Even after fending off two match points and rallying to beat Richard Krajicek, Andre Agassi refused to give himself much credit for winning the Volvo International title.
"I just got a little lucky, that's all," he said after beating the Netherlands' Krajicek 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 in Sunday's final."There's no excuse for me to win this match. I was down match point twice against a guy serving bombs," Agassi told the crowd after the match.
The win gave the world's top-ranked player his fourth straight title and career-best seventh of the year. The $150,000 prize pushed his 1995 earnings to $1,992,946.
The victory also improved Agassi's record on hardcourts to 46-2 and came eight days before the start of the U.S. Open, where he will defend his title in the year's final Grand Slam tournament. He has reached the final in every hardcourt event he's played this year and hasn't lost a match on the surface this summer.
"These weeks have given me a lot of confidence," Agassi said. "My mind's in shape, my body's in shape, my game's in shape. Now, all I have to do is (go to the Open) and take care of business."
Agassi, who needed little more than an hour to eliminate each of his first four opponents this week, got off to a bad start against Krajicek.
After losing his service only four times leading up to the final, Agassi was broken five times, the last time putting him in a 6-5 hole in the second set.
But he wasn't finished.
Krajicek, known for a serve that has been clocked at 134 mph, was serving for the match and set up his first match point with a 128 mph ace, his 14th of the match.
"I still, quite honestly, felt pretty confident until he had a few aces," Agassi said. "I felt like, `Yeah, I'm 130 mph away from game, set, match.'
The two went to deuce three times, with Krajicek saving one break point before Agassi returned a 123 mph serve with a beautiful forehand passing shot to force the tiebreaker.
Agassi easily won the tiebreaker, capitalizing on five unforced errors by Krajicek, who seemed to lose his concentration.
"I don't think (Krajicek) was playing the breaker to win it. I think he was hoping things would go his way in the third set," Agassi said. "All I was thinking was to find a way to get into the third set, and then maybe I could make something happen."
That's exactly what he did.
Agassi began to find the angles that eluded him in the first two sets, drilling his passing shots past Krajicek at the net.
Agassi broke Krajicek twice in the third set, the first time at love. The match ended when the Dutchman lost his serve again in the ninth game.
It was a remarkable turnaround from the beginning of the match, when Agassi lost the first two break points he faced in the first set, then was broken three more times in the second.
Both struggled to hold their serve under a strong midday sun.
In the doubles final, Rick Leach and Scott Melville, the seventh-seeded pair, overcame unseeded Leander Paes and Nicolas Pereira 7-6, (7-4), 6-4.
It was the 29th doubles title for Leach, of Laguna Beach, Calif. He and Melville, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., reached the Wimbledon final together.
Paes, a native of India, and Pereira, of Venezuela, were playing together for the first time.
At Indianapolis, Sweden's Thomas Enqvist won his fourth title of the year, beating Bernd Karbacher of Germany 6-4, 6-3 Sunday at the RCA Championships.
The victory improved Enqvist's hardcourt record this summer to 18-4, and lifted him into the Top 10 in the world rankings.
Karbacher, ranked 27th, fought his way into his first hardcourt final with victories over second-ranked Pete Sampras and No. 17 Todd Martin. But he was clearly overmatched by the hard-hitting Swede at the Indianapolis Tennis Center.
"I think I played well," said Enqvist, who won 24 of his 28 first-service points. "I moved well on the court, and I made some big returns."
Karbacher, who had lost his only previous match with Enqvist two years ago, said the long week in hot and humid weather took its toll.