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post #121 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


World No. 4 Andy Murray won his second title at the Western & Southern Open, defeating top seed Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday. Murray led the World No. 1 6-4, 3-0 before Djokovic retired with a shoulder injury. "It was really a good week after I struggled last week. I didn't drop a set and beat some very good players from pretty much the first round onwards," Murray said. "Against Nalbandian who I started off against it was tough, and then Mardy was playing really good tennis going into the semis."

Murray broke Djokovic to start the match, and after relinquishing his break lead in the sixth game, the Scot won six of the next seven games before Djokovic retired midway through the second set. "I would have obviously liked to have won by finishing the match," admitted Murray.

"But it happens sometimes. I have to look at the week as a whole. It's been a very good week. Coming in here I had played badly in Montréal, so I needed to have a good week. Regardless of the match today, I was happy with the way that it had gone. Glad I managed to win today, but unfortunate the way it happened."

The title is Murray’s second of the season, after winning the AEGON Championships in June (d. Tsonga). The 24-year-old London resident claimed his seventh ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and second in Cincinnati, having also defeated Djokovic in the 2008 final. Murray improved to a 4-6 record against the Serb.

Djokovic lost for just the second time this season (57-2), and was bidding to win his 10th title in 2011 and first at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Last week's Rogers Cup champion was looking to pull off a Masters 1000 double for the third time this season, having triumphed back-to-back at Indian Wells and Miami, and Rome and Madrid. "I just could not serve. I served an average 90 miles per hour the first serve, and I could not play forehands," said Djokovic. "I could have maybe played another couple of games, but what for? I cannot beat a player like Murray today with one stroke."

Added Djokovic, "There is no good loss, that's for sure. But the good thing is that there is a week, eight days [before] the start of the US Open. So I think that's enough time for me to get ready."
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post #122 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


Fourth seed John Isner, who grew up in nearby Greensboro, lifted the third ATP World Tour title of his career on Saturday in front of his family and friends at the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University.

Isner recorded a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over French qualifier Julien Benneteau to improve to a 3-5 mark in ATP World Tour finals.

The 26-year-old American earned $74,630 in prize money and received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings points. Benneteau, who is now 0-5 in finals, picked up $42,500 and 150 points.

"It means a lot for sure to win," said Isner. "Any time you win a tournament at this level, it is a huge accomplishment. For me personally, it is great, to win here in virtually my hometown. I think this is perfect preparation for me heading up north."

World No. 113 Benneteau did not face a break point in the first set, winning 20 of his 23 service points. He broke Isner's serve to 30 at 4-4 and went onto wrap up the opener in 34 minutes.

Isner responded by hitting six aces and dropping nine points to win the 43-minute second set. It meant Benneteau, who lost his serve at 3-4 in a closely fought game, would play his fourth straight three-set match of the week.

Isner converted his second of two break point opportunities at 2-2 and maintained the advantage to seal victory in just over two hours. Both players won 72 per cent of their service points, but Isner hit 19 aces in total to Benneteau's six.

"He was handling the wind better than me the first set and a half," admitted Isner. "He was making a lot of balls. A lot of times in the wind you have to play to a big margin in the court and not to the lines. I was trying to hit the lines too much. You really have to be on top of your footwork as the ball is moving every which way.

"I started to make more balls and be more aggressive in the second set. I told myself to get my intensity up, move ahead in his return games. If I am holding my serves easily, then to get ahead in my opponents' service games puts them under pressure."

Benneteau was attempting to become the ninth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, the oldest of the nine at 29 years of age, and also the first qualifier to lift a trophy since Sergiy Stakhovsky at the St. Petersburg Open in November 2009.

"I’m disappointed losing in the final. For me it’s tough," said Benneteau. "But, as my coach said, if I had been told last Saturday morning when I played my first-round qualifying, that I would make the final, I would have signed up for it for sure. So I have to take the positives from the week, the way I played and the level I had in some matches. I was very close to my best level.

"He has a huge first and second serve; it’s very difficult to read," continued the Frenchman. "I tried to do my best when I was on the ball, not make a lot of mistakes of the return, just put the ball in play and then try to do something. But obviously it’s very difficult."

World No. 28 Isner improves to a 28-18 match record on the season by picking up his second ATP World Tour title in six weeks. The American has now won 17 of his past 21 matches, including his title success at the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, immediately after The Championships at Wimbledon.

Benneteau, appearing in a final on U.S. soil for the first time, last contested a final at the Open 13 in Marseille in February 2010 (l. to Llodra). He drops to a 16-17 season mark.
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post #123 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

US OPEN 2011

ATP World Tour No. 1 Novak Djokovic captured his 10th piece of silverware in what has been a remarkable season as he beat defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1 in the US Open final on Monday in New York.

