Agassi beats Hewitt to win Tennis Masters Cincinnati

August 8, 2004 09:14 PM

MASON, Ohio (Ticker) - Andre Agassi's legs did not give out on him Sunday in the final of the Tennis Masters Cincinnati.

After outlasting No. 2 Andy Roddick in an all-American semifinal Saturday night, 11th seed Agassi beat No. 10 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia on Sunday afternoon, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, to win his first title in 16 months.

The 34-year-old Agassi, who had not won a tournament since Houston in 2003, took five of the final six games for his 59th career title and third here. He previously won in 1995-96.

"I've trained hard for it," Agassi said about spending a lot of time on court during the week. "If anything, I've had time to do more training than I would want normally. I'd rather be out there competing."

Agassi had lost six of nine matches entering the tournament.

"Getting up for my serve, I felt like it was taking me a little bit more work to do that," he said. "And getting off the mark on the return, I felt a little bit behind. But there's an emotional letdown, too, so it's hard to sort of make a distinction between what was physical, what wasn't. But all in all, I settled into the match well today, and I felt great about it."

Agassi, who won $400,000, became the 11th three-time winner in the 106-year history of the tournament. The only other players to accomplish that feat in the Open era are Mats Wilander and Pete Sampras, who each won four times here.

The Las Vegas native also became the second-oldest winner in Cincinnati behind only Ken Rosewall, who was 35 when he won here in 1970. Agassi also was the oldest winner on tour since Jimmy Conners won consecutive titles at Toulous and Tel Eviv as a 37-year-old in 1989.

Hewitt, 23, a finalist here in 2002, was going for his third career ATP Masters Series title in six tries. He has 21 career titles, second behind Agassi among active players.

"In the third set he served extremely well," Hewitt said. "He hit a lot of first serves and a lot of serves right on the line there and corners and stuff. I just couldn't get into his service games."

Hewitt, who slipped to 4-4 lifetime against Agassi, was aiming for his third championship of the year, having already picked up titles in Sydney and Rotterdam.