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post #31 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

World Team Cup 2010

World No. 49 Horacio Zeballos captured Argentina’s fourth title at the ARAG ATP World Team Championship as he beat American Robby Ginepri 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-5 Sunday in Dusseldorf to give the South Americans an unassailable 2-0 lead.

In the first singles rubber, Juan Monaco had got Argentina off to a winning start in its sixth final appearance at the Rochusclub by coming from behind to defeat American Sam Querrey 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 35 minutes.

Argentina is now tied with Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United States, all of whom have won a record four ARAG ATP World Team Championships.

“I think my match was difficult, but also his (Zeballos’) match was incredible," said Monaco. "He was fighting like an animal for, like, three hours. We are very happy because when we came here the goal was to win here for Argentina and we did it."

DEUCE: On The Rise...Zeballos

The 25-year-old Zeballos, named the ATP Newcomer of the Year last year, broke serve in the first game of the match, which ultimately made the difference in the first set as he faced no break points in closing out a one-set lead.

The Argentine, who has posted his best results this season on clay, could have closed out the match in two sets, but squandered a 3-1 lead and later missed a match point at 6-5 in the tie-break as the No. 98-ranked Ginepri kept American hopes alive by forcing a deciding set.

Neither player was able to break through, or indeed even conjure a break point opportunity, until the 12th game of the third set, when Zeballos made no mistake at the second time of asking. He opened up a 40/0 lead on Ginepri’s serve as the American served at 5-6 and converted his third match point after two hours and 19 minutes.

“It was a tough match," reflected Zeballos. "The final is not like other matches, you have more pressure. But I think I was cool and played with confidence. It was important for me. It’s not just for us; it’s also for the country so we are really happy to be the champion of this tournament.”

"It was a tough fight," agreed Ginepri. "The first set, I got off to a shaky start. I was a little nervous when I realised that I had to get through the match for the U.S. to have a chance to win it. But hats off to him, he played well. I fought hard to win that second set after saving a match point and had some momentum going into the third set, but just wasn’t able to put as many balls into the court as I needed to.”

World No. 30 Monaco, overcame a slow start to defeat Querrey for the second time in three meetings. The American, who won his first ATP World Tour clay-court title recently at the Serbia Open 2010 (d. Isner), broke serve three times as he raced to a one-set lead.

Monaco responded quickly, though, breaking serve twice as he established a 4-0 lead in the second set. Querrey was able to recoup one of the breaks, but could not build on his comeback as Monaco broke serve again in the seventh game before levelling the match with a service hold to 15.

Breaks were exchanged in the early stages of the third set before Monaco opened up a 4-3 lead with a fifth break of 6’6’’ Querrey’s serve. The Tandil native then saved five break points to seal a 5-3 lead and secured victory by breaking serve once more in front of the Centre Court crowd at the Rochusclub.

The 26-year-old Monaco was also part of the Argentina team that won the team trophy in 2007. He has had a strong clay-court season, reaching the final at the Movistar Open in Santiago (l. to Bellucci) and advancing to the semi-finals in Buenos Aires and Acapulco (l. to Ferrero both times) during the Latin American swing in February.

Reigning ATP World Tour Doubles Champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan avoided a whitewash for the United States as they crushed Argentine duo Diego Veronelli and Eduardo Schwank 6-1, 6-2 for their third victory of the week. In a devastating display, the 32-year-old twins surrendered just three points on serve and capitalised on four of 10 break points to seal victory in 43 minutes.
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post #32 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Nice 2010

Former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet has snapped a six-match losing streak against Top 10 opponents to capture his sixth ATP World Tour singles title.

The unseeded Frenchman, who is currently No. 68 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, defeated World No. 9 Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5) in two hours and 38 minutes at the Open de Nice Cote d'Azur on Saturday.

"It was an incredible match," admitted Gasquet. "I didn't see myself coming back when I was in the third set. I saw myself really far from victory. I was a little tense while serving, which also happened to me in the second set.

"I couldn't have been more tired at the end and I really gave everything to the match. It is a title, my sixth, and it has been a long time since I won my last ATP World Tour title. I'll remember the match for the rest of my life, that's for sure. It was hard and it's a great victory against a great player."

Gasquet won 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings points and earned €72,150 in prize money for lifting his first ATP World Tour title since 30 September 2007 at Mumbai. Verdasco picked up 150 points in his quest to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November and received a cheque for €37,900.

Gasquet converted his first break point opportunity in the sixth game, with second seed Verdasco serving at 30/40. He went on to take a 5-2 lead with a service hold to love.

In the eighth game, Verdasco recovered from 0/40 and saved four set points overall. Gasquet won 23 of 31 service points to clinch the first set in 43 minutes.

Verdasco took a 3-1 lead in the second set, but then lost four of the next five games. Serving for the match at 5-4, Gasquet dropped his serve to love.

Verdasco grew in confidence, levelling the scoreline at one-set apiece in a run of six straight games to a 3-0 lead in the third set. He came within one point of taking a 5-1 lead, but could not convert a break point opportunity on Gasquet’s serve.

Verdasco served for the match at 5-3, but was broken to 15. There were five breaks of serve in the third set, which was decided on a tie-break. Gasquet, who suffered from leg cramping in the third set, converted his first match point at 6-5 in the tie-break when Verdasco hit a forehand wide.

"I was close to losing and then I was so close to winning," said Verdasco. "I was 4-1 up and a few break points to be 5-1 [in the third set], but then he started hitting winners everywhere. Every break point was a good serve or a crazy forehand, every time a winner.

"I was not able to play in those circumstances. He got lucky in the 4-1 game and grew in confidence to break me and to come back. He started to play and run for everything again."

