Switzerland’s Roger Federer ended the season in style on Sunday, winning the Masters Cup and prize money of $1.52 million (SFr2 million).This content was published on November 17, 2003 - 08:44
The Wimbledon champion produced another sublime performance to defeat Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 in a rain-interrupted final in Houston, Texas.
Federer also moved up to number two spot in the world rankings, after five straight victories against an elite field, including victories over the other reigning Grand Slam champions: Agassi (Australian Open), Andy Roddick (US Open) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (French Open).
The Basel player’s 88-minute dismantling of Agassi earned him his seventh tournament title of the season - scored on four different surfaces.
“This week has been great for me,” said Federer. “I thought I was in the toughest group, with the toughest opponents, and I came out winning each match against really great players.”
Agassi never managed one break point during Sunday’s match, while Federer conjured 39 winners, three times as many as his opponent.
“I'd just like to congratulate Roger, not just for a great match today but great tennis all week. You deserve to win this tournament, and it's an inspiration to watch you move and play,” Agassi said during the trophy presentation.
Agassi, 33, was the event's oldest finalist since 1978, and was attempting to be its oldest champion - Ilie Nastase was 29 in 1975.
He also was hoping to set the mark for the longest gap between titles at the tour championship, having won it in 1990.
But Federer dominated right from the start, serving strongly and getting the best of baseline rallies.
Rain stopped play
One set down and trailing 2-0 in the second, the American won a temporary reprieve when rain stopped play for two and a half hours.
But when the match resumed, Agassi promptly made two straight errors to get broken to love, and Federer swept through the next three games to take the set.
Agassi tried to mount a stand in the third set but could never exert enough pressure on Federer’s serve.
“Seven titles on four different surfaces, my first grand slam, number two in the world… it’s really been an unbelievable year for me,” said Federer.
“And this was just an unbelievable match for me. It’s definitely one of the best of the season… of my career.”
swissinfo with agencies
Federer won his group, beating Agassi, Argentina's David Nalbandian, and Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero.
He then defeated world number one Andy Roddick in the semi-final, before facing Agassi again in the final.
The 22-year-old Swiss star scored his first ever victories over Agassi and Nalbandian.
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