It is the sixth time this season that Djokovic has beaten Nadal, with all of their contests coming in finals. He defeated Nadal in the finals of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome, before dethroning the Spaniard at Wimbledon. It was the first US Open final to feature the world’s Top 2 players since 1995.

Upon being announced as the 24th different US Open champion, Djokovic said, "It really sounds unreal; it's an incredible feeling. I had an amazing year and it keeps going. Every time I play Rafa it's a big challenge. I want to congratulate him on a great tournament again. I wish that we will have many more tough matches in the upcoming years. It's an absolute pleasure to be a part of the very few players that have won this trophy throughout history."

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After victories at the Australian Open (d. Murray) and Wimbledon earlier in the year, Djokovic becomes the sixth man in the Open Era to win three Grand Slam championships in the same season. The 24-year-old Serbian captured his fourth major title overall, having also triumphed at the 2008 Australian Open (d. Tsonga).

It is the first time that Djokovic has laid his hands on the US Open trophy, having twice before finished runner-up. In his first major final in 2007, he lost out to Federer, and he was beaten in four sets by Nadal last year as the Spaniard completed the career Grand Slam.

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As he did in 2010, Djokovic reached the final at Flushing Meadows after saving two match points to defeat Federer in a five-set epic in the semi-finals. The Belgrade native rallied from two sets down for the second time in his career, and saved two match points when Federer led 5-3, 40/15 in the fifth set.

He is the first man to go on to win a Grand Slam championship after saving match point since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open (d. Hewitt) having saved match point against Federer in the semi-finals.

Djokovic has compiled a staggering 64-2 mark in 2011, including a perfect 41-0 start to the season which ended in defeat to Federer in the Roland Garros semi-finals. The Serb’s only other defeat this season came against Andy Murray in the Cincinnati final, where he retired with a shoulder injury.

The 25-year-old Nadal was bidding to win his 11th major title and second of the season after capturing a record-equalling sixth Roland Garros crown (d. Federer) in June. The left-hander has been left in the shadows by Djokovic this season, but has still compiled extremely strong results, recording a 59-11 win-loss mark and reaching nine tour-level finals (3-6 record).

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"Obviously I'm disappointed," said Nadal. "This guy is doing unbelievable things, so I just want to congratulate Novak. What he did this year is probably impossible to repeat. I tried my best in every moment.

"These kind of matches are very difficult, they bring your body to the limit. I think I tried to play aggressive, but he always made a fantastic comeback. I'm happy about what I did. I ran to every ball. I fought until the last ball. This year I've lost a lot of finals against him. I have to accept I won a lot in the past and the only thing I can do is to try my best every day to keep improving."

It is only the fourth Grand Slam final Nadal has lost. His three previous runner-up finishes all came at Wimbledon, losing to Federer in the 2006-2007 finals before succumbing to Djokovic as defending champion this year.
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post #124 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

METZ 2011

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga added 160 valuable points to his South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Ranking by clinching the Moselle Open title to improve his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November. Tsonga is currently No. 7 in the Battle for London, with four qualification spots up for grabs.

Tsonga became the third straight Frenchman to clinch the Metz singles title, following in the footsteps of Gilles Simon (2010) and Gael Monfils (2009), when he beat Croatian No. 4 seed and 2005 champion Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 in two hours and 37 minutes on Sunday.

Tsonga made it third time in lucky in ATP World Tour finals this year, having finished runner-up at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) and the AEGON Championships in London (l. to Murray). He is now 6-3 lifetime in title matches.

The 26 year old received €72,600 in prize money, while 32-year-old Ljubicic picked up 150 South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings points and a cheque for €38,200. The Croatian is 10-14 in finals.

"I am so happy to have won the title, it was a long time since I lifted a trophy and I am happy I was able to do here in Metz, in front of the French public," said Tsonga. "I knew it was going to be difficult. That's why I am not surprised about Ivan's come back in the second set. Matches against him are always based on two or three crucial points.

"I really feel good, I am happy on the tennis court, things are working well and I hope I can continue that way. My goal for the season is to qualify for London, I was there two years ago and I didn't play. I hope this time I will be able to play."

Tsonga hit seven aces and broke Ljubicic's serve in the first and seventh games in the 38-minute first set.

He could have opened up a 5-1 lead in the second set, but Ljubicic staged a revival. At 4-2, Tsonga recovered from 15/40, but double faulted for a third time on Ljubicic's third break point opportunity. Ljubicic won three of the next four games as the set headed for a tie-break.

