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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Open Revisited: Agassi Whips Stich

VIENNA -- In a rematch of the U.S. Open final, Andre Agassi once again played superb tennis to beat Germany's Michael Stich 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to win the Credit Anstalt indoor tennis trophy.

For the American, seeded No. 3 in his first appearance in the $410,000 tournament at Vienna's Stadthalle, the victory sealed his return to the top echelon of tennis in his first tournament since the U.S. Open six weeks ago.

For Stich, ranked No. 3 in the world and seeded No. 2 in Vienna, it was the sixth career loss to Agassi, 24, who served and returned strongly almost all through the match.

The two-hour, 48-minute final provided some of the best tennis ever seen in Austria and was followed by an enthusiastic crowd of 8,000 cheering wildly for Agassi, now ranked No. 8 in the world and shooting for a place in November's ATP finals in Frankfurt.

The first set initially went in Stich's favor. He broke Agassi to lead 3-1, but Agassi broke back in the seventh game. Agassi played strongly in the tiebreak, taking it 7-4.

In the second set, Agassi broke Stich to lead 2-0. But he then lost three games in a row, allowing the German to break back in the fifth game and even the score in the sixth at 3-3.

"He started out serving so well, and I think I was really lucky to get back into the first set," Agassi said of Stich after the match.

"In the middle of the second, I got a little tired, a little loss of concentration," Agassi admitted. All in all, he said, "I had to play really well today to win."

After the match, Agassi thanked the fans and tossed his shirt to the crowd. Asked by an Austrian television commentator whether he would keep an earlier promise to give away his tennis shorts too, Agassi laughed: "I said maybe. And I think maybe not."

Both players complained strenuously about the umpire, Steve Ullrich of the United States. "This umpire didn't know what professional work means. He really contributed to my losing the third set," said Stich in an unusually emotional comment.

His ire did not extend to Agassi, whom the German deemed "a worthy victor."


In other tournaments Sunday, Jana Novotna successfully defended a singles title for the first time in her career, beating fellow Czech Helena Sukova 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Brighton International indoor tournament in England.

The No. 2 seed survived eight double faults, including one of her first match point, to defeat the unseeded Sukova in a serve-and-volley duel.

In Lyon, France, Marc Rosset of Switzerland defeated Jim Courier of the United States 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) Sunday to take his second Lyon Open tennis title. In Hong Kong, Stefan Edberg beat defending champion Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to win the $763,500 Marlboro Championships, avenging his defeat in last year's final.

In Beijing, top seed Michael Chang defeated Anders Jarryd of Sweden 7-5, 7-5 and won the Salem Open tennis tournament. Chang is a popular American sports figure in China because of his Chinese origins.