woohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my baby's baaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!
Kuerten wins first title for 13 months
SALVADOR, Brazil (Reuters) - Gustavo Kuerten has beaten unseeded Argentine Guillermo Coria in a dramatic final to win the Brazil Open and claim his first title for 13 months.
The former world number one, whose last title was in Cincinnati in August last year, saved a match point on his way to a 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-2) win in a bad-tempered encounter littered with disputed line calls.
It was the 17th title of Kuerten's career, but the first he has won in his native Brazil. It came at the same tournament where his dramatic slump in form began exactly one year ago.
Kuerten had won six ATP titles in the first eight months of 2001 before being knocked out in the first round of last September's tournament.
After the defeat, he plummeted 50 places down the Champions Race rankings, failed to reach even the last four of a tournament and underwent a hip operation which sidelined him for nearly three months.
"I'm sure that if they had written a soap opera about this final, they couldn't have come up with anything more dramatic," said Kuerten, seeded sixth.
The first set began with three service breaks in a row -- two to Kuerten and one to Coria -- and eventually went to a tiebreak which Coria won 7-4.
The 20-year-old Argentine, who has one ATP title to his credit, matched Kuerten stroke for stroke, spraying the ball around the court from the baseline in a match of long, keenly-fought rallies.
The first 10 games in the second set went with serve but Kuerten, having successfully served to save the match in the 10th game, finally ground his opponent down in the next when he broke serve.
It was a significant psychological blow as Coria became less aggressive and made a series of unforced errors.
Kuerten held serve to win the second set, then broke in the first game of the final set and appeared to be heading for a comfortable win. But a lapse of concentration in the eighth game allowed Coria to break back and regain control.
The Argentine, placed 67th in the Champions Race rankings, reached match point two games later but Kuerten saved on his second serve.
The set went to another tiebreak in which Kuerten raced to a 5-2 lead.
Coria doubled faulted the next point, then hit an attempted volley into the net to hand the Brazilian victory after nearly three-and-a-half hours.
Now Davis Cup, that always brings the best from him.
Great win, terrific final match. Perfect!
I wrote a full report on Gugas forum if anyone is interested.
And I updated my signature as soon as I came online.
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