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Old 01-28-2014, 03:23 AM   #196
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THAILAND 2012
Richard Gasquet won his seventh ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Thailand Open.

The second seed beat his fellow Frenchman and No. 4 seed Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-1 in Bangkok to earn $99,645 in prize money and 250 South African Airways ATP Rankings points.

Gasquet last won an ATP World Tour title in May 2010 at the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur (d. Verdasco). It was his second Asian title, following success at Mumbai in 2007.

"I played against a French player who is also my friend so of course it a little bit strange but for me it's a title and I've had some tough matches this week so I’m very happy to win," said Gasquet.

"The people here are very nice, the crowd was very nice. The night I played against [Grigor] Dimitrov it was late, but the people stayed and cheered for me so it's more reason for me to come back next year and defend my title."

Simon started strongly, breaking Gasquet’s serve in the opening game. But Gasquet broke back, then again at 4-2 and in the eighth game to capture the 30-minute set. Simon, the 2009 champion, won nine of his 23 service points.

Gasquet broke Simon for a 3-1 lead in the second set, then in a hard-fought sixth game before closing out his 17th ATP World Tour final with a hold to 30 for victory in 69 minutes.

It was the second all-French ATP World Tour final of the year, after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Gael Monfils in January at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

Former World No. 7 Gasquet is now 6-0 lifetime against Simon in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series and improves his chances of competing at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London from 5-12 November.

World No. 19 Simon, who beat Viktor Troicki in the final three years ago, won just 42 per cent of his service points in his 13th final (10-3 overall). He received $52,390 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points.

"I was playing some of the best tennis I ever played yesterday [against Janko Tipsarevic] and today I just couldn't play at all. Thierry [Tulasne] was here to watch, but it was our last week together so I really wanted to win."
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:24 AM   #197
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KUALA LUMPUR 2012
Argentina's Juan Monaco stepped up his bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday with victory in the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur final.

Second seed Monaco defeated seventh seed Julien Benneteau of France 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in just over three hours to lift his fourth ATP World Tour title of the year and improve to a 37-15 match record.

Monaco received $153,440 in prize money and earned 250 South African Airways ATP Rankings points with victory in his 16th ATP World Tour final (7-9 overall).

"I celebrated with my team in the locker room and tonight I'll have Malaysian food with my team," said Monaco. "It has been nice to be in this city and win the trophy. It feels very good. When I win a title, I think of my family and my team, as they believe in me, they have supported me and we have worked hard to win tournaments.

"I think we played a great match, with a lot of ups and downs. I got a little nervous when I had chances, but I never gave up, particularly in the 12th game of the first set. He surprised me a little bit with his comeback in the second set. In the final set, I knew I had to be more aggressive and I am happy the way I finished the match."

The 28-year-old Monaco has also won titles this season at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar (d. Berlocq), the US Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston (d. Isner) and the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships in Hamburg (d. Haas). He also finished runner-up at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (l. to Tipsarevic).

Benneteau took a 2-0 lead in the first set, while Monaco squandered four break point opportunities in the second game. Monaco, who got back on level terms at 2-2, opened up a 5-3 lead and had two set point chances but Benneteau bounced back. In a lengthy 12th game, which featured 10 deuce points, Benneteau saved four more set points to frustrate Monaco, who ultimately clinched the set after 81 minutes of play.

Benneteau, determined not to fall to 0-7 in finals at the 199th tournament of his career, fought back in the second set by creating an early service break. Monaco broke back, but Benneteau remained cool on serve, winning 19 of his 29 service points, to level the score-line with a second service break.

In the deciding set, Monaco broke to 15 for a 4-2 lead. Benneteau saved one match point at 2-5, but Monaco was not to be denied his 37th match win of the year. Monaco hit six aces and won 61 per cent of his service points overall.

"I'd like to relax now and enjoy the victory," said Monaco. "It isn't easy to win tournaments, but I will focus on the next challenge and go to Tokyo tomorrow."

World No. 34 Benneteau had been trying to become the first player aged 30 plus to capture his first ATP World Tour title since Australian Wayne Arthurs (33) won in Scottsdale in March 2005.

"I was very focused on this game, because I wanted to win this final," said Benneteau. "The fans were great; there was a lot of French in the crowd. It was a nice atmosphere and the game was a good level."

The 30-year-old Benneteau earned $80,815 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points. He also finished runner-up to Jarkko Nieminen in the Apia International Sydney final in January.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:24 AM   #198
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BEIJING 2012
Novak Djokovic won his third straight China Open title on Sunday.

The top seed recorded his sixth straight victory over third-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4), 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes for the 32nd trophy of his career (32-19 in finals). It was his 40th hard-court match win of the season.

“I am planning to come back to the China Open next year,” said Djokovic. “It's been one of my most successful tournaments. This is where I love to play. I love the conditions and, as I mentioned before, I have lots of support from the fans who are very loyal and very nice.

Djokovic is now 14-0 lifetime at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in Beijing. It was the fifth time he has three-peated at a tournament (also Australian Open, Dubai, Miami and Canada).

