Hanescu Captures Maiden ATP Crown
Victor Hanescu (pictured) became the first Romanian since Ilie Nastase in 1973 to capture the Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad title, after defeating No. 7 seed Igor Andreev of Russia 6-3, 6-4 for his maiden ATP crown on Sunday. The final lasted one hour and 11 minutes.
World No. 80 Hanescu broke the Andreev serve in the fourth game of the 29-minute first set. He then converted his fourth break point opportunity in a 12-minute first game of the second set and held on for his first career ATP trophy.
Hanescu won 40 of 52 service points, while Andreev failed to create one break point. It was Hanescu’s first win over Andreev since 2003 Palermo and he improved to 10-14 on the season.
In his second round match against Karlovic, Hanescu saved three match points in the third set tie-break to post the 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-6(11) win. His semifinal victory against World No. 10 Wawrinka was his third (3-13) against a Top 10 player.
Nikolay Davydenko was the last player to save match points en route to an ATP title. In April, the Russian saved one match point against Ernests Gulbis in the ATP Masters Series Miami second round en route to beating Rafael Nadal in the final. Hanescu is the eighth player to do so in 2008.
Prior to this week, the 26-year-old Hanescu has not won consecutive ATP matches since he reached the Bucharest final (l. to Simon) in September 2007.
Hanescu is the first Romanian winner of an ATP title since Andrei Pavel clinched the 2001 ATP Masters Series Canada (Montreal) trophy (d. Rafter). Pavel was also the last Romanian to win an ATP clay-court title in St. Poelten (d. Ilie).
Andreev, who will celebrate his 25th birthday on Monday, won a rain-interrupted semifinal over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-6(2), 5-7, 7-6(5) on Sunday morning. The pair had resumed at one-set apiece.
Andreev was attempting to clinch his fourth ATP career title (3-5 record) and third on clay courts (2-4 lifetime). He reached his first Gstaad final in 2004 (l. to Federer).
The World No. 34 dropped to 25-20 on the season, highlighted by quarterfinal appearances at Buenos Aires (l. to Acasuso), Dubai (l. to Djokovic) and ATP Masters Series events in Miami (l. to Berdych) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Davydenko).
Hanescu collected €65,000 in prize money and 175 South African Airways ATP Ranking points, while Andreev received €35,500 and 120 points.