Beaten Wimbledon finalist Patrick Rafter again fell at the final hurdle when Romania's Andre Pavel surprised the Australian with a three sets victory in the ATP Masters Series in Montreal today. Rafter lost the first set after a tie break 7-6 (7-3) and despite taking the second comfortably 6-2, the Romanian stormed back to clinch the decider 6-3 and claim the top prize in the $2.95million tournament.

The Romanian claimed the first elite crown of his career and the $400,000 cheque that came along with it as the ninth seed fell in a time of two hours and four minutes. Pavel earned the definitive break of serve in a dramatic eighth game of the final set as the contest passed the two-hour point. The Aussie rallied from 0-30 down but faced a break point and put a volley just out at the corner. Pavel won the game for 5-3 and fell to the court in joy a game later as he collected victory with an ace.

Filed by Shane Murray