Tsonga took a 4-2 lead in the tie-break, but Ljubicic won five straight points to take the 66-minute set - having dropped just 13 points on serve.

Tsonga regained his composure to break Ljubicic's serve in the third and ninth games of the deciding set to seal his first title since 11 October 2009 at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. It was Tsonga's 41st match win of the season (41-18 overall).

"I feel I played as well as I could today," admitted Ljubicic. "For some reason the balls were a little slower and I felt my serve wasn't as effective. It was becoming very physical. There was a lot of long rallies and with Jo being younger and stronger, it was not good for me.

"I didn't have the weapons to beat him today. He was dominating in every aspect of the game. He should have won the second set easily, but he complicated it. Matches against him are always similar. He pushes and pushes, so I need to play differently to stand a chance. I cannot overpower him and I almost did today.

"Of course I'd like to have won, but I am not disappointed. It's been a long time since I last played a final. I played well today and I hope I can keep playing like this."
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post #125 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


Florian Mayer became the ninth first-time ATP World Tour titlist of the year on Sunday and the first German to lift silverware at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy.

Second seed Mayer defeated fourth seed Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-3, 6-1 in 72 minutes to break an 0-4 losing streak in title matches.

World No. 24 Mayer earned 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings points and picked up €67,650 in prize money. Andujar, runner-up to Juan Ignacio Chela in last year's final, nets 150 points and a cheque for €35,600.

"The beginning was not perfect, I was so nervous today," said Mayer. "I wanted to win so badly. My legs were heavy. I was lucky at the beginning, he was 3-1, 40/15 up in the first set. Today he made some untypical mistakes and once I got a break in the second set I relaxed and played better."

Andujar said, "There was a point at 3-1, 40/15 when I hit a double fault and it completely changed the match. Maybe he got more confident and I lost some of my confidence."

There were three breaks of serve through the first seven games, before Mayer won eight straight games for a 5-0 lead in the second set. The World No. 24 was runner-up at the BMW Open in Munich (l. to Davydenko) in May and has a 37-22 match record on the season.

Andujar won 47 per cent of his service points and drops to 1-3 in title matches and to 23-23 on the year. He won his first ATP World Tour title in April at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca.

"I feel happy for the week," said Andujar. "I don't have anything to say about today's final, only that he played a great match and hit a lot of winners. I feel happy because I put in a good effort and played well yesterday."
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post #126 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

Bangkok 2011

World No. 4 Andy Murray was too good for Donald Young on Sunday in the PTT Thailand Open final, denying the 22-year-old American his first ATP World Tour title with a 6-2, 6-0 victory.

"In terms of the way I’m playing it’s very good to get off to a start like that on this stretch and hopefully I can continue that through Shanghai," said the Scot, who is targetting a Top 3 finish to the season. "It’s a very good start. Roger [Federer] always plays very well on the European indoor courts, so I’m sure I’m going to have to win a lot more matches if I want to finish No. 3. That’s the goal and I’ll keep working hard to give myself a shot at doing that."

Murray reached his first ATP World Tour final in Bangkok as an 18 year old in 2005, finishing runner-up to Roger Federer. Victory over Young saw him clinch his 19th ATP World Tour crown and his third of the season, adding to victories at the AEGON Championships (d. Tsonga) in London and the Western & Southern Open (d. Djokovic) in Cincinnati. He is the fifth player this season to win at least three titles.

As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament, Murray received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points. The Scot has already secured his place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

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After his breakthrough week, Young will crack the Top 50 for the first time at around World No. 43 on Monday. The American, who was contesting his first ATP World Tour final, received 150 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points.

"He played well. I couldn’t do much and it showed in the score," admitted Young. "It was great play from him. It was my first final on the ATP World Tour; I’ve had a semi and the fourth round of a Slam, but there’s nothing like your first final. It’s great. I beat some high calibre players and I played well.

"It was definitely great to win four matches and I’m into the Top 50 which is great for me; it was one of my goals at the start of the year. I just hope I can build on that and have more tournaments like this."

In a thoroughly dominant display, Murray led 4-0 before Young had the chance to get on the scoreboard. The top seed converted all five of his break points and surrendered just eight points on serve as he completed the rout in only 47 minutes.

"I just played really well," said Murray. "Towards the end of the first set he started to play a bit better, but once I got up in the second I hardly made any mistakes. Felt like I was moving well, so it was difficult for him to hit any clean winners. I served very well throughout and didn’t give him any opportunities. It was a great match."

It was the pair’s third meeting of the year. Young caused a shock when he defeated Murray at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, shortly after the Scot had suffered his third Grand Slam final defeat at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). Murray avenged that loss with victory over Young in the fourth round at the US Open.