It snapped a five-match losing streak against Verdasco and was Gasquet’s first Top 10 win since beating compatriot and World No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome in May 2009. He now has a 12-35 lifetime record against Top 10 opponents.

Earlier this year, Gasquet reached the Medibank International Sydney final (l. to Baghdatis). Last week he captured his first ATP Challenger Tour title in over five years at Bordeaux (d. Llodra).

"After Bordeaux, I didn’t think about winning here," said Gasquet. "So I am very happy to have won and to have added a sixth title. Mostly, because it was a match of enormous intensity and being able to comeback was special."

The 23-year-old Swiss resident has an 18-11 match record on the season. He has been drawn to meet fourth seed Andy Murray of Great Britain in the Roland Garros first round.

Verdasco, 26, was attempting to join compatriot Rafael Nadal as a three-time ATP World Tour titlist this year. He has a 5-8 lifetime record in ATP World Tour finals, having won the SAP Open (d. Roddick) and Barcelona Open BancSabadell (d. Soderling) titles this year. He dropped to a 30-9 season record.

“It is always easier to play when people are supporting you," said Verdasco. "Of course, I think it helped him a lot. He was close to winning at 5-4 in the second set, but if he wasn’t playing in France, then it would have been difficult in the third set.

"I am happy because I played a final, but I am unhappy that I came so close to winning and couldn't do so."
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post #33 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

French Open 2010

In a remarkable Sunday for Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard won his fifth Roland Garros title, returned to No. 1 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings and became the first player to qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, after defeating Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in the final in Paris.

At the age of 24 years and four days, Nadal became just the second man in history to win five or more Roland Garros titles. Bjorn Borg finished his esteemed career with six titles on the Parisian clay. The Spaniard will subsequently return to the No. 1 spot in the South African Airways ATP Rankings for the first time since 22 June, 2009.

"[It was a] very important victory for me. I think one of the most important victories in my career," said Nadal. "It was a difficult year for me the last year. I worked a lot to be here. I was very nervous during all the tournament, because I know before that I was ready to try to win another time, and I saw the chances there. But the very positive thing is today I was ready to play. I was ready to play with calm and to try my best and to enjoy the match. I did, and it was a very special day.

"For me I was 11 months without winning a title, so a lot of tournaments going back to home without a victory. A lot of difficult moments, because in a few of these tournaments I had to retire for the problems. So is difficult moments to accept. It was personal goal to be back at my best. So I did. And for me, sure, the important thing is Roland Garros. But for me the biggest thing is the personal satisfaction to be here, to be here another time and to be at the top level."

DEUCE: The Rafa Renaissance

Victory for Nadal secured his seventh major singles title. Together with his five victories at Roland Garros in 2005-2008 and 2010, the left-hander also lifted the Wimbledon trophy in a dramatic finale in 2008 and won the Australian Open last year.

Nadal First To Qualify For London

Nadal has been in devastating form throughout the fortnight, racing to the title without the loss of a set despite coming across opponents such as Lleyton Hewitt, Thomaz Bellucci, Nicolas Almagro and Jurgen Melzer on his route through. It is the second time that the left-hander has won a Grand Slam championship without losing a set, having also achieved the feat at Roland Garros in 2008. In the Open Era, only two other players have won the title at Roland Garros without dropping a set - Ilie Nastase in 1973 and Bjorn Borg in 1978 and 1980.

Nadal closed the European clay-court circuit with an unbeaten 22-0 record, which began with victory at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The Manacor native went on to become the first player in history to win all three clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in the same year and then achieved a historic “Clay Slam” with his triumph at Roland Garros.

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The records do not stop there for Nadal, though. His victories in Monte-Carlo (d. Verdasco), Rome (d. Ferrer) and Madrid (d. Federer) saw him overtake Andre Agassi by winning an Open Era record 18 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies. He also recorded his 200th clay-court win with victory over Bellucci in the fourth round at Roland Garros, becoming the quickest male player (losing fewest matches) in the Open Era to reach the milestone.

Despite the staggering records Nadal has achieved at such a young age, the modest Spaniard declined to say he is the best clay-court player ever. "For me, that's more than a dream. When I see these titles and these numbers, for me is amazing. I don't know how I did it. But first of all, you are going to be very arrogant if I say for myself I am the best of the history. Second thing, I don't believe I am the best of the history. I try my best every day, and we will see when I finish my career. I not gonna be the one who decides if I am the best or not.

"I'm very lucky, and I am very fortunate in life to have had the opportunity of experiencing all this at the age of 24. Never in my wildest dream would I have dreamt of such beautiful presents. Life is very kind to me."

It was not to be a repeat of the fourth-round victory over Nadal that Soderling recorded en route to his first major final appearance at Roland Garros last year. On that occasion, Soderling lost out to Roger Federer, whom he then defeated in the quarter-finals this year.

After his victory over top seed Federer, Soderling was hoping to become the eighth different player – and the third at Roland Garros - in the Open Era to defeat the top two seeds en route to a Grand Slam title.

“I have to congratulate Rafa for his fifth victory here, it’s really impressive and if he continues to play like this he will have a chance to win many more,” said Soderling, who was bidding to become the first Swedish champion at Roland Garros since Mats Wilander in 1988. “I will come back next year and hope it will be third time lucky.

DEUCE: Sweden’s Lone Wolf

"Losing a final in a Grand Slam is not great. It's not a great feeling. But I wasn't close in any one of them. I lost straight sets last year and the same this year. It's always tougher if you lose a really, really close match."

The 25-year-old Soderling, a winner in Rotterdam earlier in the season, will now rise to a career-high No. 6 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings on Monday.
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post #34 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Halle 2010

In a final between the two most accomplished active grass-court players, Lleyton Hewitt snapped a 15-match winless streak against World No. 2 Roger Federer with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 victory to win the Gerry Weber Open title on his debut in Halle.

