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BOETSCH WINS TOULOSUE OPEN WITH BIG FINISH AGAINST COURIER

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Arnaud Boetsch became the first Frenchman to win a tournament in two years Sunday when he beat top-seeded Jim Courier 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 6-0 in the final of the Toulouse Open.

Courier was looking for his second straight title after winning the Swiss Open last week. But after the second-set tiebreaker, Boetsch jumped to a 5-0 lead and closed the match out just in time as his leg was cramping on the final points against Courier's serve."It was good to win that game because it was getting harder for me to serve," Boetsch said.

"I was really tired in coming to Toulouse after winning the final last week in five sets," said Courier who had to go more than four hours to beat Jan Siemerink last Sunday. "But that's no excuse. Arnaud played very, very well. Usually he makes a lot more faults but today he was the better."

The fourth-seeded Boetsch won the tournament in 1993 over another Frenchman, Cedric Pioline, who Courier beat in Saturday's semifinals.

"I'm very happy especially to beat Courier in the final," Boetsch said. "I tired a little and it was a bit difficult in the second set. I had some highs and lows during the tournament but I held up."

Boetsch's Toulouse title in 1993 was the last tournament victory by a Frenchman. Courier beat Boetsch in the Adelaide, Australia, final in the first tournament of the year.

Boetsch took the first set, breaking Courier in the fifth game and holding that advantage the rest of the way. He had to go to six set points before closing out the first set.

Courier battled back from 3-1 down in the second set, and had a chance to win the set with a set point at 5-4. But Boetsch saved it with a reflex volley with both players at the net. It went to a tiebreaker with Courier coming back from 3-1 behind to win 7-5.

The third set went quickly with Boetsch finishing the match with a delicate cross-court winner.