The 24-year-old Murray has now won 16 of his past 17 matches. After winning the Cincinnati crown he reached the US Open semi-finals, losing out to Rafael Nadal, before helping Great Britain to victory over Hungary. He has a 45-11 match record on the year, including reaching at least the semi-finals in all four Grand Slam championships, and next competes at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
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post #127 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


World No. 17 Janko Tipsarevic captured his first ATP World Tour title at the fifth attempt when he beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday in the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 final.

"It feels great. I think I deserved it," said Tipsarevic. "I’m so happy that it came in a good place, at a tournament that is really, really nice, and against a good player. Marcos Baghdatis has played in 11 finals and was a former Top 10 player, a Grand Slam finalist. So I feel happy that I won against a great player in a final that I hope kept the fans on the edge of their seats until the very end. I could not be happier."

The Serbian was the only player in the Top 20 not to have won an ATP World Tour title, with four runner-up efforts behind him at the 2009 Kremlin Cup in Moscow (l. to Youzhny), the 2010 UNICEF Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Stakhovsky), and this year at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (l. to del Potro) and the AEGON International in Eastbourne (l. to Seppi).

He becomes the 10th first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season and earns 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points plus $155,000 in prize money.

At the age of 27, Tipsarevic has enjoyed his best season on the ATP World Tour, compiling a 44-20 match record and hitting a career-high World No. 13 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings after reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the US Open (l. to Djokovic) last month.

Tipsarevic is currently No. 13 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings, with the chance to claim one of the final four spots at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, but the Belgrade native insisted he is not looking that far ahead.

"I know that it’s a really long way off," said Tipsarevic. "I have a certain amount of points and another eight guys have like 700 or 800 points more than me, which means I need to perform really good at the Masters 1000 events in Shanghai and Paris in order to have the chance to overtake Tsonga or Fish. But I’m not thinking about that. Since I’m going to stay Top 20 or Top 15 for the rest of the year, I would be overwhelmed if I had the chance to finish Top 10."

The third seed suffered a slow start to the final as he fell behind 0-3, but he struck back in the fifth game before breaking again in the seventh game to clinch the first set. He raced to a 4-1 double break lead in the second set, but was pegged back by the resilient Baghdatis, who levelled at 5-5 after Tipsarevic failed to serve out the match in the 10th game.

Tipsarevic quickly regained his composure, though, and broke Baghdatis again in the 11th game before sealing victory on his third match point after two hours and six minutes.

"I knew I had to play overall good," reflected Tipsarevic. "In two of my previous four finals I was overly aggressive and in two of them I was too defensive, and this is not the way to win an ATP World Tour title. You need to feel the game; you need to know what to do in certain moments. At 5-5 I stayed calm, I didn’t panic, I didn’t choke. I managed to find my game and close out the match in two sets."

Former World No. 8 Baghdatis was bidding to win his first ATP World Tour title of a difficult season, which has seen him tumble from the Top 20 to No. 60 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings. The Cypriot, who had not lost a set en route to the final, dropped to a 4-7 mark in tour-level finals, but will return to the World’s Top 50 at around No. 46 on Monday.

“It wasn't my day today,” conceded Baghdatis. “Janko played great. He deserved to win, he was more aggressive. You just have to say ‘well done’ to Janko for a great week and a great year overall.

“I played some great tennis this week and I hope I can keep it up for the rest of the season,” added the 26 year old, who faces Bangkok champion Andy Murray in the first round of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships next week.
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post #128 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

CHINA 2011

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals hopeful Tomas Berdych will move to No. 7 in the Battle for London after ending a 29-month title drought with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Marin Cilic in the China Open final on Sunday in Beijing.

The Czech player is bidding to qualify for the season finale for the second year in a row and surpasses Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings by virtue of his triumph over Cilic. It was the sixth title of his career and his first since hoisting the trophy at the BMW Open (d. Youzhny) in May 2009.

"To win this title means really a lot to me because it's after 29 months," said Berdych. "It was quite a long time, so I'm happy that I could break this up. I think I couldn't have a better place to win a title than here in Beijing.

"I did a great move to have a good chance to qualify for London. Still, these two weeks in Shanghai and Paris I really need to do well. I want to do well. It just gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season and for the rest of the tournaments. So I'm really looking forward to that. I hope I can keep my level of game what I did and hopefully to win even more matches."

The unseeded Cilic made the better start to the match, breaking early before going on to close out the opening set. Berdych hit back at the start of the second set, but was unable to maintain his lead as Cilic broke back in the seventh game.

