6th of August 2000 ,Tennis Masters Series, Toronto, Canada
Safin is the new Tennis Masters Series Canada champion after
a blistering 6-2, 6-3 win over Harel Levy in the final. The
win marks the first ever Tennis Masters Series title for the
But although Safin was simply too big and too strong today,
Levy, who came through qualifying, can still look back on a
career best week. He won seven matches before coming up against
Safin and though he was overpowered he was far from disgraced.
Indeed it was the Isreali who started more brightly, showing
very few nerves in the biggest occasion of his tennis career.
He broke Safin in the Russian's first serve game but despite
his serve malfunctioning, Safin's mammoth ground strokes were
finding their mark with increasing regularity. He broke straight
back and demolished the Levy serve a further two times on his
way to taking the opening set.
The pattern continued in the second set, with the Russian dominating
early on and never relinquishing his grip on the match, despite
Levy hanging in for all he was worth.
After the match, a delighted Safin warmly congratulated Levy
on his performance and then charmed the crowd with a gracious
speech, thanking them for their support during what has been
the most successful week of his career.
The Russian will move to number 4 in the ATP Champions Race
when the standings are released on Monday. While Levy can temper
his disappointment with the fact that his performance here has
already earned him direct entry into the Tennis Masters Series
Cincinnati draw next week.