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Old 12-04-2010, 03:12 PM   #61
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St Petersburg 2010

World No. 88 Mikhail Kukushkin won his maiden ATP World Tour title in his 19th main draw tour-level event Sunday as he held his nerve to defeat top seed and home favourite Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6(2) in the final of the St. Petersburg Open.

The Kazakhstani became the fifth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, and the second in as many weeks after Serbian Viktor Troicki’s victory in Moscow last week. He is the second player from Kazakhstan to win an ATP World Tour title, following Andrey Golubev’s triumph in Hamburg in July.

"For me it’s just incredible, this feeling, because I never think that I can win a tournament right now because I was ranking around 90," said Kukushkin. "When I came here I didn’t think I can even play quarter-finals, semis here. I was just concentrating on every match.

"When I came here in the final, I know that I play against Misha Youzhny. Of course I believe in myself, but I didn’t think that I can win this title. I think right now I don’t understand what happened today. I’m in shock because I didn’t think that it’s going to happen with me, and I think I need some time to understand what happened."

Runner-up Youzhny had been hoping to turn up the heat on his London rivals by winning his third ATP World Tour title of the season. The Russian, who began the week at No. 10 in the year-to-date ATP Rankings, is bidding to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour finals for the first time.

The 22-year-old Kukushkin showed few signs of nerves in his first ATP World Tour final, racing to a one-set lead with service breaks in the fifth and ninth games. He then fought back from a break down twice in the second set before clinching victory in the tie-break after two hours and 26 minutes.

"He played at home and almost everyone in the crowd was supporting him, so of course this is giving me a lot of problems, but I’m very happy with my game and I played till the last point," said Kukushkin. "Also for me it’s the first win against a Top 10 player, and I’m so happy with that."

Kukushkin’s previous best result on the ATP World Tour had been a semi-final showing as a qualifier in Moscow last year. This year’s Bangkok quarter-finalist improved to a 17-8 match record on the season and is projected to rise to a career-high No. 58 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings.

"My next goal will be to get in the Top 50, to play good on this level, and I will try to play good in the bigger tournaments because I never played good on the Grand Slams, the Masters [1000s]," said Kukushkin. "Of course I wil try to improve my game, improve my ranking and improve my results."

The 28-year-old Youzhny dropped to a 7-10 record in ATP World Tour finals, 2-3 this season. After runner-up finishes in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) and Dubai (l. to Djokovic) in February, the Muscovite had won titles in Munich (d. Cilic) and Kuala Lumpur (d. Golubev). He had been hoping to regain the St. Petersburg Open title he had won in 2004 (d. Beck).
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #62
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Vienna 2010

World No. 12 and top seed Jurgen Melzer successfully defended his title at the Bank Austria TennisTrophy Sunday after battling to a 6-7(10), 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over lucky loser Andreas Haider-Maurer in an all-Austrian final in Vienna.

"It was a very tough match for me today," said Melzer. "He was really serving well, and then at the end he was serving for the match, I was a little lucky to get back into the match. I’m really fortunate to defend my title. I’m very happy. It’s a lot of emotions going through a match like this. Winning the title, it means a lot to me."

Victory marked Melzer’s first ATP World Tour title of the season and gave a boost to his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The left-hander, currently 11th in the year-to-date ATP Rankings, is chasing one of the three remaining berths in the elite eight-man field and earned 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points as champion of the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.

Enjoying the best season of his career on both the singles and doubles courts, Melzer, who is the only player on the ATP World Tour ranked inside the Top 15 in both singles and doubles, has already qualified for the doubles year-end championships with fellow Wimbledon champion Philipp Petzschner.

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The 29-year-old Melzer was made to work hard for his third career ATP World Tour title by the No. 157-ranked Haider-Maurer, who benefitted from the withdrawal of fifth seed Ernests Gulbis before beating Thomas Muster and second seed Marin Cilic en route to his first ATP World Tour final.

The 23-year-old Haider-Maurer saved one set point before clinching a one-set lead on his fifth opportunity in a gripping first-set tie-break. He then gave himself the chance to serve for the match at 5-4 in the second set after having broken Melzer’s serve in the first game. However, nerves affected the younger Austrian and two double faults proved costly as he allowed Melzer to break back and level the match in the subsequent tie-break.

Both players saved break points in the early stages of the final set before Melzer broke through decisively in the seventh game and went on to seal victory in two hours and 47 minutes. It was the first all-Austrian final in Vienna since 1988 when Horst Skoff beat Muster.