Under pressure, Berdych saved two break points with unreturned serves in the ninth game, before upping his level to snatch the second set from Cilic with a rifled backhand winner on break point in the 10th game. Cilic, who also finished runner-up in the 2009 Beijing final (l. to Djokovic), was unable to regain the momentum and fast began to unravel in the third set. Berdych broke twice as he raced to claim victory in just over two hours.

"I think the key moment was a break when it was 5-4; Marin was serving and I made a set point and just won the second set," reflected Berdych. "That moment I started to really feel great, get some more energy for the third set, and then it was just my turn in the third set."

The 26-year-old Berdych improved to a 47-18 match record on the season. Having fallen at the semi-final stage six times in 2011, the right-hander was contesting his first tour-level final since finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the 2010 Wimbledon title match.

The No. 25-ranked Cilic was also looking to end a lengthy spell without silverware. The Croatian’s last ATP World Tour title came in February 2010 at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors (d. Berrer). He has now lost four successive finals, including earlier this year at the Open 13 in Marseille (l. to Soderling) and the ATP Studena Croatia Open in Umag (l. to Dolgopolov).

"I'm feeling a little bit disappointed by the loss today," said Cilic. "I would say that I was playing really great tennis from the beginning of the match. That first set went really well on my side. I had two advantages at 4-4 [in the second set]; got maybe a little bit tense and he served two big first serves. From then on, I think he started to play a little bit better and wasn't giving me as much and I wasn't finding right solutions for the game after that.

"I felt psychologically in these critical moments, especially at the end of the second set and the beginning of the third, I missed a few chances here and there. So I would say that was the reason."
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post #129 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals

JAPAN 2011

World No. 4 Andy Murray continued his hot run of form on Sunday as he produced a blistering display in the final two sets to defeat defending champion Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the final of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.

The 24-year-old Murray then became the first double winner on the ATP World Tour this season when he and brother, Jamie Murray, defeated fourth seeds Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek in the doubles final.

The Scot has won 21 of his past 22 matches, taking in titles at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Djokovic) in August, the PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok (d. Young) last week, and now at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in Tokyo. His only loss in that period came against Nadal in the US Open semi-finals.

Having also triumphed at the AEGON Championships in London in June (d. Tsonga), Murray becomes the third player this season to win at least four ATP World Tour titles, joining Novak Djokovic (10) and Robin Soderling (four).

"Djokovic set the bar pretty high with his year and his records so far, so I’ve got to try and keep up somehow," joked Murray, who has set himself the goal of surpassing Roger Federer at World No. 3 in the year-end South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings. "I’ve played well in the last few months in Cincinnati and then the US Open. I need to carry on that form in Shanghai. I need to keep up the wins and hopefully I’ll get to the No. 3 ranking. It’s not the ultimate goal, but it’s the target I set for the last few tournaments this year."

Murray made a slow start to his 18th contest with Nadal, dropping his opening service game with a groundstroke error. The Scot began to settle into the match, though, and had Nadal under pressure in the seventh game before the Spaniard held on to close out the one-set lead.

The second-seeded Murray broke through the Spaniard’s defences in the fourth game of the second set, persevering to convert his third break point chance as Nadal hit wide. The Scot then rescued a 0/40 situation in the following game with three straight aces, before saving a fourth break point with a forehand winner and holding for a 4-1 lead. With the momentum growing, Murray broke Nadal again in the eighth game to level the match.

Murray hailed the third set as one of the best he has played against Nadal, whom he lost to in the semi-finals at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open this year. The Dunblane native allowed Nadal just four points as he battered the Spaniard with controlled aggression and potent backhands, racing through the set with three service breaks to clinch victory in two hours and 16 minutes. It was just his fifth win over Nadal.

"I played some great tennis, especially in the third set," said Murray. "I had a couple of chances in the first set and was maybe going for too much, going too close to the lines, but once I got that break the roles reversed a little bit. He started going for a little bit more and I was dictating the points playing high-percentage tennis.

"For sure in the third set it was some of the best tennis I’ve played against him. I was very consistent, didn’t make too many mistakes and kept a cool head in the important moments."

World No. 2 Nadal, who defeated Gael Monfils in the 2010 Tokyo final, was contesting his 10th tour-level final of the season and the 66th of his career; he dropped to a 46-20 mark. All his other final defeats this year have come at the hands of Djokovic, including in the Wimbledon and US Open title matches. The Mallorcan was bidding to win his first trophy since clinching a record-equalling sixth Roland Garros crown at the start of June.

“He played unbelievable, he didn’t make any mistakes in the third set,” said Nadal. “He played very aggressive and made no mistakes. When you are playing someone at that level, the only way is to try and get more free points on serve and for me it was impossible today because his return was very impressive.”