Djokovic earned $530,570 in prize money and 500 South African Airways ATP Ranking points to increase his lead to 1,490 points over Roger Federer (8,920) in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London.

When asked about the battle to clinch the year-end World No. 1 ranking, Djokovic said, “That's the target. This will definitely help me in that race, but it's still quite open. There are still tournaments to come, big ones. Shanghai, obviously the first 1000 event that is next week. I want to try to get as far as I can in the tournament, obviously taking one match at a time as I always do.”

Tsonga, who is hoping to join Djokovic at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London next month, received $239,200 and 300 points after competing in his 15th ATP World Tour final (9-6 overall).

Tsonga got off to a strong start, with an early service break, but Djokovic worked his way back into a high-quality first set. At 5-5, the clash was in the balance, but Djokovic stepped up in the tie-break to open up a 3-0 lead. Tsonga fought back, but he hit a backhand slice into the net to hand Djokovic the 65-minute opener.

In the second set, Djokovic converted the first of his two break point opportunities at 1-1, 15/40, when Tsonga hit a forehand wide. Tsonga was broken again to 15 at 1-3, when he struck a forehand into the net. Djokovic went onto capture his fourth title of the season and improved to a 65-11 match record.

“I think the first set was really even, and maybe a couple points decided the winner there," said Djokovic. "We both had our chances aside those breaks that we converted…I managed to hold my nerves in the end. When you're getting to the second set with the set advantage, mentally it is much more encouraging for you and then you try to play on that confidence run that you have. I made that early break in the second [and] I felt much more comfortable on the court.”

Tsonga is now 1-9 against Top 10 opponents this year. His last win over Djokovic came in January 2010 in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

“I think it was a good match,” said Tsonga. “I missed maybe something in the middle of the first set. I was a break up, and I was playing well. But then he played solid. It was really difficult to control him. I just tried to play my game, to be aggressive, but against a player like this, for the moment, my level is not high enough, and it's not enough to beat him.

“I'm happy because I played good tennis here. It was a great tournament for me. I hope I will continue to improve like this and I will try another time to beat these guys next week.”

In Tsonga’s last tournament, he retained the Moselle Open title in Metz (d. Seppi) on 23 September. He has a 48-18 season record (29-9 on hard courts).
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:25 AM   #199
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TOKYO 2012
Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to win the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title on Sunday.

Eighth seed Nishikori defeated sixth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-0 in two hours and nine minutes to lift his second ATP World Tour trophy. It was the youngest final in 58 tournaments on the ATP World Tour this year.

“I have not been able to play well in Japan until now, so I always thought perhaps I was not mentally strong enough to do so,” Nishikori said in a translation. “But the match against Berdych, something changed. I was able to play much better yesterday and today as well. On one side of my mind, I cannot believe I won the tournament, but at the same time, I feel that I’m happy I was able to do this.”

Brad Drewett, the ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, "I would like to offer my congratulations to Kei Nishikori on becoming the first Japanese man to win the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title in Tokyo.

"Kei is a terrific player who is already a star at home in Japan and among the Top 20 players in the world. I’m sure this historic win over a very difficult field in Tokyo will give him great confidence and we look forward to seeing all that he can do. Kei has a very bright future on the ATP World Tour and we couldn’t be more proud of him."

Nishikori took a 3-1 lead in the first set, before Raonic found his range on serve and fought his way back. Nishikori was unable to convert two set point opportunities on Raonic’s serve at 6-5, but kept his nerve in the tie-break.

Raonic responded by breaking Nishikori in the eighth game of the second set. Nishikori swept through the decider, converting three of his six break point chances en route to a his first trophy since February 2008 at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (d. Blake). Raonic won just nine of his service points in the third set.

The 22-year-old Nishikori received $308,130 in prize money and 500 South African Airways ATP Ranking points, while 21-year-old Raonic earned $138,920 and 300 points. The two were squaring off for the first time.

“He attacks on his returns and goes up to the net quickly. And he is willing to take risks. I watched him play Murray,” said Nishikori. “Despite the break in the first game, there were some dangerous moments in the first set. I tried to stay aggressive. I was able to continue doing so and was able to get the final set 6-love.”

Raonic, who was bidding to capture his third ATP World Tour trophy of the title, was hoping to rise to No. 10 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London. He drops to a 43-17 match record on the year.

“He just played too well. There’s not too much I could do,” said Raonic. “He played better than me and deserved to win. [In the third set], he started playing well, was reading me a bit more, and a few mistakes starting coming from me.”
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:25 AM   #200
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SHANGHAI 2012
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic saved five match points as he edged two-time defending champion Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6(11), 6-3 in a an exhilarating 3hr., 21min., contest in the Shanghai Rolex Masters final on Sunday.

Since losing to Murray in last month’s US Open final, the 25-year-old Djokovic has compiled a perfect 10-0 record, winning back-to-back titles at the China Open (d. Tsonga) in Beijing and now in Shanghai. The Serb has an ATP World Tour-leading 70 match wins this year, also taking in titles at the Australian Open (d. Nadal), the Sony Open Tennis in Miami (d. Murray) and the Rogers Cup in Toronto (d. Gasquet).