"I’m happy with the first final, but I was up 7-6, 5-3, I served for the match," said Haider-Maurer. "I had big chances to win this title, but it’s the first time. I was a little bit nervous. Jurgen played good in this moment, and I lost."

Melzer became the first player to win back-to-back titles in the Austrian capital since Ivan Ljubicic in 2005-2006. "Playing at home is always special," he said. "Then when you actually win a tournament it’s really nice."

Haider-Maurer was bidding to become the first lucky loser to win an ATP World Tour title since Rajeev Ram triumphed in Newport in July 2009.

Despite his runner-up finish, Haider-Maurer drew positives from his performance in Vienna. "For sure I had a dream come true because now I’m near Top 100, and this is my next goal. I can learn a lot for the future and I’m happy."
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #63
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Montpellier 2010

Third seed Gael Monfils provided Montpellier with a French champion in its inaugural edition after defeating fourth seed Ivan Ljubicic 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 Sunday to win his third career ATP World Tour title at the Open Sud de France.

The Paris native was contesting his 12th ATP World Tour final and improved to a 3-9 record after winning his first title since Metz in September 2009. He earned 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and €103,900 in prize money.

"I am so happy about this title, and it’s even more special because it is in France and in front of my crowd," said Monfils. "Today I was again very solid I think in my game, but also emotionally. I am extremely happy about the title, about my concentration throughout the week and about the level of my game. I feel I have been working on many things on and off the court and the results are now showing.

“It was a fantastic event, I really enjoyed coming to Montpellier, I felt really comfortable over here from the first day. I really hope to be able to come back next year.”

World No. 15 Monfils saved three break points and broke serve twice himself in the fourth and eighth games as he raced to a one-set lead against Ljubicic, whom he had beaten only twice in six previous meetings.

The Frenchman looked to have assumed a commanding lead in the match when he then broke serve to lead 3-1 in the second set; however Ljubicic hit back with two breaks of serve to level the encounter. Undeterred, though, Monfils reeled off five straight games at the beginning of the third set before wrapping up victory in one hour and 52 minutes.

"Today I didn’t make as many points with my serve unfortunately, which I also expected because he is a fantastic returner," reflected Ljubicic. "I think the first set was the key to the match because I had break points in almost every game and I couldn’t convert them. He started well in the second [set], but I managed somehow to come back and win the set from a break down.”

The 24-year-old Monfils improved to a 39-17 match record on the season after becoming the fourth different French player to win an ATP World Tour title this year, joining Michael Llodra, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon. He was competing in his third ATP World Tour final of the season, after runner-up efforts in Stuttgart (l. to Montanes) and Tokyo (l. to Nadal).

World No. 17 Ljubicic dropped to a 10-13 record in ATP World Tour finals, including 3-3 in France. The 31 year old was hoping to cap his best stretch of the season by winning his second ATP World Tour title of the year, having beaten Andy Roddick to win the Indian Wells trophy in March. In the past four weeks, he has reached three ATP World Tour semi-finals.

“I played a lot these past weeks, I played many matches," said Ljubicic. "I think the match against Nieminen (in the quarter-finals) took a lot out of me this week. I would have had maybe more energy today if I had won in straight sets. But I can’t be sad, it was a fantastic week for me over here.”
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:14 PM   #64
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Valencia 2010

David Ferrer scored a huge win in his bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Sunday, capturing his hometown title at the Valencia Open 500 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

Victory at the ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court tennis tournament gives Ferrer 200 points to add to his year-to-date total, which will see him leapfrog Basel semi-finalist Andy Roddick into seventh place in the year-to-date ATP Rankings going into the final tournament of the regular season at the BNP Paribas Masters. There are three places remaining in the elite eight-man field at the prestigious event, to be held 21-28 November at The O2 in London.

The 28-year-old Ferrer won his second ATP World Tour title from five finals this year, having also triumphed on clay in Acapulco (d. Ferrero) and finished runner-up in Buenos Aires (l. to Ferrero), Rome (l. to Nadal) and Beijing (l. to Djokovic). It was the ninth ATP World Tour title of Ferrer’s career, and his first at an indoor hard-court tournament.

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“This is one of the happiest days of my life. It's hard to find the words. It's very special and I'm very happy to win at home,” said a delighted Ferrer. “It's also very special for me as I have a good chance for London now as well. Even though I am not yet mathematically qualified, it gives me a lot of confidence.”

In the first all-Spanish indoor final on the ATP World Tour for 10 years, Ferrer squandered a chance to serve for the first set at 5-3, but made amends as he broke the Granollers serve again in the 12th game to seal a one-set lead. Ferrer then converted his only break point chance of the second set in the second game and went on to claim victory in one hour and 49 minutes.

