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post #46 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Umag 2010

A year after finishing runner-up to Nikolay Davydenko in the Umag final, fourth seed Juan Carlos Ferrero won the ATP Studena Croatia Open title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Italian Potito Starace on Sunday evening in the final of the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament.

The Spaniard won his third ATP World Tour title of the year and the 15th tour-level trophy of his career. The 2003 Roland Garros champion dominated the Latin American “Golden Swing” in February, winning two titles in Costa do Sauipe (d. Kubot) and Buenos Aires (d. Ferrer) and finishing runner-up in Acapulco (l. to Ferrer).

"I'm very happy about this tournament. It gives me a lot of confidence to go and practice on hard now," said Ferrero. "It was an amazing week. I had a bit of pain in my knee but I kept motivated and it was great to come through. It was the fourth final I've played this year and I've won three tournaments so it's a great feeling."

It is the first time since 2003 that the 30-year-old Ferrero has won at least three ATP World Tour titles in the same season; he won four titles apiece in 2003 and 2001. The former World No. 1 improved to a 15-18 record in tour-level finals and to a 29-7 match record on clay this season.

As champion, Ferrero earned 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €72,150, while runner-up Starace received 150 points and €37,900 in prize money.

World No. 22 Ferrero began well in his seventh clash with Starace, breaking serve in the third game for a 2-1 advantage and he did not relinquish his lead as he went on to close out a one-set lead. One more break of the Starace serve in the second set sufficed for Ferrero to seal victory in 80 minutes. He did not face a break point in the match and only lost three points on serve in the second set, 10 points on serve overall.

"Since the beginning of the week I played very consistent and aggressive," assessed Ferrero. "Today I didn't let Potito dominate the points. I know he can be dangerous with his forehand so I tried to move him around and play to his backhand."

The No. 64-ranked Starace was contesting his third ATP World Tour final and first since reaching the Valencia (l. to Almagro) and Kitzbuhel (l. to Monaco) finals in 2007. The 29 year old, also a semi-finalist in Casablanca (l. to Wawrinka) and Nice (l. to Gasquet) earlier this year, dropped to a 21-18 mark on the season.

"Today was a tough match. He played very well especially on his serve. I was a bit tired but he played a perfect game," reflected Starace.

"I will try next time. I'm playing good tennis so I want to carry on and do something special. I am very close to playing my best tennis. I lost today but he played a great match. I want to try and improve my ranking in the next two-three months and try and get back to the Top 30."
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post #47 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Washington 2010

David Nalbandian ensured that the Legg Mason Tennis Classic trophy stayed in Argentine hands for the third straight year after defeating eighth-seeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 7-6(4) in Sunday’s final in Washington D.C.

Nalbandian’s victory follows Tandil native Juan Martin del Potro’s brace of victories in 2008 and 2009. The Cordoba resident was contesting his first ATP World Tour final since winning his 10th trophy in Sydney (d. Nieminen) in January 2009.

Currently down at No. 117 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, Nalbandian is projected to rise back into the Top 50 at around No. 45 next week after receiving 500 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points. He is the first player this year ranked outside the Top 100 to win an ATP World Tour title.

"It’s really important because we were working very hard," said the Argentine. "It has been a year and a half fighting with the surgery and the recovery; we are so happy and this victory made me feel very good again...not only with the rankings, with my game, with everything. It was a good win."

The 28-year-old Nalbandian was contesting just his fifth ATP World Tour tournament of the season after making his return to action in February following ninth months on the sidelines after undergoing hip surgery. He also missed over two months between April and July with a hamstring injury.

Despite his lengthy spell on the sidelines, Nalbandian looked to be nearly back to his best this week in Washington where, as a wild card entrant, he lost just one set en route to his first ATP World Tour title on American soil.

"I didn’t expect to win the first tournament when I came," said Nalbandian. "When I started hitting the ball and I hit good after the first match and the second one, I really feel good. But in the beginning, if I had to bet, I would bet on myself, of course."

The right-hander had been in blistering form as he crushed fourth seed Marin Cilic in the semi-finals on Saturday night and carried that same form into the final as he broke serve twice in the first and seventh games to race to a 5-2 lead against Baghdatis in the first set.

After closing out the first set 6-2, Nalbandian was denied the opportunity to break serve immediately in the second set as Baghdatis followed a double fault with a timely ace before holding serve. Baghdatis was then gifted his first service break of the match courtesy of successive double faults from Nalbandian in a rare loose service game from the Argentine.

Neither player was able to hold on to a lead in the second set, though. No sooner had Baghdatis broken did Nalbandian immediately hit back with more devastating groundstrokes, before then breaking the Baghdatis serve again to lead 3-2. With the Argentine beginning to fatigue in the searing afternoon heat, though, Baghdatis benefitted from a spate of unforced errors to draw level at 3-3.

Baghdatis held a set point chance in the 12th game after rifling an inside-out backhand return winner, but was denied as Nalbandian once again produced more potent groundstrokes, particularly off the backhand side, to alleviate the danger.

In the ensuing tie-break, Nalbandian rediscovered his form from the first set as he powered into a 5-0 lead. Baghdatis rallied to win the next three points, but could not prevent Nalbandian from securing victory on his second match point in just under two hours.

"I think I played very good throughout the week here," said Nalbandian. "I had a few moments in some matches where I did not play too good. In the rest, I had great moments, great matches. And then the win and I’m so happy for it."

