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Tennis: American Fish Captures First ATP Title Sunday - 2003-10-26

American Mardy Fish captured the first ATP title of his career Sunday, by defeating Swedish wild card Robin Soderling in the final of the Stockholm Open tennis tournament.

The fifth-seeded Fish beat Soderling 7-5, 3-6, 7-6. The American had reached three other ATP finals this year, but lost them all. He is now the ninth first-time winner on the tour this season. The victory sends Fish into the top-20 of the ATP rankings for the first time in his career. The 19-year-old Soderling was playing his first ATP final.

Meanwhile, Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil claimed his second tennis title of the season when he beat Sargis Sargsian of Armenia in straight-sets at the Saint Petersburg Open final in Russia.

Kuerten's 6-4, 6-3 win Sunday is his 19th career title in 27 finals. The former world number-one was making his debut at the Saint Petersburg tournament.

The third-seeded Brazilian, who did not lose a set at the tournament, broke the unseeded Sargsian to lead 3-1. Despite dropping his serve at 5-4, Kuerten broke the Sargsian back to win the first set.

It was Kuerten's third appearance in a final this season. He won the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand in January, then lost to Australian Lleyton Hewitt at Indian Wells in March.

Guillermo Coria of Argentina captured the Swiss Indoors tennis event in Basel by walkover Sunday, when his countryman and defending champion David Nalbandian was forced to withdraw from the match with a wrist injury.

Nalbandian said he re-injured his wrist in Saturday's semifinal, as he returned the rocket-like serves of American Andy Roddick. His initial injury also came from Roddick's serve when they played earlier this year at the U.S. Open in New York.

Coria, who has been friends with Nalbandian for a dozen years, said he felt no joy at his first victory on an indoor surface. He said it was a strange way to win the title, and that Nalbandian's health was the most important thing.