“It was a very tough match today,” reflected Ferrer. “I returned very well, got one break in the second set. There were a lot of great rallies and tough points.”

The Valencia resident also captured his local title in 2008 (d. Almagro), when it was a spring clay-court event, and finished runner-up in 2005 (l. to Andreev). He has a 17-4 event record.

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Lucky loser Granollers benefitted from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s withdrawal and dropped only one set as he advanced to his second career ATP World Tour final (1-1 record). He is the second lucky loser in two weeks to reach an ATP World Tour final, following Andreas Haider-Maurer’s runner-up effort in Vienna last week, and was bidding to become the first one to win a title since Rajeev Ram in Newport in July 2009.

Currently No. 67 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, Granollers will rise to around No. 45 (just one below his career-high placing) on Monday.

“Unfortunately I lost today, but it was still a great week and I'm very happy,” said Granollers. “It was a good match, but David was very solid and he played better than me today. Still, it's been a good week and I'd like to continue like this. Getting to the final of a 500 tournament gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:15 PM   #65
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Basel 2010

World No. 2 Roger Federer won his hometown title at the Swiss Indoors Basel for a record fourth time as he avenged his 2009 final defeat to Novak Djokovic with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over the Serb in Sunday’s final.

"It’s obviously a beautiful moment. It’s always very emotional and just a good feeling; I’m very happy," said Federer. "I’ve had a great history here. I can’t believe I’ve been in the final so many times and I’ve won already four times. I couldn’t be more happy today."

Basel-born Federer captured his 65th career tour-level title, taking him to fourth place on the Open Era Singles Titles List, one ahead of American Pete Sampras. It was the Swiss No. 1’s fourth title of the season, adding to triumphs at the Australian Open (d. Murray), Cincinnati (d. Fish) and Stockholm (d. Mayer) two weeks ago. He is the third player this year to win four tour-level titles, following Rafael Nadal (7) and Sam Querrey (4).

"I have to back it up [in London] now. I’ve played three straight finals in a row; I’ve won titles back-to-back in Stockholm and Basel," said Federer. "Now I have a couple of days off and a travel day as well to get to Paris and play well there and it’s only then that the focus will really shift to London. I’d like to keep it up and play well in Paris and see how it goes from there.”

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Top seed Federer made a fast start to his 18th meeting with Djokovic and broke serve in the third game as he quickly wrapped up a one-set lead. The second-seeded Djokovic was quick to respond, though, breaking Federer’s serve for just the second time this week in the second game of the second set to level the match.

Riding an eight-match winning streak, though, the confident Federer kept his focus in the deciding set and from 1-1 won five successive games to seal victory in just under two hours. Since squandering two match points in a five-set defeat to Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals, Federer has beaten the Belgrade native twice, also in the Shanghai semi-finals, and extended his career-lead in their head-to-head series to 12-6.

"Today obviously was the most dangerous match [of the week], I was playing the best player in the tournament," reflected Federer. "I had a tough final last year, pretty similar to this one this year, but it just went my way in the third set. We always play very athletic against one another, I always think it’s really close, they can go either way, so I’m happy I won the last three of the four. I had match point [against him] at the US Open and that one hurt, but look, this one makes up for it big time."

The 29-year-old Federer improved to a 38-7 record in Basel, where he once served as a ball boy, and has won 24 of his past 25 matches at the ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court tennis tournament. He won three successive titles from 2006-2008 before finishing runner-up to Djokovic last year; he also reached the final in 2000-2001.

World No. 3 Djokovic was contesting his fourth tour-level final of the season and dropped to a 2-2 mark; he won the titles in Dubai (d. Youzhny) and Beijing (d. Ferrer) and finished runner-up to Nadal in his third Grand Slam final at the US Open.

“Overall it was a good week," reflected Djokovic. "The only thing today, which I think was bad, was the third set. I lost a little bit of balance and a little bit of focus and in a split second I was already 5-1 down and there was no way back. I’d definitely like to congratulate Roger; he was the better player today. It was a great atmosphere, it’s always a packed house here, especially the last couple of days of the tournament.

“I like playing here. I’ve had a lot of success in these two years and hopefully I’ll come back next year. It’s a great tournament and it would be a pleasure to play here in 2011.”

Both the 23-year-old Djokovic and Federer have secured their places in the eight-man field at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 21-28 November.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:16 PM   #66
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Paris Indoors 2010

Robin Soderling will go into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as one of the favourites after winning his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy Sunday with a 6-1, 7-6(1) victory over French contender Gael Monfils in the final of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris-Bercy.

