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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Sunday, 28 April, 2002, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Gaudio captures maiden title
Gaston Gaudio
Gaudio was too strong for an out-of-sorts Costa
Gaston Gaudio (Arg) bt Albert Costa (Spa) 6-4 6-0 6-2

Unseeded Argentine Gaston Gaudio swept past Albert Costa of Spain for the loss of only six games to win the 50th Barcelona Open on Sunday.

Gaudio proved too strong for Costa, who looked far from fully fit, and the Argentine completed victory in two hours four minutes to win his first ATP tour event.

Costa had, in fact, started brightly, racing into a 2-0 lead, but the Spaniard quickly tired in the face of Gaudio's greater consistency.

Gaudio broke twice in the first set for a 5-3 lead and after Costa had held in the next he reeled off nine successive games to move two sets ahead, with a 2-0 lead in the third.

Costa fell 4-1 behind as he put a weak backhand volley wide on break point and although the Spaniard held his next game Gaudio served out to clinch the match.

"That first set was fundamental," said Gaudio.

"But even though he wasn't playing well, I wasn't sure I would win until the last point. To have never one a tournament, and then to win such a big one, it's impossible to say how happy I am right now."

Costa had nothing but praise for the Argentine.

"He played an absolutely impecable match," said Costa.

"He has a terrific backhand and he hit everything today. He played spectacular tennis.

"I had some tough matches this week, and I was a little tired. I tried to be aggressive, at first, but it didn't go well, and he just dominated me regardless of what I tried."

Gaudio's win completed a stellar week for the Argentine, who defeated world number one Lleyton Hewitt and on-form Carlos Moya on the way to the final.

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