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  Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Costa takes French crown
Albert Costa lost only one game in the first two sets
Costa lost only one game in the first two sets
Albert Costa (Spa) bt Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spa) 6-1 6-0 4-6 6-3


Albert Costa claimed his first Grand Slam title with a comprehensive four-set victory over Spanish compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero in the French Open final.

The 26-year-old maintained his impressive form of the past fortnight to secure his first tournament victory in three years.

Costa blitzed Ferrero with a stunning barrage in the opening two sets and held his nerve to clinch victory in the fourth after his opponent battled back to take the third set.

Ferrero, a losing semi-finalist to eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten for the past two years, was favoured beforehand in his first Grand Slam final.

Juan Carlos is young - he'll come back and win this tournament

Albert Costa

Costa, seeded 20, had never previously gone past the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros.

But having disposed of both Kuerten and last year's runner-up Alex Corretja in previous rounds, his burgeoning confidence was evident in the final.

After rain forced the players off for half an hour at 1-1 in the first set, Costa immediately broke Ferrero on their return.


A double fault and a forehand error from the favourite handed Costa a second break and he served out to take the opener after 22 minutes on court.

There was no let-up for the 11th seed as the fluidity of Costa's groundstrokes continued to dominate proceedings in the second set.

A dejected Ferrero reflects on losing the second set
A dejected Ferrero reflects on losing the second set

Ferrero had no answer to the barrage of winners as he lost his serve three times in an embarassingly one-sided set.

The tension of the occasion appeared to affect him as his error-strewn game fell apart under the weight of Costa's onslaught.

But after receiving the jeers of the Paris crowd for his early efforts, Ferrero finally got into the match by breaking Costa for a 2-0 lead in the third.

He appeared to have blown his chances at 2-2 and 0-40 down, but gallantly saved three break points and went on to take the set after breaking Costa again in the 10th game.

A topsy-turvy fourth set saw Costa take a 3-1 lead, only for Ferrero to regain the initiative and level at 3-3.

Costa hits a graceful backhand winner
Costa played sublime tennis for the first two sets

But the effort required seemed to unhinge his game again as Costa broke back immediately to put himself within two games of victory.

He won the next service game to love, and despite missing a first match point in the next game, a double fault from Ferrero on the second sealed Costa's triumph in two hours and 30 minutes.

In his 26th appearance at a Grand Slam event, Costa became the fifth Spaniard to win at Roland Garros.

He is also the fourth consecutive first-time Grand Slam winner, following Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon, Lleyton Hewitt at the US Open and Thomas Johansson in this year's Australian Open.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Iain Carter
"Costa's finest hour"
French Open winner Albert Costa
"I was playing unbelievable"
Costa's triumph
Watch highlights of French Open men's final
French Open site

Latest news

Our man in Paris

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Sports Talk

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Official website
Links to more French Open stories are at the foot of the page.


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