Soderling received 1000 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points as champion and consequently will rise to a career-high World No. 4 on Monday, replacing Great Britain’s Andy Murray. The Tibro native is the first Swede to win one of the coveted ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies since Thomas Enqvist defeated Tim Henman in the 2000 Cincinnati final.

“It feels great,” declared two-time Roland Garros runner-up Soderling. “I don't have a very good record in finals, and especially here in Paris. I lost two finals at Roland Garros. Of course it's great to reach the final in a Grand Slam and also in a Masters 1000, but I think a final is that one match you really want to win. I'm really happy that I played well today, and now I'm here winning the title.

“When I won that last point, I just felt so happy and I felt so relieved. I really wanted to win this match so much.”

The 26-year-old Soderling endured a tough road to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and became the fifth player this year to win an ATP World Tour title after being match point down, having saved three match points against Michael Llodra in the semi-finals.

Against Monfils in the final, Soderling overcame his nerves to race to a one-set lead, only dropping six points on his serve and breaking Monfils’ serve twice in the 26-minute opener. Monfils raised his level for a more even contest in the second set, but in the decisive tie-break Soderling quickly seized the initiative and claimed victory in 77 minutes.

“I was extremely nervous before this match,” confessed Soderling. “I didn't sleep much at all last night. I really wanted to do well today, and I'm really happy the way I started the match. I came out playing really well.

“Then after the first set it was a little bit easier for me, even though he started to play a little bit better. I was a bit more relaxed and I was going for my shots. At the end I think I played a really good tie-break. I'm really happy that I played my best tennis when it really matters.”

Soderling won his second ATP World Tour title of the season and the sixth of his career. Earlier this season, he had triumphed at the indoor event in Rotterdam and reached the Roland Garros final for the second year in a row, losing out to Rafael Nadal. He also finished runner-up on clay in Barcelona and Bastad and has compiled a 56-20 match record.

World No. 14 Monfils was through to the Paris-Bercy final for the second straight year after recording one of the best wins of his career in the semi-finals by saving five match points to defeat No. 2 Roger Federer. He lost out in a third-set tie-break to Novak Djokovic last year.

"I'm in a learning process. Every time I get to a final like this something goes wrong, and this time it was the preparation. I had to rush too much," lamented Monfils. "And also, at one stage in the match I tried to change my plan. I should maybe not have done that and keep with simple things. But I like all this, because it shows that when I will finally win my first [Masters 1000] final, it means I did everything right.

"Yesterday I used up a lot of energy, and today I wasn't able to find the extra stamina that I would have needed to be more competitive."

The 24 year old was bidding to become the fifth different Frenchman to win an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title (since 1990) and dropped to a 3-10 lifetime mark in ATP World Tour finals. Two weeks ago he won his third title indoors in Montpellier (d. Ljubicic). The Paris native will likely close his season in three weeks time if he is called upon to represent France in the Davis Cup final against Serbia in Belgrade.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:17 PM   #67
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Atp World Tour Finals 2010

World No. 2 Roger Federer won his fifth title at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday when he defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in a gripping finale at The O2 in London.

The Swiss also won the coveted year-end championships in 2003 (d. Agassi) and 2004 (d. Hewitt) in Houston and again in 2006 (d. Blake) and 2007 (d. Ferrer) in Shanghai. He was also the runner-up in 2005 and has compiled a staggering 34-7 event record. He is the third player in the tournament’s 41-year history to win the title five times, joining Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.

As the undefeated champion of the world’s biggest indoor tennis tournament, Federer received 1,500 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and the maximum amount of $1,630,000 in prize money. It is the fourth time that he has been crowned the undefeated champion at the season finale, having dropped only one set this week.

It was the first time for 24 years that the Top 2 players on the ATP World Tour had contested the title match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. In 1986, No. 1 Ivan Lendl defeated No. 2 Boris Becker. Federer recorded his eighth win in 22 career meetings with Nadal (Nadal leads 14-8); he also defeated the Spaniard at the season finale in the semi-finals in 2006 and 2007. He came into the match having lost six of his past seven matches with the Spaniard.

"I always believed in a plan from start to finish," said Federer. "Like at the first match I came out and played against [David] Ferrer, I think I always stayed true to how I wanted to play. It was the same thing today. Even though I lost the second set, I'm really happy the way I stayed positive throughout the match today. I thought it was clearly a very high level. I don't know if I could have played any better, so I'm really pleased.