Nadal and Murray will be the top two seeds at the Shanghai Rolex Masters next week. Both have already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.
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Re: ATP Finals


Second seed Andy Murray won his third ATP World Tour title in three weeks in Asia as he retained his Shanghai Rolex Masters crown with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over third seed David Ferrer on Sunday.

Victory will see the 24-year-old Murray overtake Roger Federer at World No. 3 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings. It will be the first time since 7 July, 2003, when he won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, that Federer has ranked outside the Top 3.

"My goal for the last three-four months after the US Open was to try to finish as high as possible and win as many matches as I could," said Murray. "It's obviously been a great start. But I'm still not guaranteed to finish at No. 3. I'm still going to have to win some more matches. But if you finish in front of Federer in a year, then there's not many people the last five, six, seven years that have been able to say that. So that's obviously a nice thing if I can do it."

Murray has now won 25 of his past 26 matches. The Scot came into Shanghai on the back of title runs at the PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok (d. Young) and the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo (d. Nadal), and prior to a semi-final loss at the US Open (l. to Nadal) had triumphed at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Djokovic).

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"I was really happy with the way I stayed focused," said Murray, reflecting on the Asian swing. "It's hard to explain. It's almost you'd think the more matches you win, the less pressure you feel. I was hitting the ball well, but there's still a little bit of tension because you want to try and keep the run going. I was really happy I managed to win today because it's always very tough playing against him.

"I think the best thing about it is just winning matches. Even like today, I wasn't necessarily playing my best tennis the whole way throughout, but I served well when I needed to, and that was it. I chased every ball down. I fought for every single point as hard as I could. That's something you need to do if you want to win all the time.

"This week I think overall it's satisfying. I didn't necessarily feel like I played amazing tennis, I just think I did the right things, made it very difficult for my opponents, and managed to win a tournament of this size when I still felt like I could have played a little bit better."

Victory in Shanghai was Murray’s fifth success of the year in total, having also lifted the trophy at the AEGON Championships in London (d. Tsonga) in June. He also reached his third Grand Slam final at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) and posted semi-final showings at Roland Garros and Wimbledon (l. to Nadal both times).

In a 10-minute first game Murray ended Ferrer’s run of 31 successive service holds as he broke through to lead 1-0. His lead was shortlived, though, as Ferrer immediately hit back to draw level. The Spaniard paid the price for three unforced errors in succession, including a double fault, as he surrendered his serve in the 11th game and this time Murray did not let him off the hook, serving out the 56-minute opener.

In the same scenario as the first set, Murray squandered a break in the first service game of the second set, but was able to regain his lead in the third game with a forehand lob winner. Under pressure, Ferrer fended off two break points in the fifth game, but could find no way to penetrate Murray’s defences on serve and the Scot wrapped up victory in one hour and 45 minutes. He also defeated Ferrer last week in the Tokyo semi-finals and improved to a 5-3 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head standings.

Murray, who had defeated Federer in the final a year earlier, captured his eighth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, taking him to joint-sixth place with Thomas Muster on the title leaders list (since 1990).

Ferrer, who finished runner-up in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final for the third time in his career, said, "I fought a lot, but today it was impossible to beat Andy. He’s a very good player and person. I didn't serve really good this match, also because Andy received very well and I had to play closer to the lines. Andy was better than me in the second set. Maybe in the first set I had my chances. [But] I played so bad this game [at 5-5]. After I had a long time serving very bad. Anyway, is difficult to beat Andy in these moments. He is playing with [a lot of] confidence."

"I enjoyed the week a lot. Here in Shanghai, I’ve had the best moments of my career; I reached the final [of the Tennis Masters Cup] in 2007 and again this year. I hope to win next year."

The Spaniard also lost out in the 2010 Internazionali BNL d’Italia final in Rome and in this year’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title match, falling to Rafael Nadal both times. The 29-year-old Spaniard, who had saved three match points in his third-round win over Juan Carlos Ferrero on Friday, was rewarded for his efforts this week by becoming the fifth player to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
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post #131 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


World No. 14 Janko Tipsarevic lifted his second trophy of the season at the Kremlin Cup on Sunday, defeating reigning Moscow champion Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-2 in the first all-Serbian final on the ATP World Tour.

Following the trophy ceremony, Tipsarevic and Troicki attended a rare joint press conference. "It was really tough," Tipsarevic said. "We were both tight. You could cut the tension with a knife. It was like a nightmare to play against your friend."

"This was the first time we had an all-Serbian final, ATP or WTA, so it was a bit strange at the beginning for both of us," stated Troicki. "Janko deserved to win, he was the better player today. We both played pretty good but he was more aggressive."

