6th of August 2000 ,Tennis Masters Series, Toronto, Canada


Marat 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 twenty-year-old Russian.

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.