“It’s fantastic,” declared Hewitt. “Roger’s a hell of an opponent; his grass-court record speaks for itself. Any time you play Roger on a grass court you know you’re in for a hell of a battle and I was lucky to get out of today’s match.

“It’s fantastic for me; I’m getting towards the end of my career and had couple of surgeries, to know I can still compete at this level. I’m thrilled to be here and to have won another title. The tournament’s been fantastic; Roger’s obviously come here all of his career, it’s a fantastic atmosphere. I’ll be back next year.”

As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tennis tournament, Hewitt received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €113,600. Federer, who surrendered his No. 1 ranking on Monday, earned 150 ranking points and €59,900 in prize money.

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It is Hewitt’s first victory over Federer since September 2003, when he defeated the Basel native in five sets in Australia’s Davis Cup World Group semi-final tie against Switzerland. He reduced the deficit in their career-series to 8-17.

The Australian improved his perfect record in ATP World Tour grass-court finals to 7-0. He won Wimbledon in 2002 (d. Nalbandian), triumphed at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2001 (d. Canas) and is a four-time former champion at The Queen’s Club (2000-2003, 2006). He has won the most grass-court matches among active players, compiling a 98-23 lifetime mark.

The 29-year-old Adelaide native won his first ATP World Tour title since victory on clay in Houston (d. Odesnik) last year and clinched his 28th tour-level title overall – the fourth best tally among active players.

Federer looked set to record his 16th straight victory over Hewitt after breaking serve once in the sixth game to secure the first set and creating a 0/40 opportunity on the Australian’s serve in the ninth game of the second set. It proved to be the turning point in the match, though, as the eighth-seeded Hewitt rallied to hold serve and later force a tie-break, which he won 7-4 as Federer netted a backhand on the Australian’s fourth set point.

Hewitt capitalised on the swing in momentum by breaking serve in the first game of the deciding set as Federer’s unforced error count continued to grow. Hewitt had chances to extend his lead in the third and seventh games but was unable to convert as Federer forced his long-standing rival to serve for victory in the 10th game. Hewitt nearly faltered, surrendering a 30/0 lead and double faulting to give Federer a break point chance, but the right-hander held his nerve and painted the line with a forehand to deny Federer before sealing victory on his first match point after two hours and 21 minutes.

"I had to go out there and execute my game plan extremely well and I was able to do that for most of the match today," assessed Hewitt. "You still got to back yourself in the tight moments though and there were a lot of tight moments out there in the match in all three sets. In the third set I felt like I played some of my best tennis of the tournament."

“He started to play much better as the match went on," complimented Federer. "He got into a good rhythm, good zone, hardly made any errors. He had to push me there. So, it was a tough match.”

The 28-year-old Federer had been looking for his 30th straight match win in Halle and his sixth title in his past six appearances. He had not lost a match in Halle since a semi-final defeat to Nicolas Kiefer in 2002 (he did not play in 2007, 2009) and had won 76 of his past 77 grass-court matches, with the only blemish being a five-set defeat to Rafael Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon final.

Federer began the year by winning his 16th Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open (d. Murray) in January, but is yet to add to his tally of 62 tour-level titles since then, also finishing runner-up to Nadal in Madrid. It is the first time since 2001 that Federer goes into Wimbledon having won only one tour-level title in the first six months of the year.

“I’m happy with the way I’m playing. It’s unfortunate not coming through today, but I think my level of play is fine," said Federer. "This loss here doesn’t worry me in any way. So, I’m excited about next week. And I thought it was a good tournament.”
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post #35 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Queens 2010

World No. 23 Sam Querrey prevailed in an all-American final at The Queen’s Club on Sunday as he defeated Mardy Fish 7-6(3), 7-5 to win his third ATP World Tour title of the season.

It was the first all-American final at the tournament since 1994, when Todd Martin defeated Pete Sampras.

"It's an honour (to win at The Queen's Club)," said Querrey. "All the greatest players in the world are on this trophy. It's nice to be added to that list with them.

"The conditions were pretty tough out there, the windiest day of the week so far. I just tried to stay level headed and keep my composure, and fortunately I got through it."

"I know this is a great tournament and I would have loved to have added my name on there," said Fish. "I felt like I was playing well enough throughout the week that not many of the guys could beat me here. I just didn't do it today."

The 22-year-old Querrey is the first player this season to win titles on three different surfaces, having also triumphed on hard court in Memphis and on clay in Belgrade. He is only the second player after Rafael Nadal, with four tour-level titles, to win at least three titles this year.

It is the third all-American final that Querrey has won this season, having defeated Davis Cup teammate John Isner in the Memphis and Belgrade finals. He also finished runner-up on clay in Houston, where he lost out to Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela.

Querrey became the eighth American champion at the AEGON Championships in the Open Era and received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €79,260, while runner-up Fish earned 150 ranking points and €45,130 in prize money.

In a strong serving display from Querrey, he did not face a single break point in the first set. However, as a result of not converting any of the three break point chances he created on Fish’s serve, the younger American needed a tie-break to seal a one-set lead.

Fish made the first breakthrough of the match in the fifth game of the second set as Querrey over hit a forehand after a lengthy baseline exchange. However, a nervous and error-strewn game from Fish as he served for the set at 5-4 allowed Querrey back into the set and the Californian went on to win the final four games of the match to seal victory in 84 minutes.

Querrey fired 15 aces in the pair’s second meeting, including a love service game featuring four aces to open the second set. He levelled their career series at 1-1 after avenging the defeat he suffered to Fish in Los Angeles three years ago.

The 6’6’’ Querrey won his first ATP World Tour grass-court title, having finished runner-up in Newport (l. to Ram) last year, and became the 16th active player to win a grass-court title. The Las Vegas resident named Wimbledon, which begins a week on Monday, as a target for the future.

