Originally created 02/15/99

Golmard defeats Kiefer to win Dubai Open

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Frenchman Jerome Golmard won his first ATP Tour championship, beating Germany's Nicolas Kiefer 6-4, 6-2 in the $1 million Dubai Open Sunday.

"It's a dream I've just realized," Golmard said. "I've crossed a new horizon and I won because I played each match as a final."

Unlike Golmard, who was well-rested, Kiefer played the final less than six hours after playing the semifinal against Andrew Ilie.

"I was a little tired but that is not an excuse," Kiefer said. "He played a very good match."

Kiefer played well below his best, after defeating Ilie 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), and Golmard broke him in the fifth game and held on to take the first set.

Golmard, who earned $142,000 -- his largest purse ever -- kept up the pressure and broke Kiefer in the first game and took a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Golmard's drop shots and powerful forehands gave Kiefer no chance to get back into the match. He broke again in the seventh game, then closed out the match.

Earlier, Golmard had beaten No. 5 seed Karol Kucera and No. 3 Tim Henman.


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