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Fish wins Delray Beach title

TOP-SEEDED American Mardy Fish outgunned Russian qualifier Evgeny Korolev 7-5 6-3 to clinch his third ATP title at the Delray Beach International Championships yesterday.

Three weeks after losing in the San Jose final, Fish converted three of six break points to win the opening set after the tournament final had been delayed by rain.

"Conditions were tough," Fish told reporters after becoming the first top seed in the tournament's 17-year history to win the singles title.

"Today kind of reminded me almost of a first round match at an event that you'd like to do well at," he added.

"You literally just want to get off the court with the (win) -- you couldn't care less how it looks."

The 27-year-old American raced 5-2 up in the second before Korolev saved two match points on his own serve and then three more in the ninth game before Fish held to wrap up victory in one hour, 33 minutes.

Korolev, a 21-year-old from Moscow, had reached his first ATP final by beating Belgian Christophe Rochus 6-1 7-5 in the last four.

"With a wind like today I couldn't go for much because the balls were flying all over," Korolev said.

"I couldn't control it, to be honest. Mardy played very, very clever. It was closer to his game to keep the ball in play."


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