"It's one of the four most important tournaments in the world. The Wimbledon trophy has these same names on it, and all the greats have won Wimbledon. It's an honour just to step on the grounds of Wimbledon.

"I'd love to win Wimbledon. I'm kind of going with baby steps here and try and make the third round this year, because the second round is the best I've ever done there. It's possible, but I think I've still got some work to do, and there are still some great competitors out there you have to beat to win a Wimbledon title."

The 28-year-old Fish was contesting his 14th ATP World Tour final and slipped to a 3-11 record. The Tampa resident was looking to win his first title in more than a year since lifting the trophy in Delray Beach (d. Korolev) last February. The right-hander is now 0-3 in grass-court finals, having also lost out in Nottingham (l. to Rusedski) in 2003 and in Halle (l. to Federer) a year later.

"I mean, it's inexcusable at that part of the tournament and that part of the match," lamented Fish, reflecting on his missed opportunity to win the second set. "Maybe nerves got to me, or the moment. I mean, I just wanted to play well at this tournament ever since I've been coming here, and if you want something so badly, sometimes it's not a good thing.

"Sam's pretty free flowing out there. Sometimes his attitude of sort of happy go lucky is a great thing. I certainly know the history of this tournament and the names on the trophy, and that definitely caught up to me."
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post #36 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Unicef Open 2010

Sergiy Stakhovsky out-served seventh-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic to win the third ATP World Tour title of his career on Saturday at the UNICEF Open. Both players dined out together in 's-Hertogenbosch on Thursday and Friday nights.

The Ukrainian, who also beat Tipsarevic en route to his first title at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors in February 2008, triumphed 6-3, 6-0 in 56 minutes. Stakhovsky did not drop a set in five matches, winning 43 of 46 service games, at the ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tennis tournament.

Stakhovsky won 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and earned €72,500 in prize money, while Tipsarevic – who was also appearing in his first grass-court final – picked up 150 points and €37,900.

"I played really well today," said Stakhovsky, who donated the racquet he used to UNICEF. "By the score, I believe this would be the easiest match of the week, but it definitely wasn’t as there was a lot of tension.

"I can't really say I had easy matches [this week]; more or less all of them were close in some way. I think I was a bit better and a little more consistent."

World No. 71 Stakhovsky hit eight aces and dropped just seven points on serve in the final. He converted four of 12 break point opportunities to improve to a 16-12 match record on the season.

"I have played three finals in my career and before my previous semi-finals and finals I could not sleep," admitted Stakhovsky. "I seriously slept for only four hours each day. Today, I was nervous but I had slept okay. Sometimes I struggle with my emotions before matches. I know a big match is coming, but I am nervous."

In the first set, the 24 year old converted his third break point opportunity in the fourth game and confirmed the break when he hit his second ace to take a 4-1 lead. Stakhovsky won 21 of 25 service points to wrap up the 35-minute opener.

Tipsarevic won just nine points in the 20-minute second-set, with Stakhovsky hitting five aces and converting three of six break point opportunities.

"I'm very disappointed," said Tipsarevic. "But Sergiy played very well during the whole week. I somehow lost my spirit."

Prior to this week Tipsarevic had not won a tour-level match since February, when he reached the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships quarter-finals (l. to Youzhny). He dropped to a 10-11 season mark.

Tipsarevic, who turns 26 on Tuesday, also lost to Mikhail Youzhny in the Kremlin Cup final at Moscow in October last year.

Both players will now travel to Wimbledon.aspx">Wimbledon to compete at The Championships, which begins on Monday. Stakhovsky will meet No. 18 seed Sam Querrey of the United States in the first round while Tipsarevic, who reached the fourth round in 2007 and 2008, has been drawn to face France’s Arnaud Clement.

"I will play Sam Querrey on Tuesday," said Stakhovsky. "It will be a tough match. He is [at the] top of his game, having won titles on every surface this year. He is a complete player, with a big serve and a great forehand. I believe I am in good shape and have two days to rest and prepare."

Tipsarevic said: "I will play Arnaud Clement again [they played in the second round this week] but it will be a completely different match in Wimbledon." Tipsarevic won 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Wednesday.
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post #37 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Eastbourne 2010

World No. 46 Michael Llodra captured his second ATP World Tour grass-court title on Saturday as he lifted the trophy at the AEGON International with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament, Llodra received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €69,350, while runner-up Garcia-Lopez earned 150 points and €36,550 in prize money.

The 30-year-old Llodra won his first ATP World Tour title on the mowed lawns at ‘s-Hertogenbosch six years ago (d. Coria) and has since added to his tally with triumphs in Adelaide and Rotterdam in 2008 and victory on home soil at the Open 13 in Marseille (d. Benneteau) earlier this season.

In a tight first set, the Frenchman claimed the only service break in the 12th game to seal a one-set lead. Rain halted play in the third game of the second set, but players were not off court for long and Llodra returned with renewed purpose, breaking serve in the sixth game as Garcia-Lopez committed his third double fault. The Parisian then clinched victory with a third break of serve in the eighth game after 67 minutes.

"It's always a pleasure to win a title,” said Llodra. “It doesn't happen every week so you have to enjoy it when it happens. It's been a great week and I felt good from the beginning. I know I can play well on grass but you still have to do the job out there on the court. 6-5 in the first set was a great time to break. I knew if I stayed focussed I would get my chances and at 6-5 it came my way. Then it helped to serve first in the second set.”

A strong serving display from Llodra saw him fire 11 aces and surrender only seven points behind his delivery. Coming into the final, he led the field with 50 aces and 81 per cent of first serve points won. Throughout the week, he held 50 of 52 service games and saved 17 of 19 break points.

