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Muster overwhelms Ivanisevic in Dubai Open final

February 16, 1997

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Second-seeded Thomas Muster overwhelmed defending champion Goran Ivanisevic with a series of sizzling shots to win his first $1 million Dubai Open Sunday.

The Austrian, ranked third in the world behind Ivanisevic, won 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) in 1 hour, 41 minutes.

``I felt like a long-lasting battery that never stops,″ Muster said.

But the champion was quick to praise Ivanisevic.

``He is a great player who has the potential to be the world No. 1,″ Muster said.

If there was any one thing that Ivanisevic lacked during the match, it was luck.

On many occasions, he just hit wide or into the tape of the net. Muster, in contrast, frequently saw the ball fall in his favor.

``I think I played my best match in a long time, certainly my best here,″ Ivanisevic said. ``But against Muster, if you don’t take chances, you don’t win.″

Ivanisevic kept his temper in check most of the match, but at one point in the 11th game of the first set, he erupted when he was broken for the first time.

Having missed a simple high lob to drop behind 6-5, Ivanisevic hurled his racquet towards the spectators, then kicked his equipment. That earned him a code violation from the chair umpire.

However, Ivanisevic’s feared cannonball serve was on target and gave him 21 points in the match.

In the second set, both players raised their game to great heights. The exchanges were sharper and both players went for the most difficult of winners.

Muster took a 4-0 lead in the tiebreaker as Ivanisevic was plagued by errors. After Ivanisevic battled back to 6-3, Muster closed out the match with an outright winner.

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