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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 06:18 GMT
Escude win seals comeback
Nicolas Escude

Qatar Open, Doha

Nicolas Escude made an astonishing comeback after a six-month injury lay-off by beating Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in the final on Saturday.

Escude did not drop a set in winning his fourth career title in his first tournament since he injured his hip in the second round at Wimbledon.

"I am extremely happy to have won here. I did not play for the last six months due to a hip injury and now this title - it is unbelievable," said Escude.

"I had been in training for this tournament since November last year. I have worked very hard for this."

Escude called for the trainer at the beginning of the second set with an apparent thigh injury but it failed to halt his progress.

Escude will be ranked number one when the ATP's new Champions Race standings are released on Monday.


Tata Open, Madras

Defending champion Paradorn Srichaphan saved six match points to beat Tommy Robredo and reach the Tata Open final.

Second seed Srichaphan won 1-6 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 to make the final of the tournament for the third straight year.

Robredo, 21, failed to convert four match points in the second set tiebreaker and another two in the deciding set.

Srichaphan faces Carlos Moya in Sunday's final after the Spanish top seed beat Sjeng Schalken 6-3 6-4.

Fourth seed Robredo broke Srichaphan in the second and fourth games of the first set to take it 6-1.

It was the first time Srichaphan had lost a set at the tournament in nine matches.

The Thai player then saved four match points in the second set tiebreaker before going on to clinch the deciding set.


AAPT Championships, Adelaide

French qualifier Michael Llodra reached his first ATP final with a shock 6-3 7-5 win over fifth seed Taylor Dent.

And Dominik Hrbaty made it an unseeded final when he defeated sixth seed Jarkko Nieminen in the other semi.

Llodra coped admirably with Dent's intimidating serve, his return proving the difference between the players.
Michael Llodra
Llodra's previous successes have come mainly in doubles

"It is hard to play against Dent because he puts a lot of pressure on you but my returns and my passing shots were very good today," he said.

He added: "When I arrived here I just wanted to play as many games as I could. I did not know I would be in the final. Tomorrow will be a big day for me."

Hrbaty's flawless campaign continued with a straight sets dismissal of Nieminen.

Boasting a 79% first-serve percentage and dominating from the baseline, Hrbaty comfortably accounted for his practice partner.




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