Llodra has been assisted during the grass-court season by former WTA player Amelie Mauresmo. “For the past two weeks, we've discussed a lot about my game. She's been a great help and she's helped me to prepare for my matches so that I feel more comfortable when I go out on the court. I have to thank Amelie, it’s a pleasure to work with her.”

The left-hander improved to a 16-11 match record on the season, also highlighted by a quarter-final showing on grass at The Queen’s Club (l. to Fish) last week. He will open his campaign at Wimbledon.aspx">The Championships, Wimbledon next week against American Jesse Witten, with a possible second-round clash against 2009 runner-up Andy Roddick.

The No. 41-ranked Garcia-Lopez was contesting his first ATP World Tour grass-court final and dropped to a 1-1 overall record. He won his maiden title in Kitzbuhel (d. Benneteau) in May last year. The Albacete native was bidding to become the seventh different Spaniard to win an ATP World Tour title this season.

“Of course it's disappointing to lose today,” said Garcia-Lopez. “Whenever you get to a final you want to win the title, but the positive is that I have had a really good week and got a lot of matches. Last year I got to the semi-finals here, this year the final. I really enjoy this tournament and look forward to coming back next year."
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Re: ATP Finals

Wimbledon 2010

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal won his second Wimbledon title on Sunday as he mastered blustery conditions at the All England Club to defeat first-time Grand Slam finalist Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the final of The Championships.

The Spaniard has dominated the ATP World Tour since April, winning 31 of his past 32 matches, and came into Wimbledon having just won his seventh Grand Slam championship at Roland Garros (d. Soderling). He also achieved the Roland Garros – Wimbledon double in 2008, when he became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to accomplish the feat.

The Manacor resident is the first Spaniard in history to win two Wimbledon titles. The only other Spanish winner at the All England Club is Manuel Santana, who lifted the trophy in 1966 (d. Ralston).

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“It’s more than a dream for me,” said Nadal. “It was always my dream to play on this court and today, to play a fourth final for me was amazing. I couldn’t be here last year but this year I came back and to have this trophy in my hands is more than a dream.”

“It was a great two weeks for me, but he was very strong today,” conceded Berdych. “He’s showed in the last few months that he’s really the champion and he just deserved to win today.

The 24-year-old Nadal, who regained the No. 1 spot in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings from Roger Federer after his Roland Garros triumph last month, added a further 2000 points to his tally. He has already secured his place in the elite eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the year-end championships which will return to The O2 in London from 21-28 November.

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Nadal is one of six players to reach four successive Wimbledon finals, joining Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg, Federer, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras. The Mallorcan finished runner-up to Federer in 2006 and 2007 before lifting the trophy for the first time in 2008 by defeating his Swiss rival in the longest Wimbledon final in history in four hours and 48 minutes. He was forced to miss last year’s Championships due to tendonitis in both knees.

"Every one is really special," said Nadal, comparing his two Wimbledon finals. "Is difficult to say this one is more special. The other one was more dramatic, the way to win. So first title is always very, very special.

"For sure after not easy year for me. Be back at my favourite tournament of the world here and play well another time, and not only play well, so finish with the trophy is amazing for me. Was very difficult for me to be back at my best. I did, so is very important and emotional moment for me. I want to enjoy that."

Watch Post-Match Interviews: Nadal | Berdych

His defeats to Federer in the 2006 and 2007 Wimbledon finals are his only two losses in 10 Grand Slam finals. In addition to his two Wimbledon trophies, he has also won five Roland Garros crowns and lifted the trophy at the 2009 Australian Open (d. Federer).

The left-hander has now won 14 matches in a row at Wimbledon, and improved to a 40-8 match record on grass, the eighth-best tally among active players. He won his first grass-court title at The Queen’s Club (d. Djokovic) in 2008.

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The 12th-seeded Berdych was contesting his first major singles title after embarking on a tremendous run through the top half of the 128-man singles draw. He stunned top seed and six-time champion Federer in the quarter-finals, before ousting World No. 3 Novak Djokovic in Friday’s semi-finals.

“I want to congratulate Tomas because he is having an amazing season and had a very good tournament for today,” said Nadal. “I’m sorry for today but I wish him best of luck for the rest of the season.”

The Czech player has built further on the strong results he had already compiled this season. He defeated Federer en route to his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Miami (l. to Roddick) and reached his first-ever major semi-final at Roland Garros, following victory over World No. 4 Andy Murray in the fourth round.

The 24 year old was the first Czech player to compete in the Wimbledon men’s singles final since Ivan Lendl in 1987 and was looking to become the first champion from his country since Jan Kodes triumphed in 1973.

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“I hope this gives me a lot of confidence and some extra power to be stronger for next time and who knows what’s going to happen in the next few years,” said Berdych.

"I think the biggest difference between us was that when he got a chance, he just took it. He gave me one in the second set, one in the third set, and none of them I can bring it to my side and just made a break. That just shows how strong he is. I think it was just really about the small difference.

"It's really tough to find out some special tactic [against Nadal]. So my strategy was just concentrate for myself, start well and wait for some little chances. But, as I said before, he took it."

Berdych is projected to rise to a career-high No. 8 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings when the new rankings are released on Monday.
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post #39 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Newport 2010

Mardy Fish lifted his fourth ATP World Tour trophy (4-11 final record) at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport on Sunday.

The fifth-seeded American hit 24 aces past No. 4 seed Olivier Rochus of Belgium for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory in two hours and four minutes. It was his first grass-court title after three runner-up finishes on the surface.

“It means a lot to win now on every surface in my career – indoor, outdoor, hard, clay and grass,” said Fish. “I’ve certainly lost a lot of heartbreak finals, and it feels good to win one.”

By capturing his first tour-level title since March 2009 at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, Fish will jump around 30 spots to No. 49 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings on Monday.

