Originally Published: March 12, 2001 7:15 p.m.
SCOTTSDALE – The statement by Francisco Clavet said it all.
"To beat three top 10 players," he said after winning the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic in Scottsdale on Sunday which included wins over Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and Magnus Norman along the way, "is like a dream for me. (I'm) just very happy. The best week in my tennis life."
Magnus Norman may have been at a slight disadvantage having had to play a tough semifinal match earlier in the morning against Harel Levy due to a rain delay Saturday evening, but he managed to pull out a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8) win.
Norman had 35 unforced errors to Clavet's 10 and responded with praise for the 32-year-old Spaniard's victory.
"When you beat Agassi, Hewitt and Norman on one week, that's a great accomplishment," he said.
In the first set of Sunday's final, each player held easily the first four games only to break each other the next four.
Clavet then held to go up 5-4 and broke Norman's serve to win 6-4.
Norman and Clavet both held serve to 3-2 in the second set and then Clavet came on strong. He won the next two games (5-2) and, with Norman serving, broke to win the match after three match points, 6-4, 6-2.
There were many first-time accomplishments involved with Clavet's win. Among them, he became the first left-hander and Spaniard to take home the $54,000 prize money while it proved the first hard court title of his career, and the second final he's been in this year.
Clavet's ranking will now move up into the upper 20's with this victory.