Djokovic clinched his seventh different ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and 13th overall. He has reached six Masters 1000 finals this season, adding to his victories in Shanghai, Toronto and Miami with runner-up showings at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (l. to Nadal), the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (l. to Nadal) and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Federer).

His results this season have left Djokovic locked in battle with Roger Federer for the year-end No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking.

"I'm trying to focus now on the end of the season," said Djokovic. "I need to play well indoors. I need to try to stay consistent with my results and eventually get a shot at No. 1 of the world. It's my biggest objective in this moment. It's something I'm aiming for. Obviously this is going to be a huge confidence boost and is going to help me in the race for No. 1. As I said, it's still not done. I still have to play well indoors."

In a first set featuring seven breaks of serve, Murray finally gained the upper hand as he broke for a 6-5 lead before closing out the opener. The Scot then broke Djokovic for a 4-3 lead in the second set and looked poised for victory as he led 5-4, 30/0.

The Djokovic fightback began in the following point. He hit a ‘tweener to claw his way back into an exchange that Murray was winning and clinched it with a drop shot. Murray had his first match point at 40/30, but a forehand winner from Djokovic thwarted the Scot. Murray then hit a forehand long on a break point for Djokovic to surrender his advantage.

A pulsating tie-break followed, with Murray squandering four more match points at 6-4, 8-7 and 10-9 before Djokovic converted his fourth set point with a forehand winner to send the contest into a deciding set.

Murray fended off a break point in the fifth game of the third set, but could not keep Djokovic at bay in the seventh game as the Belgrade native engineered a 4-3 lead. Murray saved two match points on serve down 3-5, but Djokovic converted his third opportunity to claim a memorable victory. Djokovic extended his lead over Murray to 9-7 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

"It's difficult to judge who was better because it was so close throughout the whole match," said Djokovic. "We had so many rallies in three and a half hours; for a best-of-three set match it is a very long time. Could have easily gone the other way. He was five match points up. When I faced those match points, I tried to focus on each individually. He was so close to the victory that I cannot say I was the better player."

The 25-year-old Murray was bidding to win the Shanghai title for a third year in a row and saw his perfect record at the event come to an end (12-1). The Dunblane native had beaten World No. 1 Roger Federer in the semi-finals and was attempting to beat the ATP World Tour’s Top 2 at the same event for the second time this year, having also done so en route to claiming the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

"It was a disappointing one to lose," said Murray. "I've lost tougher matches than that before in the biggest events. So I'm sure I'll recover from it pretty well.

"The second set, I probably played a little bit better. But he came up, served very well on the match points. The one match point I had on my serve, he hit the forehand onto the edge of the line. On the game where I served for the match, he also came up with some good shots.

"It's not like I threw the match away. I didn't make any real glaring errors or anything. When I had my chances, he just served very well and hit a couple of lines when he needed to.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:26 AM   #201
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VIENNA 2012
World No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro strengthened his bid to qualify for the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday, defeating qualifier Grega Zemlja 7-5, 6-3 to capture the Erste Bank Open title in Vienna.

“I’m so happy. It’s important to have a good end of the year,” said del Potro. “I’m looking forward to keep improving, keep playing well at the same level as I had here. I also look forward to London. I’m looking better to qualify there. We have two big tournaments coming next week. They have the chance to get points also, so it will be very interesting to see how we are going.”

Del Potro entered the tournament at No. 7 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race to London. He is aiming to return to the season finale at The O2 for the first time since 2009, when he finished runner-up to Nikolay Davydenko. Del Potro celebrates his third trophy of the season, following triumphs in Marseille (d. Llodra) and Estoril (d. Gasquet). The 2011 Vienna finalist takes home €87,870 and 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points.

Zemlja was looking to win his first ATP World Tour title in his debut tour-level title match. The 70th-ranked qualifier enjoyed a surprise run to the final, notching his first Top 20 win in an upset over No. 3 seed Tommy Haas in the quarter-finals and following it up with his maiden Top 10 victory over ninth-ranked Janko Tipsarevic, the second seed, in the semi-finals. Zemlja earned €46,280 and 150 points.

“I am satisfied with the way I played. I did my best,” said Zemlja. “I felt I played really well the first seven games. Maybe I wasn’t serving my best, but I was fighting till the end. I think Juan played really well from 4-4 (in the first set), to 3-0 (in the second set). He was serving really good.

“I’m happy with how I played all week. I just have to continue with that. Also, I still have two Challengers to play at the end of the year. I have to get motivated to play the same level as I did here.”

In a tense opening to the final, both players struggled to hold serve. Del Potro led 40/0 in the first game, but the Slovenian No. 1 created a break point opportunity. Del Potro wiped it away to hold. In the fifth game, the Slovenian No. 1 broke the Argentine to become the first player to win a game on del Potro’s serve in the tournament. Zemlja took a 4-2 lead, before London contender del Potro found his rhythm to fight back to 4-4. Del Potro saved three break points in the ninth game. Zemlja cracked at 5-6, when he lost the first three points. Del Potro clinched the first set in 64 minutes.