The 28-year-old Florida resident picked up a cheque for $75,700 and earned 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points, while 29-year-old Rochus received $39,780 and 150 points.

The first set went with serve to 5-5 when Rochus broke and converted his second set point opportunity to clinch the 45-minute opener. Fish had hit seven aces and dropped nine service points.

At 1-2, Rochus fell to 15/40 and was broken by Fish, who maintained the advantage and hit his 15th ace to win the second set in 30 minutes.

Fish broke Rochus at 4-4 on his fourth break point opportunity of the third set with a forehand volley winner. The former World No. 17 was then forced to save two break points before closing out his 23rd victory of the season on his second championship point.

“I was feeling really good on the court,” said Rochus. “It was just one or two points. The last two games were so close. I had two break points [at 4-5], game points at 4-all. It’s just like this. When it’s that tight, one has to win. But Mardy was pushing hard at the end and his serve was really good, so maybe he deserved it a little more.”

Fish, who set up both of his championship points with aces, said: “I served great, and I needed to for sure. I served great when I needed to in that last game… If I didn’t come up with those [aces] he probably was going to break me eventually.”

Over the past 10 months, Fish has dropped 30 pounds in weight due to a strict diet and training regime with trainer Christian LoCascio. Last month he finished runner-up to Sam Querrey at the AEGON Championships, another ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament, in London.

“In that spot and that atmosphere, it was tough to swallow,” Fish said of the loss at the Queen’s Club. “I wanted to play this match on my own terms, figure out a way to win it or lose it on my racquet.”

World No. 65 Rochus, who did not drop a set en route to his eighth ATP World Tour final (2-6 lifetime), was the first Belgium in tournament history to contest the championship match.

Steve Darcis was the last Belgian titlist at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis in February 2008.
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Re: ATP Finals

Stutgart 2010

World No. 30 Albert Montanes closed out an exceptional week for Spanish sport on Sunday. Following Spain’s victory in the FIFA World Cup final last weekend and Nicolas Almagro’s triumph in Bastad earlier in the day, the Barcelona resident won his second ATP World Tour title of the season at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

Montanes was crowned champion when third seed Gael Monfils was forced to retire with a right ankle injury; Montanes had been leading 6-2, 1-2 in the pair’s second meeting. He received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €72,150 in prize money, plus a brand new white Mercedes-Benz E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY convertible.

"I played very well. In the first set I played good in the rallies and my confidence was good," reflected Montanes. "I am very happy with the win today. It is unbelievable for me. All week I played unbelievably. I’m very happy about this week. The Mercedes [I won] is very nice."

The 29-year-old Montanes became the sixth different Spanish winner at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament in Stuttgart, joining David Ferrer (2006), Rafael Nadal (2005, 2007), Alex Corretja (1997), Alberto Berasategui (1994), and Jose Higueras (1983).

The right-hander improved to a 5-4 record in ATP World Tour finals. All nine of his ATP World Tour final appearances have come on outdoor clay, including his victory at the Estoril Open (d. Federer, Gil) in May. It is the second straight year that the Spaniard has won two ATP World Tour titles in the same season, having won in Estoril (d. Blake) and Bucharest (d. Monaco) in 2009.

Montanes went into Sunday’s final with the confidence of having beaten No. 2 seed Jurgen Melzer and No. 4 Juan Carlos Ferrero back-to-back in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. He broke Monfils’ serve in the third and seventh games as he raced to a one-set lead in 33 minutes. The Frenchman was forced to retire just three games into the second set, though.

The No. 17-ranked Monfils dropped to a 2-8 record in ATP World Tour finals; his two titles came at Metz (d. Kohlschreiber) last year and at Sopot (d. F. Mayer) in 2005. He was contesting his first ATP World Tour final since finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic in Paris last November.

"I twisted my ankle on the court and it was impossible to finish the match," said Monfils. "The week was good. I played pretty good tennis, a lot of confidence came back. To reach a final again was pretty exciting. I had a bad experience (today) but hopefully it will be better soon and I can get back to my best level and try to reach some other finals."

Last weekend, the Parisian was part of the French Davis Cup team that dethroned two-time defending champion Spain in the World Group quarter-finals. Monfils won the first rubber for France with a dramatic five-set victory over David Ferrer, He has compiled a 24-12 mark on the season.
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Re: ATP Finals

Swedan 2010

World No. 20 Nicolas Almagro captured his sixth ATP World Tour title Sunday as he defeated top seed and defending champion Robin Soderling 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 in the final of the SkiStar Swedish Open, an ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament in Bastad.

Almagro, who improved to a 6-2 record in ATP World Tour finals, earned 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €72,150, while runner-up Soderling received 150 points and €37,900 in prize money.

“It’s a great feeling to win here,” said Almagro. “It’s always amazing to win a final and I’m very happy with the week. I’m going to enjoy this moment and then prepare for next week in Hamburg.”

Victory gave Almagro his first ATP World Tour title since triumphing at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in 2009 with victory over Gael Monfils. All six of the Spaniard’s titles have come on outdoor clay, beginning with victory at the Valencia Open 500 in 2006 before it was moved to indoor hard court. The Murcia native is the seventh different Spaniard to win an ATP World Tour title this season and the sixth Spanish champion in the past 10 years in Bastad.

The fourth-seeded Almagro fell short in the 2007 Bastad final against David Ferrer but has impressed throughout the week with his smooth progress through the draw and carried his high-level into the final against Soderling, whom he defeated in their previous meeting on clay in Madrid.

After saving two break points in the second game of the match, Almagro took his fourth opportunity to break Soderling’s serve in the 12th game and seal a one-set lead. Soderling hit back strongly, though, racing to a 3-0 lead in the second set before going on to level the match, saving one break point as he served out the set in the ninth game.

