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Novak Wins BMW Open

May 6, 2001

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MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ Jiri Novak captured his first title in more than three years Sunday at the BMW Open, ending the unlikely bid of unknown Frenchman Anthony Dupuis with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.

Novak, who had been sick to start the year, needed 1 hour, 17 minutes to end the match in a battle of two players who had both won just one ATP tour match this year prior to the $400,000 event, where top players like Yevgeny Kafelnikov all were ousted early.

Dupuis, 28, took a 3-0 lead in his first final since he decided to play tennis full-time three years ago instead of teaching tennis at his club in Paris. But the Czech’s variety and steadiness proved too much for the hard-hitting Frenchman, who miss-hit a return to end the match.

``I’m very happy to fight back from 0-3. He didn’t have anything to lose, so he was just hitting the ball very hard,″ said Novak, who was playing his fourth final and last won in Mexico City.

Novak collected $54,000 for the title, while Dupuis took home $31,500 after winning just $35,000 for the year beforehand.

Dupuis said he started taking tennis seriously in 1998 after just occasionally playing tournaments, rarely practicing and getting along without a coach.

``When you’re 25, you don’t really know what to do with your life,″ said Dupuis. ``I said to myself that I would give it two years and see what happens. Then I realized I could beat the best players.″

Both finalists took advantage of all the upsets as not one seeded player reached the semifinals.

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