From there, del Potro never looked back, beginning the second set with a routine service hold and an immediate break of serve. He finished the one-hour-and-41-minute contest with 10 aces and won 82 per cent of his first serve points. Del Potro did not face a break point in the second set.

“I didn’t have a very good start to the match. I made a lot of errors and I was nervous because it was a final,” del Potro said. “I tried to find a way to play aggressive. In the second set, I broke early and that gave me confidence to play the final like I was expected. I was a little lucky to survive from 2-4 down in the first set.”
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:26 AM   #202
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STOCKHOLM 2012
Czech Tomas Berdych took a big stride on Sunday in improving his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

"London is always a goal every season," said Berdych on his bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. "You have to play well the whole year to qualify. It will be special for me, if I make it for the third year in a row. I then hope to do well for Czech Republic in the Davis Cup final at home."

The second seed beat top-seeded Frenchman and fellow London contender Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 29 minutes to capture the If Stockholm Open title.

The last Czech to win the title was Ivan Lendl in 1989 (d. Gustafsson). It was the first time the top two seeds contested the Stockholm final since 1991, when No. 2 Boris Becker beat No. 1 Stefan Edberg in five sets.

Berdych won his eighth ATP World Tour title in his 16th final. He received a cheque for €87,870 and earned 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points. Tsonga, who dropped to 9-7 lifetime in finals, picked up €46,280 and 150 points.

Tsonga saved two match points at 4-5, 15/40 in the deciding set, but Berdych made it third time lucky to improve to 6-11 this year against Top 10 opponents with his second ATP World Tour title of the year (also Montpellier). He held 40 of his 43 service games during the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tournament.

"It feels pretty good to have won a second title this season," said Berdych. "When I was 2-4 down in the second set, I remained positive and focused on my game. Against Jo you have to stay positive until the last point. I am happy that I was able to turnaround the match and that’s what makes this title special."

Tsonga, who was making his tournament debut this week, dropped to 2-2 in title matches and to 53-20 this year. Berdych, who also beat Tsonga in the recent Shanghai Rolex Masters quarter-finals, improved to a 57-19 season mark.

"I feel bad, because it was a good final and a close score," said Tsonga. "I think we played a great match and had many opportunities, but he played well. I tried to play my best tennis today. Of course, I am trying to qualify for London, I am not there yet and I need to earn more points."

Berdych is No. 6 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London and Tsonga is at No. 8. Only three singles berths remain up for grabs at the season-ending championship, to be held at The O2 in London, from 5-12 November. Juan Martin del Potro, the No. 7-ranked player, won the Erste Bank Open title in Vienna earlier today.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:27 AM   #203
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MOSCOW 2012
Italian Andreas Seppi clinched his third ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Kremlin Cup.

The second seed defeated fourth-seeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 in two hours and 13 minutes. It was the first time in the 23-year history of the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tournament in Moscow that an Italian and Brazilian had reached the final.

"It is very special to win this title as I remember Yevgeny [Kafelnikov] winning so many times here and he was my idol growing up,” said Seppi. "I saw him a few times this week but I was too shy to ask him anything.

"It has been a great season for me, winning titles is so special, now I have won on all surfaces and that means a lot."

Seppi, who also won the Serbia Open 2012 title at Belgrade (d. Paire) in May, received a cheque for $121,500 in prize money and earned 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points. Bellucci, who lifted the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad trophy (d. Tipsarevic) in July, picked up $64,000 and 150 points.

Seppi is the first Italian to win two ATP World Tour titles in a season since Davide Sanguinetti in 2002 (Milan, Delray Beach). He will be at around No. 22 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on Monday.

In the pair’s third meeting, the 24-year-old Bellucci broke serve for a 3-1 lead and went onto wrap up the first set in 31 minutes, having hit eight aces and won 21 of his 28 service points. Seppi had lost just five of his 19 points.

Bellucci appeared on course for the title when he broke for a 4-2 lead, but at 4-5 Seppi converted the first of his seven break point opportunities in the match. Bellucci, who beat Seppi in straight sets at 2011 Roland Garros, broke back to 30 only to lose his own serve to love when he served for the title for a second time. In the tie-break, Seppi overcame a mini-break and some big serves from Bellucci to level the score-line.

Seppi lost just 16 of his service points in the deciding set, converting two of six break point opportunities to improve to a 37-25 match record on the season.

"It was tough today to come back from a set and a break down," said Seppi. "He was serving very well at the beginning. I kept trying and that put some pressure on him. He could not close out when he served for the match twice and that gave me confidence. I started to play more relaxed and more aggressive."

Bellucci saved 10 of 14 break points and hit 13 aces in total, but dropped to a 25-20 season mark. He was also looking to become the first left-hander to win the Kremlin Cup title since Goran Ivanisevic (d. Kafelnikov) in 1996.

"I just did not play at the same level as I was before when I served for the match," said Bellucci. "Maybe I got too nervous. It was still a good effort from me this week, my first indoor final, it was a good match and he played well.