"It was interesting the way he played. But I stayed offensive. I knew in the long run that could be vital, which it was at the end, so I'm very happy."

Nadal was full of praise for the Swiss. "He played unbelievable," said the Spaniard. "He was unplayable I think in this first set. I just can congratulate him for his victory and another great tournament for him. He played unbelievable during all the week without losing a set, being in the final. So his level was very high. I tried my best this afternoon, but he was better than me."

Such was the excitement surrounding a Federer-Nadal finale at The O2 that the 17,500 Centre Court crowd featured many celebrities, including footballing legend Diego Maradona, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, American actor Kevin Spacey, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York.

Federer struck the first blow in the contest, breaking serve with an angled backhand winner crosscourt to lead 5-3 in the first set. After conceding the opener, Nadal fought back strongly, breaking serve in the fourth game of the second set before going on to level the match with a sliced backhand past the net-rushing Federer. The Spaniard was powerless against Federer’s brilliance in the final set, though, and the Swiss broke serve twice to seal victory in one hour and 37 minutes.

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The 29-year-old Federer came into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on a red-hot run of form that had seen him lose just two matches since squandering two match points in a five-set defeat to Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals. His 21 victories since then is the highest number of wins he has ever recorded post the US Open.

The Basel native won his fifth tour-level title of the year, and the 66th of his career. By winning his 16th Grand Slam singles crown at the Australian Open (d. Murray) in January, Federer opened and closed his season with two of the game’s biggest titles for the fourth time. He also bookended his 2004, 2006 and 2007 seasons with victories at the Australian Open and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Federer’s three other titles this season came at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati (d. Fish), the If Stockholm Open (d. Mayer) and the Swiss Indoors Basel (d. Djokovic). He closes 2010 with a 65-13 match record and will finish in the Top 2 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings for a record eighth-straight year.

The 24-year-old Nadal commented before the tournament that it would be tougher for him to win the season finale than to win a Grand Slam championship, and it proved to be the case for the left-hander, despite an unbeaten run to his first final. In the semi-finals he contested one of the best matches of the season with British favourite Andy Murray, before prevailing in a third-set tie-break.

Defeat in the final for Nadal brings the curtain down on what has been one of the finest seasons by any player in the Open Era (since 1968). The Mallorcan has won seven tour-level titles from nine finals, with his triumphs including three successive Grand Slam championships at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open, and a clean sweep of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournaments. He closes with a 71-10 match record.

The total attendance for the tournament was 253,123.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:19 PM   #68
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Davis Cup 2010

Serbia has been crowned Davis Cup champion for the first time after Viktor Troicki produced a stunning display to defeat France’s Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the deciding fifth rubber in Belgrade Sunday.

“I’m in shock, after the last shot I couldn’t believe this happened,” said Troicki on court. “I think for the next few days I’ll still feel a little bit different. Maybe in five days I’ll feel the real feeling of winning the Davis Cup. This is the most intense pressure ever in my life and to win it in front of the home crowd is the best possible way. It’s unbelievable.”

Earlier, World No. 3 Novak Djokovic had kept alive Serbia’s hopes as he defeated French No. 1 Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 to level the final at 2-2. “It was an unbelievable emotion, under the circumstances with the huge pressure, I played an amazing match,” said Djokovic. “Everything was working for me today.”

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In celebration of becoming the 13th nation to win the Davis Cup title, all of the Serbian team had their heads shaved on court prior to the trophy presentation.

“I want to congratulate my team they played very good, especially this third day, hopefully we’ll play again like this next year,” said team captain Bogdan Obradovic.

Djokovic was quick to dominate Monfils in the baseline rallies and did not relent throughout the first set, keeping the Frenchman under constant pressure and drawing inevitable errors to break serve twice and take the first set 6-2.

Monfils continued to impose himself on Djokovic from the back of the court in the second set, all too often finishing second-best in their lengthy, athletic exchanges, and the Serbian broke serve in the sixth and eighth games to take a commanding two-set lead.

Perhaps inspired by his teammates’ fight back in the doubles a day earlier, Monfils took the match to Djokovic in the third set and twice led by a break of serve. However, Djokovic channeled his frustration into aggression in his game and was able to recoup the breaks both times to lead 5-4. In the 10th game a costly double fault from Monfils gave Djokovic two match points and the Serbian converted his second as Monfils netted a backhand.

World No. 30 Troicki was then tasked with facing the in-form Llodra, who had not lost a Davis Cup rubber in 2010, including victory over Troicki in Saturday’s doubles rubber. The 24-year-old Belgrade native was unfazed, though, and made a dream start to the match, breaking serve twice to race to a one-set lead.