With the match finely poised on serve in the third set, Almagro lifted his level to win the final four games from 2-2 to seal victory in just less than two hours. Victory saw him level his career series with Soderling at 3-3, avenging the defeat he suffered to the Swede in the 2009 Bastad quarter-finals.

“I didn’t play very well in the 2007 final here, but today I fought very hard and I’m really happy with the physical and mental sides to my game,” reflected Almagro. “It was a big match, a big fight and we were both battling like gladiators. Robin is a great player and I’m sure he will have many more chances to win this tournament in the future.”

The 24-year-old Almagro improved to a 33-17 mark for the season and 23-10 on clay. The right-hander’s strongest results this season have come on the crushed brick; he also reached the semi-finals in Madrid (l. to Nadal) and the quarter-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal), Munich (l. to Cilic) and Acapulco (l. to Ferrero).

World No. 5 Soderling was bidding to become the second player in the past 17 years to successfully defend the Bastad title. He defeated Juan Monaco in the final last year to win his first and so far only ATP World Tour clay-court title.

The 25-year-old Soderling dropped to a 5-10 mark in tour-level finals, including a 1-3 record this season. The Tibro native won his fifth ATP World Tour title in Rotterdam (d. Youzhny) but has finished runner-up in three clay-court finals, also losing out at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal) for the second year in a row and Barcelona (l. to Verdasco).

"Too bad that I didn't get the break early in the first set. I played OK in the second set but I gave away a break in the decisive set, and that's why I lost the match," assessed Soderling. "I was very disappointed after having lost in the final."

"I have some very important tournaments coming up, and a stretch that suits my game really well," added the Swede.
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Re: ATP Finals

Hamburg 2010

World No. 82 Andrey Golubev capped a dream week on Sunday by becoming the first player from Kazakhstan to win an ATP World Tour title with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over third seed Jurgen Melzer in the final of the German Open Tennis Championships in Hamburg.

As champion of the ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament, Golubev received 500 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €228,000, while runner-up Melzer earned 300 points and €104,000 in prize money.

The 23-year-old Golubev, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday by recording his first Top 10 win over No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko in the third round, is the third first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season. He joins John Isner (Auckland) and Ernests Gulbis (Delray Beach).

Golubev had won just eight tour-level matches this season coming into Hamburg but discovered his best form as he raced to the title without losing a set all week. He was contesting his second ATP World Tour final, having finished runner-up to Andy Murray in the 2008 St. Petersburg Open final.

“I’m very happy to win my first title, especially here in Hamburg on a clay-court. I never expected that my first title would be on clay," confessed Golubev. "I played very well, I believed in myself. It was very tough [today]. I served well; I played very well from the baseline. In the important points I played very good. I think the most important thing this week was that I believed in myself, I believed in my game, my forehand and backhand.”

A solid serving display from Golubev saw him surrender just five points behind his delivery in the first set of the final. He earned his first chance to break Melzer’s serve in the eighth game, after the Austrian had squandered a 30/15 lead, and capitalised before going on to serve out a one-set lead.

In a lengthy sixth game of the second set, Golubev escaped to level at 3-3 after saving five break points. He later made Melzer rue his missed opportunity as he broke the left-hander’s serve in the 11th game before coming from 0/30 down to serve out victory in 89 minutes.

“He played a really good match," conceded Melzer. "He started off unbelievable in the first set and I was a little unlucky to get broken at 4-3. In the second set I had my chances and couldn’t convert them. It is how it is. He really felt good out there and I wasn’t just playing well enough to get him struggling.”

World No. 15 Melzer, currently at a career-high position in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, slipped to a 2-7 record in ATP World Tour finals. The Austrian, who recently advanced to his first Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal), was bidding to win his first ATP World Tour title since triumphing at his hometown tournament in Vienna (d. Cilic) last year.
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Re: ATP Finals

Atlanta 2010

American Mardy Fish continued his rejuvenated run on the ATP World Tour, showing off his career-best form in a hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) win over countryman John Isner on Sunday at the Atlanta Tennis Championships.

Coupled with his triumph two weeks ago in Newport (d. O. Rochus), the 28-year-old Fish extended his winning streak to 10 straight matches. He was contesting his third final from his past four tournaments, beginning with a runner-up finish to Sam Querrey last month at The Queen’s Club.

"This is as top as I’ve ever been," said Fish. "I’ve never won two tournaments in one year, I’ve never won two tournaments in a row, and on the ATP [World] Tour, I’ve never won 10 matches in a row. It’s probably as good as it’s been. "

He collected $95,845 and 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points as the winner of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament, while Isner earned $50,500 and 150 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points.

The Atlanta champion also assumed the lead in the Olympus US Open Series standings following the first tournament of the North American hard-court swing.

Fish had made his way into final without dropping a set in four matches, including an upset over top seed Andy Roddick in the semi-finals, but was made to work hard for the victory in sweltering conditions Sunday after his opponent claimed the only service break of the opening set.

With Isner poised to close out a straight-sets win, Fish stepped up to break his opponent twice in the span of three games – allowing him to level the match at a set apiece and go up 3-1 in the decisive set. The lead proved short-lived, however, as Isner immediately broke back and forced Fish to fight off another break point chance in the ninth game.

Fish took control in the tie-break as he won the first four points, and though Isner countered by winning the next three, the No. 6 seed held on to clinch the two-hour, 45-minute win on his second match point.

"It was a little lucky to pull through," said Fish. "Today was an extremely physical match just with the heat. He’s no fun to play, that’s for sure. He gives a lot of people a lot of trouble."

The former World No. 17, who has shed 30 pounds over the past year, improved to a 5-11 mark in ATP World Tour finals. Since falling outside the Top 100 this past March, he has been climbing back up the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings and entered Atlanta at No. 49.

