MASON, Ohio - A resurgent Andre Agassi defeated 10th seeded Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 on Sunday to win the Masters Series in Cincinnati.
Agassi, the 11th seed, beat 21-year-old Andy Roddick in the semifinals, then wore down the 23-year-old Australian Sunday. He broke Hewitt's serve
three times. Hewitt had been broken only once in five matches.
Agassi, at 34, became the oldest ATP Tour winner since Jimmy Connors won consecutive titles at Toulouse and Tel Aviv when he was 37 in 1989. The win
was Agassi's first in 17 months. He hadn't reached an ATP final since November at the Tennis Masters Cup. He earned $400,000 with the win, almost
twice his earnings so far this year.
Hewitt had problems with his serve in the first set. With Agassi leading 3-2, Hewitt was serving 40-0 but lost four straight points before rallying to
tie the set at 3. Two games later, he lost the first point by double-faulting, then hit the deciding point into the net to put Agassi up 5-3.
Still, Agassi had trouble putting away the set. Serving 15-40, he won the next four points, including a 120-mph ace. In the second set, Hewitt broke
Agassi to take a 5-3 lead. Agassi seemed to be regaining the pinpoint placement that had gotten better with each match. But his shot on game point was
a fraction wide and Hewitt raised his fists to his chest and let out a scream. He then served out the set to even the match.
Agassi broke Hewitt again in the third set to take a 3-1 lead and Hewitt double faulted on match point. Agassi had played much more tennis than Hewitt
this week, and had a shorter rest after a grueling three-set win over second-seeded Roddick on Saturday night.
Agassi had played three, three-game sets while beating three seeded players, while Hewitt hadn't lost a set during the weeklong tournament. Saturday's
victory over Roddick moved Agassi into fifth place on the career list with his 807th win, passing Stefan Edberg.
Agassi has reached the finals at an ATP event 87 times and has 59 titles, the most of any active player. He fell out of the Top 10 last week for the
first time since May 1999. The win evened his record against Hewitt at 4-4. In their last match, Agassi beat Hewitt in three sets in the quarterfinals
of the 2002 U.S. Open.