With the win, Tipsarevic moves to 10th place in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings in the battle to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. "Even if I say I don't want to think about London, I knew it was a big opportunity for me," Tipsarevic admitted. "Every single point counts for London now. It is going to be really hard but not impossible. If I don't qualify for London, then my next goal would be to finish in the Top 10."

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Tipsarevic broke to start the match, but Troicki levelled in the fourth game to even the first set at 2-2. After four straight holds, the second-seeded Troicki dropped serve in the ninth game and Tipsarevic subsequently served out the first set.

Troicki was immediately pressured to begin the second set, and saved three break points to hold for a 1-0 lead. But his countryman kept plugging away and finally converted a break of serve for a 3-2 lead on his seventh opportunity of the set. Tipsarevic secured an insurance break to move ahead 5-2, and served out the match to lock up the victory in one hour and 28 minutes.

After falling in his first four ATP World Tour finals, Tipsarevic has won titles in his last two appearances, having triumphed at the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 three weeks ago (d. Baghdatis). He evened his FedEx ATP Head 2 Head series with Troicki to a 1-1 record, and notched his 47th win of the year. "Kuala Lumpur was more emotional because it was my first ATP World Tour title, but here I was more nervous as I was playing Viktor," said Tipsarevic. "It was not a suprise that we played the final, as we were the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds here."

Troicki was bidding to repeat his performance last year in Moscow, when he claimed his first career title against Marcos Baghdatis. The World No. 16 dropped to a 1-4 mark in title matches. "I am glad I am back in good form after a difficult summer and Asian swing and hope I can continue like this until the end of the season," Troicki said.
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post #132 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


World No. 10 Gael Monfils capped off his debut at the If Stockholm Open on Sunday by claiming his first title of the year with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Jarkko Nieminen. The Frenchman, who has an outside chance to qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, jumps up to No. 14 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings. "My concentration was the key for me today," said Monfils. "I just believed I could win this match.

"Jarkko was playing good when he was in front. Some spots in the match were high level tennis and he was moving well. At the end I think he got a bit fatigued. I played him three weeks ago [in Bangkok], but I was more impressed with him today."

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Monfils relinquished a break advantage twice in the opening set, as the two players exchanged breaks in the first four games. After each settled in on serve, Monfils broke Nieminen for the third time to move ahead 6-5, and served out the set.

In the second set, Nieminen struck first on return, breaking the No. 1 seed to take a 4-2 lead, but was immediately broken back by Monfils. The Finn wasn’t fazed, as he broke Monfils again to lead 5-3 and held serve to even the clash at one set all.

Both players reached the final by winning two matches in three sets, and it was Monfils who stepped up in the final set, winning 75 per cent of his service points. He broke the 73rd-ranked Nieminen twice to take the encounter in one hour and 52 minutes. "Even though the first set was really tight, I felt I had to be more aggressive as it was working well this week," Nieminen said.

"That's when I play my best and I played a really good second set. I continued that for the beginning of the third set, but unfortunately went down a break and got a bit tired and Monfils stayed strong at the end."

With the win, Monfils captured his fourth title and first since winning the Montpellier crown last year (d. Ljubicic). He improved his final record to a 4-11 mark.

Nieminen suffered his third defeat in the Stockholm final after falling in the 2001 and 2006 title matches, and dropped to a 1-10 record in finals. The 30 year old was looking to hoist his first trophy in nearly six years, when he defeated Mario Ancic in the 2006 Auckland final. He was also looking to become just the second left-hander to win a title this season (Rafael Nadal). "It was great to see so many Finnish people," said Nieminen.

"They're always coming here, especially towards the end of the week. It's always really nice when they come to support me, but the way the Swedish people support me is also amazing, as it feels almost like a home court for me."
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Re: ATP Finals


Fourth seed Marin Cilic defeated No. 2 seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to win his first title of the season on Sunday at the St. Petersburg Open. The victory denied Tipsarevic his opportunity to move up to ninth place in the battle for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

After splitting the first two sets, Cilic took command in the third set, breaking the World No. 13 twice to win the final four games, claiming victory in two hours and 17 minutes. The Croat improved to 6-1 against Tipsarevic, and avenged his loss to the Serbian at the Sony Ericsson Open this year.

"It was a very good match at a high level. I managed to push myself into a higher gear in the last set," said Cilic. "I was close in my other finals [this year] and I think I learned a little bit from them. Today, that pushed me and in the third set, I played my best tennis of the season."

Having finished runner-up in Marseille (l. to Soderling), Umag (l. to Dolgopolov) and Beijing (l. to Berdych), Cilic won his first title since repeating as champion in Zagreb last year. The win gives the 23 year old his fifth title and third indoors.

