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Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Youzhny takes first title
Mikhail Youzhny
Youzhny was playing in his first final
Russian Mikhail Youzhny upset third seed Guillermo Canas to claim the first ATP title of his career at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

Youzhny had to come from behind to beat his Argentine opponent but finally prevailed 6-3 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4.

The Russian was 1-4 down in the final set but came through to win in a three-hour battle against a clay specialist.


I didn't think I had a chance - this is my proudest moment in tennis
Mikhail Youzhny

Youzhny used his power to move his opponent around the court and force the errors.

The 20-year-old secured victory on his second match point, blasting a powerful forehand into the open court after a weak service return by Canas.

It was the second year in a row that Canas had to settle for being runner-up - last year he lost to Gustavo Kuerten.

As well as the $64,850 (41,000) first prize, Youzhny, who reached the last 16 at Wimbledon before being beaten by eventual champion Lleyton Hewitt, takes home a car.

Youzhny, who reached the semi-finals in Casablanca and Munich in April, took the first set in 31 minutes after breaking Canas in the eighth game.

Canas tires

But the 24-year-old Argentine fought back, taking the both the second and third sets.

In the fourth set, however, Youzhny looked much the sharper of the players and Canas seemed to wilt after a series of long baseline rallies.

The Russian broke in the third game and took the set in 37 minutes.

Canas started the fifth set better, breaking Youzhny in game four after the Russian had served two double faults.

But Youzhny broke back in the seventh and again in the ninth, which proved enough for victory.

"He simply played too well. I also gave my best, but I just didn't manage it," said world number 19 Canas.

"It's really hard to come second for the second time after last year. Next year I'll try to take the car."

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Bill Scott reports for BBC Sport
"Youzhny remained all but speechless"
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