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Monday, September 13, 1999 Published at 00:16 GMT 01:16 UK

Sport: Tennis

Agassi captures US Open

Andre Agassi: A winner of five Grand Slams

Andre Agassi secured his second Grand Slam crown of the year, winning the US Open with a 6-4 6-7 6-7 6-3 6-2 victory over seventh seed Todd Martin at Flushing Meadows.

Andre Agassi: "I was hanging on by a thread for most of the match"
In an all-American final, the French Open champion fell two sets to one down but fought back valiantly to take the final Grand Slam singles tournament of the decade.

Martin put up a brave fight, subduing Agassi in the second and third sets, winning both on tie-breaks.

[ image: Todd Martin: A brave performance but he was out-gunned on the day]
Todd Martin: A brave performance but he was out-gunned on the day
But Agassi found late form to skip into the lead with a number of brilliant ground-strokes to tie up his fifth Grand Slam and second US Open men's singles title.

The match was much closer than many had predicted with Martin playing some of the best tennis of his career.

"How can you ask for anything better than two Americans playing a great five set final in the US open?", Agassi said after the match.

"Win or lose it was a priviledge and an honour to be out here in New York today."

Martin, meanwhile, praised Agassi for his victory.

"There is no better way to go out than to play a great game against a great champion," he said.

Early break

Agassi took the first set, after breaking Martin's serve in the opening game of the match.

Coach Brad Gilbert: "Agassi can stay at the top for several years"
A back-hand crosscourt pass by Agassi put the seventh seed behind even though he had placed all of his first serves in play.

Martin held his next four service games with ease but the damage was already done.

He had squandered a golden opportunity to put the set back on serve in the fourth game as Agassi saved three consecutive break-points from 0-40 and eventually held serve for a 3-1 lead.

It proved costly, with the number two seed serving out the set without offering another break opportunity.

But Martin was just warming up and hit back to level the match, winning a second-set tie-break 7-5.


The 1994 Australian Open finalist reached double set point at 6-4 with a forehand crosscourt winner for a mini-break. Agassi saved the first with a service winner. But Martin followed a big serve with a forehand volley that Agassi returned long.

Martin had earlier faced double break-point in the ninth game of the second set. He saved the first with a blazing crosscourt drive and the next with a forehand volley before holding for a 5-4 lead.

[ image: Agassi fought back to take his second US Open]
Agassi fought back to take his second US Open
Agassi then fell behind 15-40, giving Martin double set-point but served his way out of danger to level at 5-5, with the next two games going with serve.

Martin faced double break point in the sixth game but saved both to hold for 3-3.

Two games later, Martin held at love with three aces and a service winner to take his ace total to 17 and even the set at 5-5. Agassi returned the favour by holding at love with his sixth ace for a 6-5 lead before Martin sent the third set into another tie-break.

Agassi faltered immediately, double-faulting on the first point and quickly falling behind 0-4. Martin proved brilliant, losing just one of his service points to take the tie-break 7-2.

Agassi returns

In the third game of the fourth Martin let Agassi back into the match with a double fault, a chance the world number one converted when Martin returned long.

Agassi secured his fourth game to love, moving 4-2 ahead and fighting off two breaks of service in the process.

Returning the compliment the Las Vegan forced a break at 5-3, a lead he quickly increased to take the set 6-3.

The momentum seemed to spark Agassi back to life as he stormed into a three game lead in the final set.

Martin held his next game to love, but Agassi could not be stopped, completing the match with a comprehensive 2-6 victory in the fifth set.

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