"I finished my semi-final at 11 o'clock last night and at 2 a.m. I was still awake. It was not easy to recover but still I almost won in two sets."
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:27 AM   #204
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VALENCIA 2012
David Ferrer continued his remarkable year by capturing a career-high sixth ATP World Tour title on Sunday, when he won his third Valencia Open 500 trophy.

The top seed added to his 2008 (d. Almagro) and 2010 (d. Granollers) titles with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine in one hour and 49 minutes.

Ferrer celebrated by hugging his great friend Juan Carlos Ferrero, who he partnered to the doubles semi-finals this week. He has now won the same number of titles in 2012 as Roger Federer.

"It's always very difficult to play at home," said Ferrer. "I knew it would be more difficult to win the title again. He's a very talented opponent. I played aggressively and it went well for me. I want to dedicate the victory to Juan Carlos Ferrero on his farewell. He has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a player."

Ferrer, who improved to 17-15 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals, received €342,850 in prize money and 500 South African Airways ATP Ranking points, while Dolgopolov picked up €154,570 and 300 points. Dolgopolov is now 2-2 in title matches.

Ferrer got off to a strong start, creating break point opportunities in all three of Dolgopolov’s service games at the start of the final. Ferrer broke serve in the fourth and sixth games, finishing the set in 34 minutes, having won 19 of his 28 service points.

Dolgopolov, who is travelling without a coach, opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set, which he won in 30 minutes to set up a tense decider. At 3-3, Ferrer managed to recover from 15/40 to hold serve and broke Dolgopolov to 30 at 5-4 to record his 67th match win of 2012 (67-14).

"I couldn't take advantage of my opportunities in the third set," said Dolgopolov. "He took his chances and broke my serve with new balls. I'm happy to have reached the final, but maybe today I played worse. I enjoyed the tournament a lot."

Dolgopolov, who won 65 per cent of his service points and hit six aces, was appearing in his third ATP World Tour final of the season. A winner of the Citi Open at Washington (d. Haas) in August and runner-up at the Brisbane International (l. to Murray) in January, Dolgopolov is 34-24 on the year.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:28 AM   #205
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Default Re: ATP Finals

BASEL 2012
Juan Martin del Potro captured his fourth ATP World Tour title of the season on Sunday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. He is the first Argentinean to lift the trophy since Guillermo Coria in 2003.

Second seed del Potro defeated the top seed and hometown favourite Roger Federer, a five-time titlist, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) in two hours and 45 minutes to add to his Erste Bank Open title (d. Zemlja), which he won seven days ago in Vienna.

"It was an unbelievable final, the match was really close," said del Potro. "After six losses, it was a big win for me. I was fighting all the time. I got lucky in the end, but I felt that I played a really good match.

"I was focused on my defensive game, keeping the ball in play and building my confidence in order to break his serve. It was tough for both of us. I want to enjoy this title, then get ready to play in Paris and London."

The 24-year-old del Potro beat Federer for the first time since November 2009 at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and is now 3-13 lifetime against the World No. 1, who drops to 76-33 in finals.

Del Potro received a cheque for €337,900 and earned 500 South African Airways ATP Ranking points, while fellow Barclays ATP World Tour Finals qualifier Federer picked up €152,350 and 300 points for finishing runner-up in his ninth Basel final (5-4 overall).

Federer was looking to capture his 77th title, which would have drawn him level at No. 3 in the Open Era titles list with John McEnroe. Federer has won 875 matches during his career (also level with McEnroe).

Del Potro won 20 of his 25 service points and hit four aces in his first five service games. He broke Federer to 15 for a 3-2 lead that he maintained to win the 35-minute opener.

Del Potro continued to serve well in the second set and could have taken a 6-5 lead, if he had broken Federer at advantage in the 12th game, but the set was decided on a tie-break. Federer won four straight points from 1-1 and went onto wrap up the 64-minute set to level the score-line at one-set apiece.

Federer could not convert two break points at 2-1 and one point at 3-3 in the deciding set. In the tie-break, del Potro took a 4-2 lead and went onto improve to an ATP World Tour-best 17-1 record indoors this year. He is now 6-12 this year against Top 10 players in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.

"I thought overall I played pretty good," said Federer. "He got off to a bit of a better start, but it was close. He served well at the beginning, which made him the better player in the first set. The second set was close. He didn’t play a very good tie-break and then I had my chances early on in the third. I couldn’t break, despite doing the right things, but then I didn’t play a good tie-break myself.

"He has been playing really well this season. I have played him seven times. Every time, I can see he is extremely tough. He has been making the right improvements throughout the year. He is, basically, right there again."

Federer has a 69-10 match record on the season, highlighted by six titles including Wimbledon (d. Murray). Del Potro is now 13-5 in tour-level finals and improves to a career-best 62-14 season mark.

Despite his loss in the final, Federer continued the tradition of serving up pizza to ball boys after the doubles title match ended.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:29 AM   #206
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PARIS INDOORS 2012
World No. 5 David Ferrer won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Masters as he ended qualifier Jerzy Janowicz’s giant-killing run with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in Paris-Bercy.

