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September 12, 2005 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-12

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2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 12, 2005

Federer holds off surprise Agassi

MoeIrtjc]4 uB au
Athlete of the Week
me: Lyndsay Miller Team: Women's volleyball
metown: Ida, Mich. Class: Sophomore


NEW YORK (AP) - Roger Federer, a man of
panache and unparalleled perfection in finals, with-
stood Andre Agassi's spirited upset bid to capture
a second straight U.S. Open and sixth Grand Slam
Federer responded to his few moments of pressure
by reeling off seven straight points in the tiebreak that
turned the match around, then blew Agassi away in
the fourth set to win 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1 yesterday
and run his stunning record in finals to 23-0.
Federer moved into a tie with Stefan Edberg and
:Boris Becker for Grand Slam titles among Open era
players, and one behind John McEnroe and Mats
Wilander. Pete Sampras holds the record with 14
.Grand Slam titles, but at 24 years old, Federer could
well have a shot at that.,
Federer shrieked and leapt in the air when Agassi's
backhand return looped long on the championship
point. The two men, who have the highest of respect
for each other, shook hands warmly at the net.
Though the 35-year-old Agassi was the oldest U.S.
-Open men's finalist in 31 years, age had less to do
with the difference in this match than Federer's sheer
,strength, variety of serves and superior balance of
-attacks from the baseline and the net that wore down
The Swiss forced the action, going for winners
more aggressively and dancing around the court with
poise, unrattled even when Agassi had him down a
break at 4-2 in the third set. For a while there, Agassi
--seemed to be on the verge of pulling one of the great
upsets in sports history - on the order of Muham-
mad Ali's shockers over Sonny Liston and George
An 8-1 underdog, Agassi was just a few months

doesn't lose in finals, is at the peak of his game and
health, and is coming off his third straight Wimble-
don championship;
If this was Agassi's last U.S. Open after 20 straight
- he won't decide until the end of the year whether to
retire - it was remarkable even in defeat.
"It's been a tough road, but it's been a great road,"
Agassi told the cheering crowd. "Roger played way
too good today. Congratulations Roger, well done.
"This certainly isn't easy to do at any age, espe-
cially 35. It's been a privilege to compete against so
many great champions over the last couple of decades
or so. Without exception, Roger has been one of most
enjoyable to compete against. Thank you New York
for the last 20 years. It's been a great ride."
Federer became the first man in the Open era,
which started in 1968, to win Wimbledon and the
U.S. Open back-to-back for the second consecutive
year. Three players have done it twice, though not
in consecutive years: Jimmy Connors, McEnroe and
Sampras. The last player to accomplish the feat was
Don Budge in 1937-38.
Federer beat Agassi for the eighth straight time
over the past two years after losing their first three
meetings. Three of Federer's victories in that streak
have come at Grand Slam events, including the quar-
terfinals of the U.S. Open last year and the Australian
Open this year.
"This is probably the most special Grand Slam final
in my career," Federer said. "To play against Andre in
New York, it's a dream.
"I had to play my best match of the tournament.
It happened I played my best in the finals, as usual.
I don't know how I do it, but it definitely feels great
every single time."


Why: Miller led Michigan to a win in the Pepsi/Nike Invitation-
al on Saturday Sept. 10. In the final game, a victory over Illinois
State, she tied a career-high with 16 kills and set a new personal
best with 11 blocks for her first career double-double. She was
also named to the all-tournament team.


Date Event


9/13 Field Hockey at Central Michigan
9/13 Volleyball vs. Eastern Michigan
9/16 M Cross Country Spartan
9/16 W Cross Country Michigan State
9/16 M Soccer at Oakland
9/16 W Soccer vs. Western Michigan
9/16 Volleyball vs. Georgia Tech
Georgia Invitational
9/17 Football vs. Eastern Michigan
9/17 Volleyball at Georgia
Georgia Invitational
9/17 W Golf Mary Fossum Invitational
9/18 W Rowing vs. Eastern Michgian,
Michigan State
9/18 W Soccer at Notre Dame
9/18 Field Hockey vs. Vermont
9/18 M Soccer vs. Kentucky
9/18 W Golf Mary Fossum Invitational

Mount Pleasant
Ann Arbor
East Lansing
East Lansing
Ann Arbor
Athens, Ga.
Ann Arbor
Athens, Ga.
East Lansing
South Bend
Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
East Lansing

4 p.m.
7 p.m.
2 p.m.
4 p.m.
5 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
12 p.m.
7 p.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
2 p.m.

Roger Federer moved his finals record to 23-0 with his
victory over Andre Agassi in yesterday's U.S. Open.
removed from a career-threatening back injury that
shot crippling pain down his right leg, led to his loss
in the first round of the French Open and caused
him to skip Wimbledon. He was playing a man who


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Kim Clijsters took the U.S. Open easily, beating Mary Pierce in two sets,
6-3, 6-1.

Fifth time
charm for
NEW YORK (AP) - Winning a
Grand Slam title wasn't so hard for
Kim Clijsters, after all.
Clijsters, who came up short her
first four tries, finally won her first
major title Saturday night, cruis-
ing to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Mary
Pierce at the U.S. Open. When she
hit a service winner on the sec-
ond championship point, Clijsters
dropped her racket and put her
hands to her face.
She hugged Pierce at the net and
then rushed to the side of the court,
climbing over a photographer's pit
and through the stands at Arthur
Ashe Stadium to reach her family.
She scaled a wall and inched along a
rail as if it was a tightrope - maybe
the toughest thing she did all night
- before she reached her family.
Sobbing, she hugged her mom and
sister while Pierce watched, discon- *
solate; from the sidelines.
Clijsters won $2.2 million, double
the top prize, because she won. the
U.S. Open Series.
"It's still very hard to believe,"
Clijsters said at the podium after
receiving the winner's check. "It's
an amazing feeling to have, espe-
cially after being out for so long last
year. It-means so much more."
There's never been a doubt about
Clijsters' talent.
She's a former No. 1 who arrived
at the Open with 27 titles - six this
year alone. But she'd never won the
Big One - any of the four majors.
She reached the finals at the
French and U.S. opens in 2003, as
well as the Australian in 2004. Each
time, she fell short against Belgian
Justine Henin-Hardenne. She also
lost to Jennifer Capriati in the 2001
French Open.
But that was before the career-
threatening wrist injury. She had
surgery last June to remove a cyst on
her left wrist and missed the French
Open, Wimbledon and the U.S.
Open. She also missed this year's
Australian Open.
When she returned to the tour, she
had a different, more determined
It, showed against Pierce, who is
enjoying a career resurgence at 30.
Pierce took a controversial 12-min-
ute timeout during her semifinal
match, and she had her right thigh
tightly wrapped Saturday night.
But no amount of tape could have
helped her against Clijsters. The
Belgian was too strong, too crisp,
too fleet against Pierce.
She served notice from tl
start she was there to play, break-
ing Pierce in the first game of the
She used her superior athletic
ability to chase down ball after ball,
and made Pierce work for every
point she got. Pierce seemed com-
pletely befuddled. After she hit a


C,-oncer t I

Saturday, October 22"d,2005
Hill Auditorium
7:30 PM
For tickets call (734) 764-2538

Crisler Concert
Sunday, December 4th, 2005
Crisler Arena
12:30 PM
For tickets call (734) 764-0582

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