World No. 25 Baghdatis slipped to a 4-5 record in tour-level finals, 1-1 this season. In January he won his fourth ATP World Tour title in Sydney with victory over Richard Gasquet. The 25-year-old Limassol native continued his return to form this week after going winless in three tournaments during the grass-court season before winning one match last week to reach the Los Angeles quarter-finals (l. to Tipsarevic).

"I will never forget where I come from," said Baghdatis. "I was ranked 150 last year and now I maybe touched Top 20 this year. I am looking forward to the future and playing better."
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post #48 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Toronto 2010

World No. 4 Andy Murray won his first ATP World Tour title of the season and defended his Rogers Cup crown Sunday with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Roger Federer in Toronto. In a final frequently interrupted by rain, Murray proved to have the winning edge with his concentration as he ended a title drought dating back to Valencia in November 2009.

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By virtue of winning his fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy, Murray earned 1000 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points, boosting his chances of qualifying for the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

En route to regaining the Rogers Cup trophy, Murray became the fifth different player to defeat Federer and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the same tournament. Murray defeated Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion Nadal in straight sets in the semi-finals on Saturday to record his fifth career win over a World No. 1 opponent.

"Winning a tournament is always great, but it's the first time I beat Roger and Rafa in the same tournament, which is probably the most pleasing thing, and then didn't drop a set against either of them," he said. "So it's good for the confidence for the next few weeks."

The 23-year-old Murray is the first player to win back-to-back Canadian titles since Andre Agassi in 1994-95. The Scot defeated eventual US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in last year’s final and has an 18-3 event record.

Post-Match Interviews: Murray | Federer

Taking advantage of a cagey start by Federer, who was playing his first tournament since a quarter-final defeat at Wimbledon, Murray quickly established a 3-0 double-break lead. The No. 3-ranked Federer slipped into gear in the fourth game, though, and recouped one of the service breaks to slow the Scot’s momentum. A drop in level later proved costly for Murray as he served for the set in the 10th game and a double fault from the Dunblane native saw Federer drew level at 5-5.

In what proved to be a very up-and-down match, though, both players struggled to build on momentum and Federer immediately gifted the advantage back to Murray with key forehand unforced errors. Murray did not waste his opportunity at the second time of asking, and served out the one-set lead.

The warm up to the match had been interrupted by rain and the showers returned again to frustrate the plays and watching fans just three games into the second set. At the resumption, Murray held serve for 2-2 before another smattering of rain delayed proceedings. While the rain was not heavy enough to force the players from court, it was enough to disrupt Federer’s rhythm and he dropped his serve in the fifth game with three unforced errors playing a part.

Play was interrupted again just minutes later with Murray at 30/30 on serve in the sixth game and, after a lengthier delay, it was the Scot who could not regain his concentration in time and Federer took advantage with potent, aggressive hitting to level at 3-3. Murray, who has impressed with his attacking style all week, though, produced the same effective tennis in the latter stages of the set to break and lead 6-5. He served out victory in just over two hours, saving a break point with an ace in the final game.

Watch Sunday's Hot Shot

"Just felt pretty calm on the court all week, and that's if you can put sort of the emotions and how you're feeling into I guess the way you're playing rather than sort of showing it after every point, sort of saving up and putting into the points and the rallies," said Murray. "I felt like it worked well. It was one of the best weeks I've had. It was just kind of expressing myself with the way I was playing. I played pretty free flowing tennis and didn't get too nervous."

Victory for Murray, his seventh in 12 meetings with Federer, went some way to avenging the crushing defeat he suffered when the pair met in the Australian Open final in January, when Federer won his 16th Grand Slam championship. It is the first time he has defeated Federer in a tour-level final, having also been denied by the Swiss in the 2008 US Open final and 2005 Bangkok title match.

The 29-year-old Federer was bidding for his 17th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and his second title of the year. He has also finished runner-up this season in Madrid (l. to Nadal) and Halle (l. to Hewitt).

“Today was another tough match physically with the breaks, coming back, the breaks, coming back, and with all the physical strain I had to go through this week,” said Federer, who came through two very close matches against Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic to reach the final. “Honestly I'm feeling actually pretty good, considering. That's definitely a good sign for what's to come.

“It was particularly hard being down 0-3, running behind the score, and still losing the first set. Not coming through there obviously was a bit of a blow, and then the rain delays completely shut it down for me to get any kind of rhythm. It was played on a couple points here and there, and it didn't even feel like the end of the match. Just all of a sudden it was all over. So it was just a touch disappointing. I thought he played well. He was aggressive. He was taking the ball early. He wasn't giving me much, and he clutch served at the very end when he had to, and he deserved the victory.”
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post #49 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Cincinnati 2010

ATP World Tour No. 2 Roger Federer ended a seven-month title drought on Sunday as he battled past the in-form Mardy Fish 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 6-4 to win the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters for a fourth time.

Federer had gone title-less since capturing his 16th Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open (d. Murray) in January and was contesting his 90th tour-level final. In winning his 63rd tour-level title, the Swiss moved into joint-fifth position with Bjorn Borg in the list of Open Era (since 1968) title leaders.

The 29-year-old Federer also won the Cincinnati title in 2005 (d. Roddick), 2007 (d. Blake) and 2009 (d. Djokovic) and became only the second player to win the title four times, joining Swede Mats Wilander (1983-84, ’86, ’88). He is the first player to win back-to-back titles in Cincinnati since Andre Agassi in 1995-96.