Llodra looked set to stage a fight back in the second set as he secured an early break of serve, but the Frenchman was exposed at the net in the following game as Troicki immediately broke back. It sparked a run of eight straight games for the Serbian, who caused endless problems for Llodra with his exceptional return of serve and passing shots throughout the match.

Troicki put his foot down in the third set and quickly established a double break advantage as Llodra double faulted on break points in the first and fifth games. The Frenchman put forward one last effort to derail Troicki, chipping and charging to great effect to recoup one of the service breaks in the sixth game.

Troicki held strong in the closing stages, though, and more impressive returning from the right-hander earned him two match points in the ninth game. He converted his second chance with a backhand cross-court return winner to clinch victory in two hours and 13 minutes.

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Old 12-04-2010, 03:24 PM   #69
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That takes care for 2010 season fro all but 2 which will be taken care of by tomorrow

Now onto the 2011 season
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:43 PM   #70
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Doha 2011

World No. 2 Roger Federer reclaimed the Qatar ExxonMobil Open trophy Saturday as he dethroned defending champion Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament in Doha.

The Swiss player captured the title for the third time, following back-to-back triumphs in 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and 2006 (d. Monfils), making him the first three-time winner in tournament history (since 1993). Victory marked 67 tour-level titles from 95 finals for the 29 year old, who received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $177,000 in prize money. It is the 11th straight year that he has won an ATP World Tour title.

Victory in Doha gives Federer the best possible preparation for the Australian Open, which begins in just over a week’s time in Melbourne. The Basel native is the defending champion in Melbourne and is looking to add to his record tally of 16 Grand Slam singles titles.

"This is important to do well here," said Federer. "I'm not just using this to get ready for the Australian Open. This is a pleasure coming to this part of the world where I actually do spend quite a bit of time, and I've always had good friends here in Qatar. I love playing here, been successful here in the past."

The second-seeded Federer has been nigh on impenetrable on serve this week, only being broken once in 42 service games to reach the final, and was just as impressive against Davydenko. The Swiss did not face a break point against the Russian and won 79 per cent of points behind his first serve.

Federer made a fast start to the match, racing to a 3-0 lead, and despite missing six set point chances on Davydenko’s in the eighth game, confidently closed out the opener on serve. Davydenko was forced to produce close to his best tennis to stay level with Federer in the second set, but his resistance crumbled in the ninth game as Federer broke to love before wrapping up victory in 79 minutes. He improved to a 23-3 event record.

"When he's on, he's easily Top 10 if not Top 5 potentially, and that's why this is obviously a huge win, because I thought he was playing well," declared Federer. "I thought the level of play was extremely high. I was very happy with, from my side, I was almost flawless, and I was able to play offensive when I needed to, and when I wanted to it all worked out. So I'm really pleased with such a great final."

“Today he was tough. Really played fast," lamented Davydenko, who dropped to a 2-15 record against Federer. "He gave me no chance on the return, and also he was returning good. His first serve was very good. My tennis is OK, really. I don't want to say I played bad today."

The 29-year-old Davydenko was bidding to complete the Federer-Nadal double to capture the Doha title for the second year in a row, having ousted World No. 1 Nadal in the semi-finals yesterday. Last year he defeated Federer in the semi-finals before saving two match points to overcome Nadal in the final and win his 20th ATP World Tour title.

Davydenko looks to have made a welcome return to form just in time for the Australian Open, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Federer) for the fourth time last year. After his strong start to the 2010 season, the Russian was sidelined for three months after fracturing his left wrist in February, and struggled to regain his best form for the remainder of the season.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:44 PM   #71
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Brisbane 2011

Top seed Robin Soderling denied Andy Roddick's quest for back-to-back titles with a 6-3, 7-5 win over the American in the Brisbane International final Sunday. The victory elevated the power-hitting Swede back to his career-high mark of No. 4 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.

“I’m playing really well and it makes me really happy," declared Soderling. "I’ve never really played well in Australia before and now finally I won a tournament playing really good tennis. It gives me a lot of confidence for Melbourne.

"I’ve had the best possible preparation I could have with five good matches here, now I’ll have a week of rest and practice in Melbourne and I’ll be more than ready to go. I know I have a chance to do really well if I play good tennis like here.”

Watch Video: Match Highlights | Interviews

Soderling won his seventh career title but just his second title outdoors. (Although the Pat Rafter arena is largely covered by a roof to shade spectators, the event is an outdoor event.)

The Swede did not face a break point in the match and won 35 of 39 first serve points. In contrast, he earned 10 break point chances on the Roddick serve, converting once in each set.

