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Monday, November 1, 1999 Published at 15:26 GMT


Sport: Tennis

Enqvist secures Stuttgart success

Thomas Enqvist celebrates a victory that takes him into contention for Hanover

A determined Thomas Enqvist beat defending champion Richard Krajicek in four sets to clinch the $2.2m Stuttgart Open title.

The Swede followed up his semi-final victory over world number one Andre Agassi on Saturday with an excellent performance to crush the former Wimbledon champion 6-1 6-4 5-7 7-5.

"This was my best tournament, my best week. I beat four Top 10 players," said Enqvist,

"I like playing serve-and-volley players but Richard is always tough. He has a huge serve and he covers the net."

Vital break

Thirteenth seed Enqvist Swede gained the vital break of serve for a 6-5 lead in the final set in controversial circumstances, when his passing shot was called in despite looking out.

Krajicek questioned the call for a long time and spent the change-over arguing with the umpire.

"He was playing better than me, but I was hanging in there," said Krajicek.

"When you're hanging in and you get a call like that, that just hurts a little bit. It's a shame, it leaves a little bit of a bad after-taste."

Enqvist raced through the opening set 6-1 before the Dutchman had found any rhythm on the indoor court.

He was again the sharper in the second set as 8th seed Krajicek failed to fire as efficiently as he had in his semi-final defeat of Briton Greg Rusedski.

Krajicek saved three break points with a trio of aces midway through the third set and then broke Enqvist with a mis-hit return while leading the set 6-5 to clinch it 7-5 and offer a glimmer of hope.

But Enqvist, ranked 18th in the world, refused to buckle and came back to clinch the fourth 7-5 to take the match.

The victory puts him at eighth in the list for the ATP Tour championship finals in Hanover, where the top eight play, with two more tournaments to play.



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