Watch Final Highlights | Watch Sunday's Hot Shot

By virtue of winning his 17th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy, Federer received 1000 South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, which will further boost his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The top eight players at the end of the season qualify for the year-end championships at The O2 in London.

"I've been playing well the past couple weeks, and today was just another proof that I'm playing really well," said Federer. "I thought I played an excellent match today. I had huge belief that I was going to win today from the first point until the end. That sometimes can make a bit of a difference. Then I was positive all the way through because I felt I was playing well, even though I lost the first set. So I never got down on myself and doubted myself. I think that reflected in the game as well."

After the disappointment of losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals to Tomas Berdych, Federer said he had spent the following six weeks looking for areas to improve in his game, notably his aggressive stance on hard courts. The hard work paid dividends as he advanced to the Toronto final last week (l. to Murray) and impressed against Nikolay Davydenko and Marcos Baghdatis to reach another final this week.

Watch Post-Match Interviews: Federer | Fish

While he was not at the same high level throughout the whole of Sunday’s final, he employed his new tactics at the key moments by raising his intensity levels and aggression in the second-set tie-break and closing stages of the third set to record his sixth win in seventh meetings with Fish.

After failing to convert on four break point chances in the first set, courtesy of clutch serving from Fish, Federer then squandered a 5-4 mini-break advantage in the tie-break as Fish hit back to win the final three points and clinch a one-set lead.

An unusually subdued Federer still struggled to find his A-game in the second set and was made to fight off a break point chance for Fish in the fifth game, earning a reprieve as the attacking American went for too much on a forehand down the line. The danger served to fire up Federer and as the set went to another tie-break, he raised his game up a gear to dominate Fish from the outset. The Florida resident, who had gone 18-4 in tie-breaks throughout the season, was unable to find an answer as Federer went on the attack and sealed the tie-break 7-1 to force a deciding set.

Federer was unable to capitalise on his momentum in the early stages of the third set as Fish continued to keep the Swiss at bay with fine serving. However, a tight game from Fish at 4-4, coupled with purposeful aggression from Federer, yielded the decisive service break for the Basel native, who then confidently served out the match in two hours and 40 minutes.

"I thought I played well the whole match through," assessed Federer. "I don't think I played better in the second or third set. I thought the first set was the one I really should have won and ended up losing, so I think it was a close match. Could have gone either way. I had a tough moment staring at one set down and break point in the second set. You think you're playing a good match, but you might lose 6 and 4. I hung tough and made him work hard and was able to come across the finish line faster than him."

Reflecting on how the final played out, Fish commented: “If I were to change anything, I would have tried to play a little more aggressive on his serve games, maybe on some second serves. He must have served 65 per cent at least. That's not very many looks.”
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post #50 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

New Haven 2010

Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky improved his perfect record in ATP World Tour finals to 4-0 after rallying to beat Denis Istomin 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win the Pilot Pen Tennis title Saturday in New Haven.

Stakhovsky, who won the 's-Hertogenbosch title earlier in the year, is the first Ukrainian to win two titles in a season since Andrei Medvedev in 1994. Stakhovsky has reached just four ATP World Tour semi-finals, but each time he has pushed on to take the title.

In the first all-European New Haven final since 1998 (Kucera d. Ivanisevic), ninth-seeded Stakhovsky converted the two break points he had in the match against Istomin, who decided at the last minute to play New Haven after suffering an ankle injury the previous week in Cincinnati.

Coached by his mother, Klaudiya, Istomin was aiming to become the first player from Uzbekistan to win an ATP World Tour title. He was appearing in his first final.

Stakhovsky collected $93,360 and 250 South African Airways ATP 2010 Rankings points; Istomin pocketed $51,300 and 150 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points.

“I have no idea [why I have a perfect record in finals]," Stakhovsky said. "I'm really happy to keep the score this way, to be able to be the winner of this match today. As I believe everybody saw, it was really more playing on nerves. There were a lot of unforced errors. There were really a lot of good rallies, and I hope it was really enjoyable tennis we played. I have to say it definitely wasn't our best tennis from both of us. But we were trying as hard as we could. Definitely we were fighting for everything."

Stakhovsky, who had to win four matches in three days – including two wins Thursday as organisers played catch-up after rain – said: “It was really an exhausting week for me. A lot of three sets. A lot of tie-breaks. Just a lot of time on court. Just now I have to get myself together and get ready for the US Open. I'm really glad to win this title. It pushed me to another level again. But I just need to think forward again and get ready.”

Istomin said: "I'm so happy to be in the final for the first time. I'm like little bit waiting for my first win. But also it's not [going to be] my last final. I hope soon in the future I can be the winner.

"For the US Open I feel like I'm in good form. I'll try do my best there. I don't have an easy draw... but I feel like I can play good, show the good tennis."
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post #51 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

US Open 2010

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal became the seventh man to complete the career Grand Slam, and the youngest to accomplish the feat in the Open Era at 24 years of age, as he defeated World No. 2 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday to win his first US Open title.

Nadal, who achieved the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double this past summer, continued his stellar run of form at the majors as he became the first player to win three straight Grand Slam tournaments in the same season since Rod Laver won all four in 1969.

“I’m still 24. For me, it's a dream to have the career Grand Slam, but this is more a dream to have the US Open,” he said. “[It’s an] unbelievable feeling because I worked a lot all my life, in all difficult moments to be here, but I never imagined to have the four Grand Slams.”

