Flashback Canada: Andre Agassi downs Jason Stoltenberg to defend Toronto crown



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Flashback Canada: Andre Agassi downs Jason Stoltenberg to defend Toronto crown

Missing the Australian Open, Andre Agassi kicked off the 1993 season with the title in San Francisco in February. A few weeks later, the American lifted another trophy in Scottsdale for his second and what turned out to be the last title of the season.

Struggling with injuries, Agassi couldn't match that level in the upcoming months, reaching the quarter-final at Wimbledon and delivering reliable results in the pre-US Open events. Thomas Enqvist took down the American in the first round of the home Major and Andre decided to finish the season following the Davis Cup clash in September, undergoing right wrist surgery in December.

Dropping out from the top-30, Agassi made a winning return in Scottsdale in February 1994, defending the title and losing the final in Miami to Pete Sampras. The results were not that good in the next four months and his luck changed in Toronto at the end of July.

Two years earlier, Andre claimed his second Masters 1000 title at Canada Open in this town, returning to Toronto and hoping for another deep run. Passing five obstacles, Andre lifted the third Masters 1000 crown, beating Jason Stoltenberg in straight sets in the final to gather boost ahead of the US Open.

After a commanding triumph over Jakob Hlasek, Andre had to give his everything versus David Wheaton, prevailing in the deciding tie break after fending off two match points! In the quarters, Agassi notched a notable win over world no.

4 Sergi Bruguera, coming from the verge of defeat to dominate the final set and reach the semis. He ousted Wayne Ferreira to find himself in the title match, with Jason Stoltenberg standing between him and the second crown in Toronto.

It was the first and only Masters 1000 final for the Aussie in his best season on the Tour, unable to go all the way as Agassi beat him 6-4, 6-4 in 80 minutes. In their third encounter, the American scored the third victory, dropped 16 points in ten service games and fending off all seven break chances to mount the pressure on the other side of the court.

In 1994, Andre Agassi won the second title in Toronto and the third Masters 1000 trophy.

Jason repelled five out of seven break chances to remain in touch, giving serve away once in each set to propel the American over the top.

They had a similar number of winners and Agassi drew more forced errors, the area that carried him towards the much-needed title. They stayed neck and neck in the more advanced rallies while Andre forged the victory in the shortest range up to four strokes, remaining composed and celebrating the biggest title in two years.

Stoltenberg kicked off the action with a backhand crosscourt winner in the first game, producing another fine hold at 1-1 for a promising start. At 2-2, Agassi landed a perfect return to grab a break and move in front, facing four break points in the next one and repelling them all to move 4-2 ahead when Jason landed a backhand wide.

Serving for the set at 5-4, Andre fired a service winner for a hold at love and a big step towards the title. Stoltenberg brought the opening game of the second set home with an ace down the T line, with the American producing a quick hold to level the score at 1-1.

The third game proved to be a marathon one, with 20 points and seven deuces. The Aussie fended off three break chances to remain in touch, and Agassi moved back to 2-2 with another powerful service game. The fifth game was the pivotal one, as Jason sent a volley long to give serve away and find himself a set and a break down.

In his third service game of the set, Agassi grabbed a hold at love to remain in front, saving a break point to control the scoreboard and make another move towards the finish line. In the ninth game, Jason repelled a match point to prolong the encounter for at least one more game.

Serving for the title, Andre faced two break chances, fending them off after mistakes from Stoltenberg and sealing the deal on the second match point when the Aussie netted a forehand.