Tipsarevic was bidding to become the first player to pull off the Russian double, after topping countryman Viktor Troicki in Moscow last week in the first all-Serbian final.

"Marin deserved to win. He was the better player today," assessed Tipsarevic. "In order to beat Marin, you need to play a certain style of game and for me it was really tough. I gave everything I had in the second set and beginning of the third set. I didn't manage to make a break and after that, I went completely down."

Currently at No. 10 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings, Tipsarevic dropped to a 2-5 mark in ATP World Tour finals.
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post #134 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's prospects of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals were boosted on Sunday after the Frenchman notched his first victory against Juan Martin del Potro, defeating the Argentine 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 to win the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. With the win, Tsonga moves past Mardy Fish to No. 7 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings.

"I will try to take all the pressure off myself. I just want to play every tournament and enjoy it," stated Tsonga. "I will try to play my best tennis and not think about it the next two weeks, so we'll see. But of course I hope I will get there."

Neither the top-seeded Tsonga or second seed del Potro were able to make an impact on return in the first set, each failing to convert three break point opportunities, and that carried through to the tie-break, where del Potro edged the Frenchman to take a one set lead.

Del Potro looked to be in control of the match after converting the first break of serve to lead 2-1 in the second set, but Tsonga reeled off four straight games, and shortly evened the encounter at one set apiece. "I was 2-1 up on serve and played a bad service game," said del Potro. "He then started to play much better and more aggressive. He served unbelievable. It was a different match between the first set and that moment, and then the rest of the match."

In the final set, Tsonga stepped up on serve, firing nine of his 25 aces to win 80 percent of his service points. He broke the Argentine in the seventh game and closed out the final with a love service game, taking the hard-fought clash in two hours and 28 minutes.

"I just tried to stay focused and strong in the head. I broke him back and came back in this final, and finally I did it," said Tsonga. "It was very special because at the end there was the retirement of Thomas Muster, and Goran Ivanisevic, one of my favourite players, was there. It was a great final and it's going to stay in my memories."

Tsonga ended a three-match losing streak to del Potro and claimed his second title in 2011 after beginning the fall indoor season by lifting the trophy in Metz (d. Ljubicic). The World No. 9 also finished runner-up in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) and London / Queen’s Club (l. to Murray).

Del Potro was looking to win his third title of the year after triumphs in Delray Beach (d. Tipsarevic) and Estoril (d. Verdasco). With his result this week, del Potro jumps to 11th place in the chase to London with two tournaments left to go. "I'm sad because I lost but it was a good tournament for me," del Potro said. "Jo played much better in the important moments and took his opportunities. He's difficult to play because he's very fast and has a good forehand."
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post #135 of 360 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ATP Finals


Marcel Granollers captured his second title of the year on Sunday at the Valencia Open 500, outlasting Juan Monaco 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3) in a clash that spanned just over three hours. "Winning here has been the biggest achievement in my whole career," declared Granollers. "It was a difficult moment for me, being a break down in the third. I kept fighting and at the end, I played very good.

"Juan is a great player who fights for every point. There were very long games. The match was settled in the very last moment."

The Spaniard defeated four Top 20 players, Alexandr Dolgopolov (No. 16), Marin Cilic (No. 20), Gael Monfils (No. 10) and Juan Martin del Potro (No. 14) to reach the final. He improved to a 2-1 mark against Monaco, topping the Argentine in Valencia for the second straight year, having won their quarter-final encounter in 2010 en route to a runner-up finish to countryman David Ferrer. “To win a title in Spain is very nice and special, as my family was with me today. The crowd helped me a lot during the week so thanks to them,” Granollers said.

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After splitting the first two sets, Monaco broke serve to start the third set and maintained his advantage until the eighth game of the set. The two held serve in the final four games to send the title match to a deciding tie-break. From there, Granollers pushed ahead with a mini-break lead at 2-1 and never looked back to claim his third career title. "It was a very tough final that was determined through a couple of balls after three hours of play,” assessed Monaco.

“But it has been a great week. I am satisfied with the work I have been doing… I think we both played a good match. The third set was pretty aggressive.”

The victory gives Granollers his first hard-court trophy, with his two previous triumphs coming on clay in Gstaad earlier this year (d. Verdasco) and Houston in 2008.

Monaco was aiming to end a title drought dating back to 2007, when he won all three of his career titles. The 27 year old was appearing in his first final since a runner-up showing to Thomaz Bellucci in Santiago last year. "The atmosphere was exceptional. I can only express words of thanks because the audience made me feel very comfortable,” said Monaco. “I thought they would support him for being Spanish, but they would cheer me on too.”
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