The Manacor native, the third Spaniard to win the US Open (Manuel Orantes - 1975, Manuel Santana - 1965), collected his ninth Grand Slam crown, adding to his five on clay at Roland Garros (2005-08, 2010), two on grass at Wimbledon (2008, 2010), and one on hard court at the Australian Open (2009). He is the second player to win Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces at least twice, behind Mats Wilander.

“He has the capabilities already now to become the best player ever,” Djokovic said. “I think he's playing the best tennis that I ever seen him play on hard courts. He has improved his serve drastically. The speed, the accuracy, and of course his baseline is as good as ever. So he's a very complete player.”

After semi-final exits the past two years at Flushing Meadows, Nadal had made his way confidently through to the championship match – dropping serve just twice in 91 service games – and was looking to become the first player since Neale Fraser in 1960 to win the US Open title without losing a set.

Rafa Grand Slam Tribute Special | How The Final Was Won

Though Nadal’s date with destiny was delayed after rain pushed the men’s final to Monday for a third straight year, Nadal made a confident start to the championship match as he broke Djokovic. He dropped serve for just the third time during the US Open fortnight as the Serbian drew level at 2-2, but regained the lead as he converted on his sixth break point opportunity of the next game.

Nadal, who has a 106-1 win-loss record in Grand Slam play after winning the first set, played a loose service game early in the second set – broken at love to give Djokovic the 3-1 lead. The Serbian, who won a string of 11 points, looked poised to become the first player to force a set off of Nadal during the 2010 US Open but faltered as Nadal got back on serve in the seventh game.

The pair were locked at 4-4, 30/30, when rain suspended play shortly after 6pm. The match resumed at 7:59pm after a one-hour, 57-minute rain delay, and saw Djokovic come out the stronger of the two players. He broke the Spaniard for a third time to force a set off of Nadal for the first time during the 2010 US Open.

Djokovic was unable to maintain the momentum, however, with Nadal continually putting pressure on his serve. The top seed created 16 break point chances through the final two sets and converted on three of them (6 for 26 during the match). He claimed the victory in three hours and 43 minutes as his opponent’s return sailed wide on championship point.

Another historic feat occurred after rain interrupted a Monday men’s final 31 years ago. After a one-hour, 35-minute delay, with helicopters brought in to help dry the courts, Rod Laver donned spikes on the grass courts and clinched a four-set win over fellow Aussie Tony Roche – completing his calendar year Grand Slam.

Of the previous six to win all four majors, Laver was the only other left-hander to win all four and also the only other player to complete his set by winning the US Open.

Nadal has already secured his place in the elite eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which will return to The O2 in London from 21-28 November, and has set his sights on winning the year-end championships.

“My goal remains for me that the [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] is probably the last big tournament that I didn't win,” he said. “That's true it’s the most difficult title for me to win because we play it indoors, and when indoor, indoor very quick surface, so gonna be always very difficult if we don't change that. But at the same time is a challenge for me to keep improving to have the chance to play well there and to have the chance to win, so that's what I’m gonna try this year.

“For me right now the next goal is try to finish the season much better than what I did in other years. The last part of the season always was difficult for me. Well, today it started to be less difficult, that's true. But I want to finish the season if it's possible with a good feeling.”

Djokovic had earned his place in the final by saving two match points to defeat Roger Federer in Saturday’s semi-final, reclaiming the No. 2 spot in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings with the victory.

He said: “Maybe emotionally I was a little bit drained after the semifinal match, but I recovered. I had two days, and I was motivated to win this match, and this is one of the matches where the opponent plays better than you, and you just have to congratulate him and tell him, ‘You're better.’ That's it. I don't think I played a bad match overall. It was very good performance from my side. But whenever it was important, he was the one who was playing just too good.”

The 23-year-old Serbian, who finished runner-up to Federer in 2007 at the US Open, was attempting to collect his second Grand Slam title after winning the 2008 Australian Open.
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post #52 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Metz 2010

Former World No. 6 Gilles Simon ended a 51-week title drought Sunday as he became the fourth French winner at the Open de Moselle with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over German qualifier Mischa Zverev in the final in Metz.

The Nice native, currently down at No. 41 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings after struggling with a right knee injury in the first half of the season, received a boost with 250 ranking points and €72,150 in prize money.

The 25-year-old Simon captured his seventh ATP World Tour title, his first since lifting the Bangkok trophy (d. Troicki) in October 2009. It is the second time the Frenchman has won an ATP World Tour title on home soil, also triumphing in Marseille in 2007.

The right-hander was accompanied this week by his family, including newborn son, Timothée, who arrived early on 2nd September while Simon was competing at the US Open in New York.

"I am extremely happy about this seventh title," declared Simon. "I was not supposed to come here initially; my son was due to be born this week so logically I hadn't entered any tournaments. Because I had been playing well, also in the Davis Cup preparation, I really wanted to try to compete and really wanted to come to Metz; I knew I could do something good.

"My son was born on 2nd September, so I haven't spent much time with him yet. As I decided to play this week I also decided to bring the family with me to Metz. I was in the unknown, I didn’t know how it was going to be, if he would keep me up at night, and in the end, the result is perfect. Everything went very well and I am delighted to get to share this title with my family today."

Victory in Metz marked a complete turnaround in fortunes at the event for Simon, who had failed to win a match in four previous visits to the tournament.