The 30-year-old Ferrer is the first player outside the Top 4 to win a Masters 1000 title since Robin Soderling defeated Gael Monfils two years ago in the Paris final. Ferrer had previously finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the finals of the Internazional BNL d’Italia in Rome in 2010 and the 2011 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, and to Andy Murray at the 2011 Shanghai Rolex Masters. Going into the final, he had recorded the most match wins at Masters 1000 level (123) without winning a trophy.

Ferrer now goes into next week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on the back of successive ATP World Tour titles, having triumphed last week at his hometown tournament, the Valencia Open 500 (d. Dolgopolov). The Spaniard has won an ATP World Tour-best seven titles this season and compiled a 72-14 match record.

"It was a dream for me to win here in Paris-Bercy," said Ferrer. "I had never won a Masters 1000 [title], and I took my chance, because it was not Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. I played very good these [past] two weeks. It is very important because it was the best season of my career, and I will try to improve my game."

Ferrer received 1,000 South African Airways ATP Rankings points and €479,000 in prize money, while Janowicz earned 600 ranking points and €234,865.

World No. 69 Janowicz missed the chance to break Ferrer in the ninth game and the Spaniard was quick to take advantage of his opportunity in the following game, claiming the first set as Janowicz overhit a forehand.

Breaks were exchanged at the start of the second set, with Janowicz mounting a short-lived fightback to lead 2-1. Ferrer broke decisively in the sixth game, having fended off two break point chances in the previous game, and went onto close out victory in 87 minutes.

The 21-year-old Janowicz had come through two qualifying matches before ousting five Top 20 players to reach the final (including two Top 10 wins over No. 3 Andy Murray and No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic). He was the first Polish player to contest an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and the first qualifier to reach a final at this level since Guillermo Canas at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami in 2007.

Having started the year at No. 221 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, Janowicz is set to crack the Top 30 at around No. 26 on Monday.

"This was his fifth match; this was my eighth match. I was really tired. I was actually exhausted almost," admitted Janowicz. "I'm only human, and I'm still happy about this final. David played today really good tennis. It was good enough to beat me today. He's a really experienced guy. He didn't get nervous."

"I’ve got a lot of confidence right now. I learned if you have big heart and you want to do something amazing and you’re going to fight for this, you have a big chance to make it."
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:29 AM   #207
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Default Re: ATP Finals

ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2012
Novak Djokovic captured his sixth title of the season on Monday, ending another stunning year with his second Barclays ATP World Tour Finals trophy. The top seed defeated second seed and six-time champion Roger Federer 7-6(6), 7-5 in two hours and 15 minutes in London, which saw a record 263,229 spectators watch tennis at The O2.

Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, presented Djokovic the singles trophy and a cheque for $1,760,000 as an unbeaten champion in five matches this week. ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett also congratulated the two-time year-end World No. 1, who also earned 1,500 South African Airways ATP Rankings points. World No. 2 Federer, now 6-2 lifetime in finals at the season-ending championships, received $800,000 and 800 points. Djokovic now trails Federer 13-16 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. It was only the fourth time in the 43-year history of the event that the World No. 1 has met the World No. 2 for the title.

“It's very satisfying for my team and myself to conclude this fantastic season with a [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals win,” said Djokovic. “I never got to the finals of this tournament in London. The furthest I got is semi-finals a couple years ago where I lost straight sets to Roger. I wasn't really feeling this surface very well in past couple of years. But this year has been different. I got motivated, got a little bit more physically fresh. I wanted really to fight and I really wanted to get as far as I can in this tournament. Winning all the matches I played makes it even more special.”

The 25-year-old Djokovic is the ninth player to win the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at least twice. He beat Nikolay Davydenko for the 2008 title in 2008, when the event was held in Shanghai, China. Djokovic completes the 2012 season with a personal-best 75-12 match record. He also improved to 50-5 on hard courts and to a 24-10 mark against Top 10 opponents.

“I was playing really great tennis throughout the whole week. Tonight, whenever I needed to, to I came up with some really good shots. [i] really focus myself to get every ball back in the court. So I cannot be more thrilled than I'm feeling now.”

Wearing a regal purple-coloured shirt, Federer was relaxed and composed right from the start of the pair’s 29th meeting. Having practised with Severin Luthi, the Swiss Davis Cup captain, three hours earlier, Federer’s game was fluent as he played on the baseline to dictate the early exchanges. Djokovic, by contrast, found himself pinned in the Ad court, leaving half the court exposed. Through the first four games, Federer had hit six forehand winners, having broken Djokovic to love for a 2-0 lead.

“I was just trying to hang in there,” said Djokovic, on being 0-3 down in the first set. “It's not the first time that Roger [has] started against me so well. I've experienced before his aggression, really trying to put his mark on the match. I didn't know in which direction the match would really go, but I tried to convince myself that I would make a turnaround and I will fight."

In a seven-minute fourth game, Djokovic withstood a stern examination to stay in touch. Perspiring heavily, he conjured up the confidence and discipline to break back for 2-3, after Federer hit a backhand long at 30/40. In the eighth game, lasting nine minutes and 20 seconds, Federer committed six unforced errors, mainly on his forehand wing, and failed to convert four game points before Djokovic broke serve. Both players were deliberately engaging one another in backhand rallies as each attempted to establish their baseline dominance.

