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Sunday, June 6, 1999 Published at 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK

Sport: Tennis

Agassi completes his Slam

The victory has written Agassi into the history books

Andre Agassi, seeking a rare career Grand Slam, recovered from a two-set deficit against Andrei Medvedev to win the French Open title in Paris on Sunday.

The victory means that Agassi is the first man in 30 years to win all four Grand Slam tournaments and the only player to do so on four different surfaces.

"I never dreamed to be back here. I'm really proud right now," he said tearfully at the end.

"I'll never forget this. I'm very blessed.

"It's been a lot of years since I've had this opportunity and I never thought I would see this day.

"I always wondered what it would be like to hold this trophy up here."

Historic fightback

After losing the first two sets, 6-1 6-2, Agassi won the next two 6-4 6-3, securing the title with serve on his fourth match point to take the final set 6-4.

Medvedev, the lowest-ranked player ever to reach the French Open final, easily dominated the first two sets, but Agassi turned the match in the third.

[ image: Andrei Medvedev: The unranked outisder went two sets up]
Andrei Medvedev: The unranked outisder went two sets up
Ranked number 100 and playing in his first Grand Slam final, Medvedev captured the first set in 19 minutes.

The Ukrainian responded with another strong set before Agassi showed his old fire in the third as he attempted to win the only Grand Slam tournament to elude him.

Agassi, seeded 13th, was attempting to become only the fifth man to win all four major events.

He won the 1992 Wimbledon, the 1994 US Open and the 1995 Australian Open.

Medvedev was ranked as high as number four in 1994. But his ranking plummeted amid injuries and a loss of interest in the game. He has won 11 titles in his career.

Medvedev takes early lead

Agassi came from 15-40 in the first game of the second set to hold serve before rain halted play.

The American benefitted from a rain break in his semi-final win over Dominik Hrbaty, but it was Medvedev who came out swinging after Sunday's short break and moved to a 5-1 lead.

The American had to save three set points on serve, but still trailed 2-5 and Medvedev held to love to win the set in just 31 minutes.

Agassi's coach Brad Gilbert, clearly not believing what he was seeing, held his head in his hands as his man made error after error - including two straight double faults that cost him the fifth game.

The crowd got behind the forlorn Agassi in the third set and he lifted perceptably.

Medvedev was superb on serve early, winning 100 percent of successful first serve points in the first two sets, but lost his effectiveness when Agassi upped his tempo.

Agassi's first break point did not come until the sixth game of the third set - when he got the break for a 4-2 lead.

Medvedev broke straight back, however, as Agassi dropped his serve to love, and got back to 4-4 only for the American to break again in the 10th game to take the contest into a fourth set.

Agassi promptly broke for 2-0 in the fourth as Medvedev's serve fell away and the unseeded man began to spray the ball nervously.

Agassi kept the pressure on and took the set 6-3.

The American broke for 3-2 in the decider when Medvedev made a wild error and that break proved enough.

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