Tasked with overturning a 0-2 record against Zverev, Simon broke through in the sixth game and saved a break point in the following game before sealing a one-set lead. From 1-2 down in the second set the eighth seed stepped up a gear, breaking serve twice as he won the final five games of the match to clinch a comprehensive victory in just 67 minutes. Another impressive serving display from Simon saw him strike nine aces and win 84 per cent of points behind his first serve.

“It hasn’t been an easy year because of the injury and I am really happy about this victory," said Simon. "During my time off, I strengthened my upper body to try to improve my serve, to serve stronger and for longer and this week. My serve is what kept me in the matches even if I wasn’t playing so well.”

Simon, whose best previous results this season had been quarter-final showings in Eastbourne (l. to Llodra) and Washington (l. to Nalbandian), improved to a 15-12 match record.

World No. 155 Zverev is the lowest-ranked finalist on the ATP World Tour this season and, like Bucharest runner-up, Pablo Andujar, was hoping to become the first qualifier to win a title this season. The left-hander was contesting his first ATP World Tour singles final after not dropping a set all week.

“I was really excited to be in my first final, but he played really well," said Zverev. "Not only solid from the baseline as he is usually, but also aggressive as well, he served unbelievably. I couldn’t do much today. I love France and French tournaments, I feel great here and for sure I will come back.”
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Re: ATP Finals

Bucharest 2010

Fourth seed Juan Ignacio Chela advanced to his second ATP World Tour final of the season Saturday as he crushed defending champion Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-3 at the BCR Open Romania in Bucharest.

The Argentine won his fifth ATP World Tour title in April with victory over Sam Querrey in the Houston final. He has progressed to his 11th final (5-5 record) in impressive fashion this week, dropping no more than three games in any of the six sets he has played.

The 30 year old broke serve twice in the second and sixth games to seal the first set before racing to a 4-1 lead in the second set. The top seed Montanes rallied to reduce the deficit to 3-4, but lost serve again in the ninth game as Chela claimed victory in 81 minutes.

"I'm very happy to be in the final," said the No. 53-ranked Chela. "Today my level was great; I played better than my ranking says. It's never easy to get to the final and I'm very pleased that I made it."

In the title match Chela will face qualifier Pablo Andujar, who defeated Marcel Granollers 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 in an all-Spanish semi-final to reach his first ATP World Tour final. He and Mischa Zverev, who is in the final in Metz, are the first two qualifiers to reach an ATP World Tour final this season.

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"It's great to reach my first final here. It's like a dream," reflected Andujar. "I saw Chela playing on TV when I was younger. Against him I have nothing to lose. He makes very few mistakes, but I will have my chances."

World No. 105 Andujar, who defeated No. 2 seed Florian Mayer in the second round, clinched a close first set, in which eight break points were squandered by the players. However, Granollers, who had come from a set behind to win all of his matches so far this week, hit back with two service breaks in the second set to level the match.

Andujar recovered well to break and lead 4-2 in the final set and despite Granollers striking back in the following game, was able to break serve again in the 10th game to seal victory in three hours and 11 minutes.

"It was a very hard match today," said Andujar. "I've known Marcel since we were 12. We even won Roland Garros together in doubles as juniors. Luckily I started to be more relaxed in the final set, but I was very tense at the beginning."

The 24-year-old Andujar is playing in just his sixth ATP main draw of the season and improved to a 7-5 match record. In the final against Chela, he will hope to avenge the defeat he suffered to the Argentine in Vina del Mar last year.
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Re: ATP Finals

Bangkok 2010

World No. 53 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez capped a momentous week in Bangkok by winning his second ATP World Tour title with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Jarkko Nieminen in the final of the PTT Thailand Open on Sunday.

En route to the final, the Spaniard defeated No. 8 seed Michael Berrer and fourth seed Ernests Gulbis before saving a staggering 24 of 26 break points to oust ATP World Tour Champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. He was the first player ranked outside the Top 50 to beat Nadal since No. 106 Nicolas Mahut defeated the Mallorcan at The Queen’s Club in June 2007.

As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament, Garcia-Lopez received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and $99,725 in prize money.

“It has been an unbelievable week for me, from the first round to the final,” said Garcia-Lopez. “Every match is different. I think I played relaxed, enjoyed my game and everything was perfect. It's hard to express what it means, I'm really happy inside.”

"Nieminen played an unbelievable tournament,” praised the Spaniard. “The score of the match, 6-4 in the third, shows that it was a tough match today. He had a lot of break points in the first set and didn't take his opportunities. I took the only break point I had in the first set. And then I played good in the third set and I think he was a bit nervous at 4-5 in the third."

After squandering a 3-1 lead in the final set, Garcia-Lopez was then denied on a couple of match points on Nieminen’s serve in the 10th game as the Finn came up with the answers at the net. Garcia-Lopez persevered, though, and finally clinched victory with a forehand passing shot.

Garcia-Lopez is the eighth different Spaniard to win an ATP World Tour title this season; Spain is now 18-8 in tour-level finals in 2010. The Albacete native was contesting his second final of the season, having finished runner-up to Michael Llodra in Eastbourne. He won his first ATP World Tour title last year on clay in Kitzbuehel (d. Benneteau).

The 27 year old, also a semi-finalist in Estoril (l. to Gil) and a quarter-finalist in Casablanca (l. to Serra) this season, will move to around World No. 40 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings on Monday. He reached a career-high No. 38 in May.