“I think there were too many [turning points] to really pinpoint one because any one of them, obviously, could have thrown the match into a different direction again in the first, and in the second, too,” admitted Federer. “More so in the first maybe because there were more twists and turns. Maybe [I have] a bit of regret because I had the lead twice, first before him.”

Federer fortuitously capitalised on a lapse in concentration to break back and the set was decided on a tie-break. Interestingly, Federer had won the first set on 20 occasions in their previous clashes. This time, Djokovic was in the ascendancy. Federer recovered from a 0-2 deficit and saved set point at 5-6 in an extraordinary rally, which saw the Swiss lunge and showcase his athletic prowess for a forehand winner, hit close to the net, past a motionless Djokovic. Federer mis-timed a backhand at 6-6 and Djokovic clinched the set in 72 minutes with his 11th winner, a forehand into space. The Serbian has never lost to Federer after winning the first set.

Federer regrouped immediately. The two-time reigning champion battled to win his fourth break point in a 14-minute opening game to the second set, as Djokovic committed five unforced errors to lose his serve. Federer won his service games was relative ease until the eighth game, when Djokovic created one break point opportunity. Although he failed to convert it, he was left to rue missing a short forehand that had bounced up off the net.

Djokovic stayed in touch and then benefitted from four straight errors, after Federer led 40/15 and two set point chances. Fired up, Djokovic screamed in celebration as he levelled at 5-5 after Federer struck a forehand long. Djokovic went onto win his third straight game as the pressure, and the crowd’s focus, shifted to Federer to remain in the match. Federer committed his 19th unforced error of the set (and 42nd of the final) at 30/30, as Djokovic gained championship point. Djokovic fired a backhand pass down the line at 30/40 and pumped his chest as a capacity 17,800 spectators erupted in applause. It was his 30th winner of the encounter. "I managed to deliver my best game when it was needed the most,” said Djokovic on the dramatic finale.

“Today we had times where we had longer rallies, we had times where we had shorter rallies,” said Federer. “Like I mentioned, I think we had some great stuff out there. It was good playing such points. I think the quality was good. I shouldn't have been broken as often as I was broken today. But then again, that obviously has something to do with Novak, as well. It was extremely close today.”

Djokovic improved to 34-19 in tour-level finals after going 5-0 in match play this week. He opened his fifth straight season-ending campaign on Monday, with a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. On Wednesday, he rallied past Andy Murray 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in their seventh meeting of year (leads 4-3) and on Friday beat Tomas Berdych 6-2, 7-6(6). In the semi-finals, he came back to defeat Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Federer, making his 11th appearance, was attempting to become the first player since Ivan Lendl to win three season-ending championship titles in a row (1985-87). The 2003-04, 2006-07, 2010-11 champion has a 42-9 tournament record. He was also looking to capture his 77th crown, which would have tied him at No. 3 with John McEnroe in the all-time title-leaders list.

This year, the 31-year-old Swiss compiled a 6-4 record in finals, including his seventh title at Wimbledon (d. Murray) and three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events. He had a 71-12 match record.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:30 AM   #208
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DAVIS CUP 2012
Radek Stepanek clinched the 100th Davis Cup final for the Czech Republic Sunday after defeating Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the decisive fifth rubber in Prague. It is the Czechs’ second Davis Cup triumph, and their first as an independent nation, having won the coveted ITF men’s team trophy for the first time under the Czechoslovakia flag in 1980 in a team led by Ivan Lendl.

David Ferrer had drawn defending champion Spain level at 2-2 after defeating Tomas Berdych in straight sets, but Stepanek held his nerve to edge Almagro 6-4, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and 52 minutes.

"I was dreaming about it my whole life and now we're standing here as Davis Cup champions, it's amazing," said Stepanek. "I had a lot of chances in the second set. I was playing very aggressive today; I wanted to be the one who was more active. Even though I lost the third set, I had no doubt about my tactics. I came on the court with a mindset that I had to stay calm, hungry and concentrated. That's what I did tremendously well today."

Playing his third match of the weekend, having crucially won the doubles rubber with Berdych in four sets on Saturday to give the Czechs a 2-1 lead, Stepanek took the opening set against Almagro with a service break in the 10th game, attacking the Spaniard’s second serve to force an error.

Almagro put Spain back in contention in the second set as he fought off three break points on his own serve before breaking Stepanek to lead 3-2. The Murcia native’s lead was short-lived, though, as Stepanek hit back to level at 4-4. Almagro went onto save three set points, one in the 10th game and two in the 12th game, but he had no answer to Stepanek’s aggression in the tie-break. The 33-year-old Czech was rampant and a backhand winner won the breaker 7-0 for a commanding two-set lead.

Stepanek squandered a 0/40 chance on Almagro’s serve at the start of the third set and was made to rue his missed opportunity as the Spaniard broke for a 4-2 lead before going onto claim the set. Stepanek quickly extinguished Spanish hopes of a comeback, though, breaking for a 3-0 in the fourth set. Almagro saved a match point with a backhand overhead in the eighth game, but Stepanek closed it out on serve as Almagro netted a backhand.