He said: "It feels great, obviously putting in the work. This is what we wanted to do. This is where we wanted to be. These are the types of matches we targeting in October when we were rehabbing the knee. It feels like a long time ago. It feels great."

World No. 19 Isner fell to a 16-6 mark in matches decided in a final set tie-break. In his second-round opener – his first singles match since Wimbledon – he had saved two match points before edging Gilles Muller in a tie-break.

The 25 year old, a four-time All-American at the University of Georgia, was looking to win his second ATP World Tour title after opening 2010 with victory in Auckland. He also reached the finals this season at Memphis and Belgrade, both times falling to Querrey.

"This is the third final this year that arguably I could have won," said Isner. "I lost two finals earlier this year when I was up in both of them, one of them I was serving on match point. This one could’ve gone either way. It’s disappointing.

"I’ve made four finals this past year and I’ve lost my last three all in three sets. That’s hard to swallow, but it hasn’t stopped me from progressing. I know if I keep putting myself in this position it’s going to happen, and I know I will keep putting myself in this position."
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Re: ATP Finals

Gstaad 2010

World No. 18 Nicolas Almagro continued to light up the post-Wimbledon clay-court swing as he won his second trophy in three weeks with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Richard Gasquet Sunday in the final of the Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad.

As champion of the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament, Almagro received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €68,450, while Gasquet earned 150 points and €35,980 in prize money.

Almagro’s victory in Gstaad follows hot on the heels of his triumph in Bastad two weeks ago, when he snapped a 17-month title drought with victory over home favourite Robin Soderling in the final. The Spaniard improved to a 7-2 mark in ATP World Tour finals, each one coming on clay. It is the second time he has won two ATP World Tour titles in the same year, having also done so in 2008 at Acapulco and Costa do Sauipe during the Latin American “Golden Swing”.

Following his recent surge of good form, the Spaniard stated his goal for the rest of the season "is to reach the Top 10 and stay there".

The Murcia native was making his debut in Gstaad this week and is the first Spanish winner since Alex Corretja in 2002. Spaniards had won the title nine of 11 years between 1992 and 2002. It is the 15th Spanish victory at an ATP World Tour event this year, with Juan Carlos Ferrero still to play in the ATP Studena Croatia Open final later on Sunday.

The second-seeded Almagro served for the first set at 5-4, but could not close it out as Gasquet converted his first break point of the match to level at 5-5. Almagro immediately regained his advantage, though, and served out the set at the second time of asking, closing with his 10th ace after 43 minutes.

Almagro capitalised on his momentum by breaking to lead 2-1 in the second set. A spate of unforced errors from an out-of-sorts Gasquet then proved costly for the Frenchman as Almagro prevailed in a lengthy fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. He then broke serve once more in the seventh game to seal victory in 75 minutes, finishing with a trademark backhand winner.

"I played my best tennis today," said Almagro. "I returned well and served amazingly. The altitude doesn't make it easier here, but it's nice to face that challenge. I realised during the first set that Richard had trouble with his serve."

"It wasn't easy from the beginning of the week," said Gasquet. "I just started serving on the Friday before the tournament because I had problems with my shoulder. It became worse last night. Also Nicolas was playing well so it was very difficult today."

Seventh seed Gasquet had been looking to regain the Gstaad title he won in 2006, when he defeated Feliciano Lopez in the final. He dropped to an 11-2 event record. The Frenchman was contesting his third ATP World Tour final of the season and suffered his second defeat. He also finished runner-up in Sydney (l. to Baghdatis), but won his sixth ATP World Tour title on clay in Nice (d. Verdasco).

"I tried to fight and focus well all week and thanks to that I made it to another final here," said Gasquet. "It's still a good week for me. This is a very beautiful tournament and it's always a pleasure to come here.

"Now I will try to be back in form as soon as possible and get ready for the hardcourt swing in the US."
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Re: ATP Finals

Los Angelas 2010

Second seed Sam Querrey won his fourth title of the year in Los Angeles Sunday after claiming his first win in five career meetings with Andy Murray at the Farmers Classic.

The defending champion saved one match point in the second set before clawing out a 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-3 win in 2 hrs., 22 mins. Querrey, who had never won a set in four prior meetings with Murray, wins $111,950 and 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points.

With Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan earlier winning their sixth Farmers Classic title, it is the first time in the 84-year history of the tournament that both the singles and doubles champions have repeated their titles.

In avenging his recent fourth-round loss to Murray at Wimbledon, Querrey improved to 4-1 in finals this season, a vast improvement on his 1-4 record in his five finals appearances in 2009. Querrey added to his 2010 titles in Memphis (d. Isner), Belgrade (d. Isner) and Queen's Club (d. Fish). He finished runner-up in Houston to Juan Ignacio Chela.

Querrey, 22, is the first player since Spaniard Albert Montanes last year in Estoril to win two matches from match point down in the same tournament. Querrey saved one match point in the semi-finals against Janko Tipsarevic.

Querrey, who saved one match point in the final of Belgrade in May (d. Isner), is also the first player to win at least two ATP World Tour titles saving match point in the same season since Andy Roddick did it three times in 2003 (Queen's, Cincinnati, US Open).

"All four matches were really exciting this week," said Querrey after the win. "It was nice to get through them all and it feels great. This is the first time that I've actually tried to defend a title because the Vegas tournament went away.

"The last two sets today were great, Andy is one of those players who allows me to hit my shots."

Querrey now travels to Washington to play the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

Murray said: "It was a good week. Disappointed to lose today but if you take the circumstances into consideration I have to be happy with getting to the final. I had a good week, I enjoyed it.

"Each match I felt better physically. I played reasonably well today, better than the other matches."
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