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Saturday, October 30, 1999 Published at 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK


Sport: Tennis

Krajicek on course for treble

Rusedski: Squarely defeated in straight sets

Richard Krajicek earned the chance to complete a hat-trick of titles in Stuttgart on Saturday, after defeating Greg Rusedski 6-4 6-4.


The BBC's Richard Evans: "The player who grabbed the first opportunity was always liable to gallop away with the match"
It was all too easy for Krajicek who secured his victory in just 65 minutes.

Krajicek, the 1995 and 1998 winner, went into the contest trailing 3-5 in his career series against Rusedski. But the Dutchman showed that he, too, can shine indoors.

"This is my time, I haven't played so well in the past few months, I'm hungry now," Krajicek said.

"There is something good for me here, I don't know what exactly. But I'm playing well and I'm very happy."

Krajicek now faces Swede Thomas Enqvist in the final.

Krajicek in form

The semi-final was the fourth of the year for Krajicek, who also beat Rusedski in a February final at Rotterdam.

Both of the big hitters played level until Krajicek was able to profit from a rare break chance, grabbing a 5-4 lead and serving out the opening set a game later.

The Dutchman showed the form which has brought him two titles at the venue. He broke Rusedski for a 3-2 margin, putting a low return at the Briton's feet, which the fifth seed could only scoop frustratingly into the net.

The Briton held onto the match despite falling 3-5 down, holding for 4-5 with a service winner.

But Krajicek quickly wrapped up his third trip to a Stuttgart final.

A Rusedski return long gave eighth seed Krajicek two match points. He advanced into the title match when the Briton, twice an indoor champion this autumn, returned weakly into the net.

Enqvist through

Enqvist defeated Andre Agassi 6-3 4-6 in the day's other semi.

Agassi, number one in the world and already qualified for the season wrapup finals from November 23 in Hanover, said he could not remember the last time he lost a set to love.

"I was down a break at the start of every set," he said.

"It was always an uphill battle, I could never go for my shots."





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