Ferrer had kept Spanish hopes alive earlier in the day by producing a masterclass to dismiss World No. 6 Berdych 6-2, 6-3, 7-5. The 30-year-old Ferrer recorded an ATP World Tour-best 76th match win of the season and remained undefeated in Davis Cup play in 2012. Spain was contesting the Davis Cup final for the fourth time in five years and was bidding to win the title for the sixth time since 2000.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:31 AM   #209
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HOPMAN CUP 2013
Spain are the Hyundai Hopman Cup 2013 champions in the event’s 25th year after defeating Serbia 2-1 in the final at the Perth Arena.

In front of 12,518 people, the Spanish duo of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Fernando Verdasco combined to defeat Ana Ivanovic and world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-5 in the mixed doubles to clinch the title. Spain has now won the Hopman Cup four times, they were also champions in 2010, 2002 and 1990.

For Medina Garrigues, there was elation at winning the title as a back injury threatened her tournament.

“It’s one of the best [wins], well I win a Roland Garros doubles it was really exciting also, but here I did not expect to get in the final and then win so I’m really happy,” said Medina Garrigues who played a key role in Spain’s victory, a sentiment shared by her on-court partner.

“I think she [played] a big part of this Hopman Cup,” said Verdasco. “She won three singles matches, unbelievable important and she play really good mixed to help me. I cannot win alone of course and like she is a really good doubles player and you can see it out there in the mixed.

“It was an unbelievable week. I enjoyed it a lot to play with her and an amazing doubles win … and one of the greatest moments of my career winning here today.”

The night started well for Serbia when Djokovic defeated Verdasco 6-4 7-5 to give Serbia the lead.

But in a tight women’s singles match, Medina Garrigues surprised the in-form Ivanovic 6-4 6-7(3) 6-2 to level the tie at 1-1. Medina Garrigues was at her defensive best, chasing down everything and forcing Ivanovic to work for every point.

The victory set up a tense mixed doubles match that would decide the winner of the mixed doubles teams event.

Spain drew first blood, breaking the Serbian duo in the third game only to be broken back the next game. But there was more to come – another two breaks for Spain and one for Serbia came as the Spaniards took the first set 6-4.

Both teams tightened their play in the second set but it was the Spaniards who looked the more convincing, their experience telling as they combined to repel the surging Serbians.

Chances to break in the second set were presented to each team, but the only break for the set came in the 11th game when the Spaniards found the combination to Ivanovic’s serve.

Medina Garrigues coolly served out the match to hand Spain the title. The win was extra sweet for her as she was part of the losing Spanish team in 2007.

“I’m really happy that I won with Fernando,” said Medina Garrigues after the match. “Without him this doubles was going to be almost impossible.”

“I think she won both balls,” joked Verdasco. “She won almost all her matches in singles and all the mixed doubles this year. You’re the winner. I don’t know what I’m doing here. It was absolutely a pleasure for me to play with her.”

The final was a fitting finale to a week that has seen 104,464 people attend the event at the new Perth Arena.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:31 AM   #210
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Default Re: ATP Finals

BRISBANE 2013
World No. 3 Andy Murray began his 2013 ATP World Tour season by winning a second-straight Brisbane International title, dispatching Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(0), 6-4 on Sunday.

Murray earned $78,800 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points while Dimitrov earned $41,540 and 150 points.

Murray, who dedicated the win to a sick friend, credited Dimitrov for playing aggressively and with a lot of variety. "He plays a lot of different shots, which is tough to play against because you're kept off balance a lot of the time," he said.

The Scot said that he was pleased to start 2013 with an ATP World Tour title, adding that the coming week of training would be important to his preparation for the year's first Grand Slam.

"I hope that the Australian Open goes a bit better for me than it did last year," mulled Murray, who lost to Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set semi-final. "I do feel more relaxed one week out from slam than I have done previously, that's for sure, so I hope that's a good sign."

Unshaken after being broken in his opening service game, which included a double fault, the top seed saved a set point at 5-6 to force a tie-break against 21 year old Dimitrov, who was bidding to become the first Bulgarian ATP World Tour title winner in the Open Era.

Murray played the perfect tie-break, claiming it 7-0 with an ace on set point.

In the second set, Murray won three successive games trailing 3-4 to seal the victory, which extended his FedEX ATP Head2Head lead over Dimitrov to 2-0.

It's the sixth time the Scot has managed a title defence and it was his 25th tour-level singles title.

Dimitrov, who began the week at No. 48 in the Emirates ATP Rankings is projected to rise to a career-high No. 39 on Monday.

The right-hander said he wasn't overwhelmed with nerves entering ATP World Tour final, and described Murray as one of the sport's best returners. "He's a top guy, so he has his rhythm, his routine on court. He pulled out some really, really good shots when he had to so I didn't feel that I was far, far from winning the set or even the match," he said.

The Bulgarian believes he needs more time on the ATP World Tour before delivering results which feature him in the final weekend of a major. “I think I still need couple of years on the tour to get stronger and be able to hang with these guys all weeks, and especially playing best of five sets,” he said.
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