The No. 60-ranked Nieminen had also posted impressive victories en route to the final, accounting for No. 7 seed and 2009 finalist Viktor Troicki and No. 3 Jurgen Melzer. The 29 year old dropped to a 1-9 lifetime mark in ATP World Tour finals. He was contesting his first final since finishing runner-up to David Nalbandian in Sydney in January 2009 and was hoping to add to the lone piece of silverware he collected in Auckland (d. Ancic) in 2006.

“I had a great week,” reflected Nieminen. “I had some chances in the first set but he came up with some great points. He lifted his game again in the third set. I gave everything and it wasn't enough for me today. I really enjoy coming here, the people are so positive; it's been a great atmosphere all week."
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post #55 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Malaysia 2010

ATP World Tour No. 9 Mikhail Youzhny came from a set down to win for the third day in a row Sunday as he rallied to defeat Andrey Golubev 6-7(7), 6-2, 7-6(3) in the final of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2010.

The 28-year-old Youzhny was made to work hard for his seventh ATP World Tour title, having been extended to three sets in all four of his matches this week. Against Marcos Baghdatis in the quarter-finals, he came back from a set and a double break down to win. In the semi-finals, he won 12 of the last 14 games to recover from the loss of the first set against Igor Andreev.

“It was four very tough matches for me," said Youzhny. "It was my first tournament indoors after the US Open Series and for me it was good. I cannot say I showed by best tennis here, but, although it’s good when you show your best tennis and win the tournament, it’s probably better sometimes when you don’t show your really best game but you have a really good result.”

In the Battle for London it is a confidence-boosting win for Youzhny, who is hoping to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the first time. The Russian, who began the week at No. 10 in the year-to-date South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, will add 250 points to his tally. He also received $153,500 in prize money as champion of the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament.

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Youzhny has compiled a 39-15 match record in what has been a stellar season for the Muscovite. He also won the title in Munich (d. Cilic) in May and finished runner-up in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) and Dubai (l. to Djokovic) in February, as well as reaching the US Open semi-finals last month (l. to Nadal).

Youzhny defeated Golubev in three comfortable sets in the first round in New York, but was given a much sterner test by the up-and-coming Kazakhstani player in their fourth meeting on Sunday. The eighth-seeded Golubev squandered an early break advantage in the final, but held his nerve in the first-set tie-break, saving three set points before clinching a one-set lead.

The fourth-seeded Youzhny came back strongly in the second set, though, breaking twice as he established a 5-1 lead. Golubev was able to recoup one of the breaks, but Youzhny broke serve again in the eighth game to level the match. Neither player was able to create a break point chance in the final set and Youzhny’s greater experience showed in the tie-break as he sealed victory in two hours and 32 minutes.

“It was a really tough match, a very close match," reflected Youzhny. "I should have won the first set, when you lead 6-3 in the tie-break indoors usually you should take the set. I came back well and I played a really good second set. In the final set it was really close. Unfortunately, when you win 7-6 in the third set in the last match, you have to be a little bit luckier than him.”

World No. 41 Golubev was hoping to cap a giant-killing week by winning his second ATP World Tour title. The 23 year old, who won his maiden title in Hamburg (d. Melzer) in July, had ousted World No. 5 Robin Soderling and No. 11 David Ferrer en route to the final. Speaking after the semi-finals, Golubev had credited his good form this week with the confidence he had gained from leading Kazakhstan into the Davis Cup World Group with a 5-0 victory over Switzerland last month.

“We both played very well, except my second set, but I was a little bit tired," lamented Golubev. "I played very good matches against Soderling and Ferrer, that’s why I was a little bit down. I needed the set to relax, to get some energy for the third set. He played very good points, at 4-4, 15/30 I had chances to maybe break him, but he played well. In the tie-break at 4-3, the next two points decided it.”

“I’m happy about the tournament, because when I came here I was feeling pretty good physically and mentally and I beat a Top 10 guy. It’s good for me and I know I can play against top guys and in the future I can improve my game and I will do my best in the next tournament.”
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post #56 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

China Open 2010

Serbian World No. 2 Novak Djokovic lifted the 18th tour-level title of his career on Monday after he defeated David Ferrer of Spain 6-2, 6-4 to complete the defence of his China Open title in a rain-delayed final. Djokovic was leading 3-1 when play was rained-out on Sunday.

Djokovic, who two days ago qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November, became the first back-to-back winner in the six-year history of the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in Beijing, where he has a 9-0 lifetime record.

Watch Beijing Final Highlights | Djokovic Qualifies For London Finals

"[I'm] just happy to win another tournament and make my record here in Beijing even better," said Djokovic. "It's definitely one of the most successful tournaments in my career."

Top seed Djokovic earned 500 South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings points and was presented with a cheque for $500,000 after recording his fifth win in nine meetings over Ferrer, who picked up 300 points and $230,000. Ferrer dropped to an 8-10 record in ATP World Tour finals.

Eighth seed Ferrer was unable to get the better of Djokovic, who converted four of six break point opportunities and won 71 per cent of service points for victory in 85 minutes.

"I think he played with no mistakes and I made little mistakes in the second set [at] 4-3," said Ferrer. "I had my chance there. I had two advantages and I [hit] one double fault. But he played well. Me, maybe when I lost this game, I lost a little bit [of] my concentration."

The 23-year-old Djokovic is the third player this season to successfully defend two ATP World Tour titles, joining Rafael Nadal (Monte-Carlo, Rome) and Marin Cilic (Chennai, Zagreb).

In February, he won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Youzhny) in another rain-delayed final. He has an 18-12 record in tour-level finals and a 49-13 match record on the season, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the US Open (l. to Nadal).