“I think I served really well and I played really well again," said Soderling. "The last two matches have been my best ones in this tournament. Today the conditions were a little tougher than the other days, it was a bit windy and the rain came on the court a little bit, but I think it was a great match."

Soderling did not drop a set en route to the title and was broken just once in the tournament (by Stepanek in the semi-finals). Last year Soderling captured two ATP World Tour titles in five finals, including his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris (d. Monfils). He now has a 7-10 career mark in finals.

Roddick, who hit 12 aces in the final for a tournament tally of 54, announced after the match that he would double the $100 he previously pledged for each ace hit to benefit Queensland flood relief efforts. Roddick will donate $10,800 to flood victims.

DEUCE: Roddick As Hungry As Ever

“He served great. Conditions were heavy and he served through it better," admitted Roddick. "I think that was the difference; I wasn’t able to get into any return games and he got into two and was able to break in those.

“I don’t think the conditions will be similar to this in Melbourne. But all you can ask for is getting in five good matches, that’s what you want after a lay-off. It didn’t go my way today, but overall I feel like I should be prepared for Melbourne.

"I felt like I hit the ball well this week, I returned pretty well. I think I could serve a little better, but if there’s one thing that I don’t worry about as much as the rest when it’s not going well it’s my serve. I feel comfortable and feel like I got what I needed out of this week.”
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:45 PM   #72
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Chennai 2011

A year on from finishing runner-up in the Aircel Chennai Open final, World No.21 Stanislas Wawrinka went one better as he won his third ATP World Tour title with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 victory over 2007 champion Xavier Malisse on Sunday.

As victor of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament, Wawrinka received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $68,450 in prize money. It was his first victory at a hard-court tournament, with his two previous titles coming on clay in Umag (2006) and Casablanca (2010).

"I'm more than happy, it was a perfect week,” declared Wawrinka. “I improved my game day after day and finished with a great match. It's amazing to have the trophy today. It's a perfect start to the year. I have one week to be ready for the Australian Open and this will give me a lot of confidence for the first Grand Slam.”

In his first meeting with the No. 60-ranked Malisse, the third-seeded Wawrinka recovered from a 2-4 deficit in the first set to win five of the next six games and clinch the opener. Malisse again earned an early break in the second set, though, and only dropped one more point on serve in the remainder of the set as he fought back to level the match.

However, the Belgian could not maintain his high serving standard in the deciding set, only making 40 per cent of first serves and surrendering 11 of 20 points. In contrast, Wawrinka won 16 of 17 points behind his delivery and broke serve in the second and sixth games to wrap up victory in two hours and 14 minutes.

"Malisse played really good and it was tough to find a solution to win because he was moving well and playing aggressively,” reflected Wawrinka. “After the second set, I could see that he got a bit tired so I tried to maintain my game. Today the key of the match was that I stayed aggressive in the third set."

"It's always disappointing when you don't win a final,” lamented Malisse. “But it's not like I played bad, he played really well. My first serve let me down a bit in the third [set]. He got more free points in the third which makes a big difference after two long sets.”

The 30-year-old Malisse was contesting his first ATP World Tour final in four years, since winning the Chennai (d. Koubek) and Delray Beach (d. Blake) titles in early 2007. The Belgian dropped to an 11-2 record in Chennai.

“I played well all week so I have to be happy,” said Malisse. “It feels really good to be back in a final after four years. I'm just happy to be healthy and to be on the court and playing well."
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:48 AM   #73
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Auckland 2011

World No. 7 David Ferrer won his 10th ATP World Tour title on the eve of the Australian Open as he halted David Nalbandian’s hot streak in Auckland with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Argentine in the final of the Heineken Open on Saturday.

Four years ago at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Auckland, the 28-year-old Ferrer won his first ATP World Tour hard-court title with victory over Tommy Robredo.

“It’s very special,” declared Ferrer. “When I won here [in 2007] it was my first hard court title and to win it for a second time four years later is special because it’s more difficult now with the pressure and expectation. I like a lot to play the second week of the season here; I like the tournament a lot, the people support me a lot.

“Of course I am with confidence after winning a tournament; the next tournament I will go in with confidence in my game and my mentality,” added the Spaniard, who faces Jarkko Nieminen in the first round of the Australian Open.

The top seeded Ferrer was strong on serve throughout the week, holding 93 per cent of his service games in the lead up to the final, and he continued that trend against Nalbandian, saving all three break points he faced. In overturning a three-match losing streak against the Argentine, Ferrer broke serve three times from five opportunities and wrapped up victory in 68 minutes.

