Nadal beats Agassi, Kim Clijsters wins
Montreal, August 15:
Rafael Nadal won on a hardcourt for the first time, beating 35-year-old Andre Agassi 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to win the Rogers Cup. The 19-year-old Spaniard left-handed shotmaking subdued Agassi, who was missing the lines in a baseline battle interrupted 58 minutes after the first set by rain. It was the top-seed’s third victory in a row and his ATP-leading ninth tournament win of the year. French Open champ, who has a 16-match winning streak, won $400,000 of the $2.45 million purse while Agassi earned $200,000. Fourth-seeded Agassi, who was coming off a win in Los Angeles two weeks ago, ended a 10-match winning streak. It was the first meeting between Nadal and Agassi, who has won 60 tournaments, including eight grand slams and three wins in the Canadian event, in his 19-year career. The two had some spectacular rallies, with Nadal repeatedly running down crosscourt shots that appeared unreachable. The 16-year age gap between finalists was the largest on the ATP tour since 1979, when 35-year-old Tom Okker beat 19-year-old Per Hjertquist in Tel Aviv. Nadal’s tour-leading 65 match wins this year is second best ever by a teenager to Boris Becker’s 69 in 1986. The last teenager to win the Canadian tournament was Michael Chang in 1990, when he was 18.
CARSON: Kim Clijsters won her WTA Tour-leading fifth title of the year, defeating Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-1 in the JPMorgan Chase Open final. Clijsters improved to 31-1 in the US since winning the season-ending WTA Championships in November 2003. The 22-year-old Belgian was projected to move from 10th to eighth when the tour rankings are released on Monday. That will be her highest spot since October 2004, before she missed more than four months because of wrist surgery. Clijsters needed just over an hour to polish off Hantuchova, who was playing in her first final in more than a year. History was on Clijsters’ side against Hantuchova. She has won all seven of their career meetings, including three this year.
Cheered by red, black and gold-clad fans waving Belgian flags and pompons, Clijsters won a close first set in which there were five service breaks. She converted all five of her break chances in the match. She dominated in the second, losing only 12 points, and winning eight of the match’s final nine games in front of an announced crowd of 7,546 at Home Depot Centre. Clijsters earned $93,000, while Hantuchova received $47,500.