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Nalbandian claims title in Munich

MUNICH, Germany -- Top-seeded Argentine David Nalbandian won the BMW Open title in Munich, taking little more than an hour to crush Romanian fifth seed Andrei Pavel 6-4 6-1 in a disappointing final.

It was Nalbandian's first tournament win since 2002 and he picked up the $67,000 winner's cheque and a BMW Z4 car worth an estimated $51,000.

"I have practised hard all year and today it all paid off," said Nalbandian.

"I have not won a tournament since 2002 with injuries and loss of form hindering me in 2003 and 2004.

"I have got better here with every match and am delighted to win the tournament. Hopefully it is the start of a great 2005 for me."

Nalbandian fell behind 4-1 in the opening set but Pavel's fatigue then became apparent as the 2002 Wimbledon finalist won the first set 6-4.

Pavel had played an epic three hour match to defeat Germany's Tommy Haas in Saturday's semifinal and he looked increasingly jaded in the second set as Nalbandian broke serve early on.

Argentine Nalbandian surged into a 5-1 lead and Pavel could only hit a tame slice into the net on match point to concede the match.

"I went to the toilet in Saturday's match with (Tommy) Haas because I was tired and not feeling too great," said Pavel.

"I did not have anything to offer in the final and to be honest David was just too good."

Nalbandian's win means an Argentine player has won the BMW Open three times in the last seven years with Franco Squillari winning back to back titles in 1999 and 2000.

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