"I started off really well, but then I lost the momentum," admitted Djokovic. "I kind of lost the rhythm, got him back into the match with some unforced errors, and it wasn't a really nice looking match from both sides. We made a lot of unforced errors."

Ferrer, 28, was appearing in his fourth ATP World Tour final of the year (1-3). The Spaniard has compiled a 52-18 season record and is just nine match wins short of his career-best year in 2007 when he won 61 matches.

Ferrer moves to No. 8 in the year-to-date South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. He beat World No. 5 Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-4 in the quarter-finals and Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the semi-finals. He has a 27-49 lifetime record against Top 10 opponents (6-10 this year).

"It's very important for me for to go to London [for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals], so I need to play very good [to] be there," said Ferrer.
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post #57 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Japan 2010

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal won his seventh tour-level title of the season, and the 43rd of his career, Sunday as he defeated Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-5 in the final of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.

The Spaniard improved to a 7-1 record in finals this season, with his only defeat coming in Doha (l. to Davydenko) in January. He completed a clean sweep of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournaments in Monte-Carlo, Rome and Madrid, before winning three successive majors at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.

"Every tournament is very important; it is nice to win another big title like this one," said Nadal. "I won a lot this year but I have to appreciate how difficult it is and how much hard work you have to do. I improved a lot my serve and it is a big thing on a surface as quick as here in Tokyo."

Nadal dropped only one set during his debut appearance at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament in Tokyo; he was forced to save two match points in a third-set tie-break against Viktor Troicki in the semi-finals. The Mallorcan is the fourth player this year to win an ATP World Tour title having saved a match point at some stage during the tournament, following Nikolay Davydenko (Doha), John Isner (Auckland) and Sam Querrey (Belgrade, Los Angeles).

Sunday Highlights | Nadal Interview | Monfils Interview

The 24-year-old Nadal, who has already secured his place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, earned 500 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and $261,500 in prize money.

In his eighth meeting with Monfils, Nadal recorded his seventh victory over the Frenchman. The top seed raced to a one-set lead, breaking serve in the second and sixth games. Monfils was stronger on serve in the second set, hitting seven aces as he kept Nadal at bay, but the Spaniard was able to convert his only break point in the 11th game and served out victory in 77 minutes.

Monfils suffered a heavy fall in the first set and appeared to have done some damage to his ankle. Afterwards, though, he assured media it had no bearing on the result. “The fall I had in the first set only affected me for a little while, it had no impact on the result.”

"Gael is a great player; I played very well today and that's why I won," said Nadal. "I wasn't really tired after the semi-final [against Troicki]. [Gael] beat me before in Doha in 2009 and we had other tough matches."

Nadal improved his ATP World Tour-best match record to 66-8 (35-7 on hard court) this season. The left-hander was playing in his second tournament since victory at the US Open, where he became the seventh man in the history of the sport to complete a career Grand Slam. Last week he reached the semi-finals in Bangkok (l. to Garcia-Lopez).

World No. 15 Monfils was contesting his 11th ATP World Tour final and dropped to a 2-9 record. The right-hander also finished runner-up in Stuttgart (l. to Montanes) in July and was looking to win his first title since Metz (d. Kohlschreiber) in September 2009.

Like Nadal, the Paris native had also saved a match point to reach the final. He was on the brink of defeat against No. 2 seed Andy Roddick in the third-set tie-break of their quarter-final clash, before fighting back to claim victory and end a run of eight consecutive defeats to Top 10 players.

"It was a bit tough for me to adjust my game after they opened the roof for the final, having played indoors yesterday and practised indoors this morning," said Monfils. "Rafa is a more difficult opponent if we play outdoors. It was good for my confidence to reach the final. I am also OK physically now so it has been a good week."
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post #58 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Shanghai 2010

World No. 4 Andy Murray produced a superb display Sunday as he won his sixth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Roger Federer in the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The Scot, who clinched his place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals earlier in the week, earned 1000 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and $616,500 in prize money.

Having lost his first three meetings in tour-level finals with Federer, including at the Australian Open in January, Murray has now won two successive finals against the Swiss; his first victory came in the final of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto in August. He leads their head-to-head series 8-5.

"I enjoy playing him," said Murray. "I don't find it easy at all. It's incredibly difficult every time. But I love the challenge of playing against him. I don't fear playing him. Every time I go on, I know I need to play great tennis to win against him. I don't know if my game matches up well against his or not. But I've played some of my best tennis against Roger."

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Defeat denied Federer a record-equaling 18th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. The Swiss was looking to draw level with Rafael Nadal, who won his 18th Masters 1000 title in Madrid with victory over Federer. Federer is, though, the all-time leader in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match wins and has a 221-67 lifetime mark.

Both players came into the final in red-hot form, neither having dropped a set all week. Indeed, Federer had been particularly impressive in straight-sets dismissals of Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic in his past two matches. However, the Swiss was hindered by a bout of 30 unforced errors in the final as he attempted to win his third tour-level title of the season.

Murray made a fast start to the pair’s 13th meeting and broke serve in the first game as Federer over pressed on his forehand and made costly mistakes. After fighting off Federer’s attempts to break back in the fourth and eighth games, Murray then came up with some magic in the ninth game as he earned two set points with a pin-point accurate forehand passing shot up the line. The Scot then produced a stunning forehand crosscourt passing shot on the run to seal the first set.

