Tennis: Chang breaks duck

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The Independent Online
Michael Chang finally triumphed in Los Angeles after his fourth appearance in the final, defeating the second-seeded Dutchman, Richard Krajicek, in straight sets on Sunday to claim the Infiniti Open title.

The American raced past the Wimbledon champion 6-4, 6-3 in 72 minutes, avenging his defeat in the 1993 final.

"It feels great to win here," said Chang, who grew up in nearby Orange County. "I've spent a lot of years playing here and this place has always been special to me." This was the 26th title and third of the year for Chang, who now has a career-high world ranking of three.

Krajicek, twice winner of this event, was playing his first tournament since his Wimbledon win, but with the exception of his big serve, the Dutchman was never on top of his game this week.

Krajicek dropped his serve in the opening game and then again in the seventh. He managed to break back to 3-5 but Chang, using his remarkable speed to chase down everything, served out the set.

"The only moment I really felt comfortable was when I broke him back in the the first set," Krajicek said. "He was the one who was dominating basically. I felt I wasn't moving too well and maybe I was a little surprised by his speed. He's a little quicker than the other guys."

In the second set, Chang broke Krajicek to love for a 4-3 lead. He sealed the win with another break in the final game with a cross-court volley.

After piling up 71 aces over his first four matches, Krajicek hit just nine, only two more than Chang. Also crucial was the second-serve percentage where Chang won 71 per cent of his second serve points compared to just 34 for Krajicek.