocketing the winner's check of $142,000.

Koubek's run in Doha finally ended a nine-match losing streak dating back to last August. He had not won a match since reaching the second round in Indianapolis.

The 26-year-old broke ninth seed Gambill in the third game of the first set to take a 3-2 lead and held on to clinch the first set.

Gambill, voted as one of the 50 'Most Beautiful People in the World' by the People magazine in 2000, was error-prone as he netted numerous returns.

An increasingly frustrated Gambill even earned a warning from the umpire after slamming a ball into the stands.

While Gambill lost his cool, a focused Koubek played precision tennis.

Koubek gained the early advantage in the second set by breaking Gambill in the first game.

Whenever Gambill rushed to the net, Koubek passed him easily with brilliant down the line winners.

Both Koubek and Gambill had not won a title since each won in Delray Beach -- Koubek in 2000 and Gambill in 2001.

"This is my biggest win," Koubek added.

A downcast Gambill said: "He played well, returned well .. it was good tennis. I wasn't getting my first serve the way I wanted."
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