The second set was a similar tale as Murray continued to play the big points better and his high standard forced Federer into repeated errors. The Swiss’ forehand let him down as he missed two break point chances in the first game of the second set, and he was denied on two more chances in the third game.

Murray then made his breakthrough in the following game as Federer’s forehand once again went array and the Scot went on to seal victory in the eighth game as Federer netted a backhand volley on Murray’s second match point after 85 minutes.

"Tonight's match was, from my side, very solid," said Murray. "It was obviously a great, great match for me. Made few mistakes. As a tournament overall I'm very happy with it. I served great, especially when I was behind in the games. I hit the ball well from the back of the court. Against Roger you have to go after it early. I returned his serve well tonight and got a lot of free points on my serve; my second serve has improved so much since the start of the season.

“I’ve moved really well all week, the speed was very good tonight. I hit a lot of great shots on the run and you have to come up with a lot of great shots against Federer if you want to beat him.”

"I thought he played well overall," said Federer. "He didn't give me much. I was missing a few too many shots, which I wish I hadn't because that could have definitely maybe swung momentum around, given me more confidence to play more forward, more attacking. But missing so many important shots really over and over again obviously took a lot of my confidence away. Then the targets seemed to get smaller and smaller. That's definitely his credit, a pity for me."

The 29-year-old Federer was bidding to add to the trophies he has won at the Australian Open and Cincinnati (d. Fish) this season; the 16-time Grand Slam champion native slipped to a 63-28 lifetime mark in tour-level finals.

"I had a good tournament," reflected Federer. "I thought I played well this week. Had some great wins against [Robin] Soderling, [John] Isner, [Andreas] Seppi, also [Novak] Djokovic. I'm very happy with where my game is at. Today could have been better. But, look, Andy was the best player of the tournament so he deserved it."
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post #59 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Stockholm 2010

World No. 2 Roger Federer won the 64th tour-level title of his career Sunday as he defeated Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-3 to add the If Stockholm Open crown to his glittering collection.

The 29-year-old Federer, who has already surpassed Pete Sampras on the Open Era Grand Slam titles list, has now tied the American for fourth place on the Open Era overall titles list. It was the Swiss player’s third tour-level title of the season, following his triumphs at the Australian Open (d. Murray), where he won his 16th major title, and Cincinnati (d. Fish).

"It means the world to me to win this title. It’s always nice winning in a place like this with a tennis heritage and a lot of history,” said Federer.

Federer, who has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points as winner of the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament in Sweden. It is the 18th different country in which Federer has won an ATP World Tour title.

The top seeded Federer has come up against some stern resistance on his run through to the Stockholm title, including coming from a set down to defeat Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals, and was challenged by Mayer as the unseeded German broke to lead 4-3 in the first set. Federer’s response was swift and potent, though, as he reeled off three straight games to clinch a one-set lead.

The second set was a more straightforward affair for Federer, who broke serve in the sixth game before closing out victory in 63 minutes. It was his 52nd tour-level victory of the season and his second appearance in an ATP World Tour final in two weeks, having finished runner-up to Andy Murray a week ago at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

World No. 47 Mayer was bidding to win his first ATP World Tour title after a stellar week, including a quarter-final win over No. 5 Robin Soderling. The 27 year old dropped to a 0-3 mark in ATP World Tour finals, having also finished runner-up in Sopot in 2005 (l. to Monfils) and 2006 (l. to Davydenko).
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post #60 of 360 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Kremlin Cup 2010

World No. 43 Viktor Troicki won his first ATP World Tour title at the third attempt Sunday as he came from a set down to defeat Marcos Baghdatis 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

The Serbian is the fourth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, joining John Isner (Auckland), Ernests Gulbis (Delray Beach) and Andrey Golubev (Hamburg).

“It feels really great to win my first (ATP World Tour) title, there are no words to describe what is going through my mind,” said Troicki. “I would say it is the biggest day of my career. I had been waiting a long time for this. It is special it happened in Moscow as my father is Russian.”

The 24-year-old Troicki was contesting his third ATP World Tour singles final after runner-up finishes in Washington in 2008 (l. to del Potro) and Bangkok in 2009 (l. to Simon). As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament, he received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and $181,750.

Fourth seed Baghdatis drew first blood in the pair’s second meeting, sealing the first set after a decisive service break in the sixth game. Troicki was stronger on serve in the second set, though, never yielding a break point, and was rewarded for aggressive play on Baghdatis’ serve in the 10th game as he broke through to level the match.

After saving a break point early in the third set, Troicki then seized the initiative, capitalising on a lack of first serves from Baghdatis in the fourth game to break and lead 3-1, before going on to close out victory in one hour and 44 minutes.

“Marcos played a great first set and a half, but then I was able to get into the match,” assessed Troicki. “I was nervous serving out for the title but I tried not to think too much about it. The mistakes I made against Rafa (Nadal in the Tokyo semi-finals), when I served for the match but lost, helped me.”

The Belgrade native capped a strong run of form, which had seen him hold two match points in a semi-final defeat to World No. 1 Nadal in Tokyo two weeks ago, before beating third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round this week. He improved to a 34-28 match record on the season.

The No. 19-ranked Baghdatis was bidding to win his second ATP World Tour title in three finals this season. He won his fourth career trophy at the start of the year in Sydney (d. Gasquet), before finishing runner-up to David Nalbandian in Washington in August.

“I lost a lot of matches in my career, but it is frustrating to lose in a final like this,” said the Cypriot. “I thought I was in control of the first two sets. I still had a great week, played great tennis.”
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