“I think David did not have a good day,” admitted Ferrer. “He played a little bit badly in the second set. Maybe it was the key in the first set at 3-3 when I went a break up and won the set. He lost concentration. I thought I played very consistently and I did my job.”

Nalbandian added, “He played better than me. I had some chances in the beginning of the first set, but couldn’t take them. Sometimes I missed easy shots and I tried risks that didn’t work.

As champion, Ferrer received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $72,600. He improved to a 10-10 record in ATP World Tour finals, having added to his two triumphs at Acapulco and Valencia in 2010.

World No. 27 Nalbandian had not dropped a set on an impressive run through to the final, which included the dismissal of second seed Nicolas Almagro in the semi-finals. The 29-year-old Argentine, who was bidding for his 12th ATP World Tour title, will face Lleyton Hewitt in a blockbuster first round at the Australian Open.

“I think it was a very good week,” reflected Nalbandian. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you play good and lose, sometimes you play bad and win. Sport is like that. Today I lost. I will try to play better every day.”
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:49 AM   #74
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Sydney 2011

World No. 41 Gilles Simon won his eighth ATP World Tour title as he defeated Serbian Viktor Troicki 7-5, 7-6(4) Saturday to win the Medibank International Sydney.

Simon was contesting his first ATP World Tour final in Australia and improved to an 8-2 finals record. He is the first French winner in Sydney since Guy Forget lifted the trophy in 1991 (d. Stich).

“It's always good to win the tournament,” said Simon. “I mean, you never know if you're going to win more after, so I enjoy it every time. It's nice also for me to win here, to win some different tournaments. It's a tournament I like to play.”

Watch Simon Interview

The 26 year old raced to victory at the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament without the loss of a set, including victory over No. 3 seed Ernests Gulbis in the semi-finals. He received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $77,000 in prize money.

Having only returned from a right knee injury in mid-June last season, former World No. 6 Simon was pleased with his improved form.

“In tennis it's always a matter of confidence,” said the Frenchman. “I could see tonight I was playing very nice tennis, but I played some bad games at the beginning of the second set. I wasn't doing it two years ago. I think it will come back with the match and with the victory. So that's why it's very good to win here.”

Breaks were exchanged early in the first set before Simon earned four set points on Troicki’s serve in the 10th game. The fourth-seeded Troicki managed to pull through his service game, but his resistance crumbled in the 12th game as Simon converted his sixth set point to win the opener.

Troicki raced to a 3-0 double break lead in the second set. He could not maintain his advantage, though, as Simon reeled off four straight games. Troicki broke again in the 11th game to serve for the set, but Simon again fought back to level and the Frenchman clinched victory in the deciding tie-break in just under two hours.

“We were playing very nice tennis from the baseline, and it was a real fight,” reflected Simon. “I'm just happy to win it, because Viktor is playing better and better week after week. That's very good for me to be feeling now, because I know that he's playing good and I know that I'm able to defeat him even when he's playing good. So it's good for my confidence.”

Victory for Simon marked five wins out of five for the Frenchman against Troicki and went some way to avenging France’s loss to Serbia in the Davis Cup final last month, when Troicki won the deciding fifth rubber against Michael Llodra.

Simon goes into the Australian Open unseeded and will face Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round, with a likely meeting with defending champion Roger Federer in the second round.

The No. 30-ranked Troicki was chasing his second ATP World Tour title from his fourth final; he won his maiden crown in Moscow (d. Baghdatis) last year. The Belgrade native, who opened the season with a quarter-final showing in Doha (l. to Federer), will face Russian Dmitry Tursunov in the first round in Melbourne and could test World No. 3 and countryman Novak Djokovic in the third round.

“Right now I feel bit disappointed, but definitely it was a good week,” admitted Troicki. “Also a good match tonight. I feel I had a lot of chances that I didn't use, and obviously Gilles doesn't suit my game. For the past five matches already I haven't been able to figure out how to win a set.

“I hope I continue to play good in Melbourne. I play my first round already on Monday. I hope I get ready for that match.”
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:33 AM   #75
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2011

ATP World Tour No. 3 Novak Djokovic captured his second Grand Slam championship trophy on Sunday evening in Melbourne as he produced a devastating display to beat Great Britain’s Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in the Australian Open final.

"[Winning a] Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title. I'm living the dream of a tennis player, definitely," declared Djokovic. "I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before. To be able to win in straight sets against a player like Andy Murray in the finals of Grand Slam, it makes my success even bigger."

The 23-year-old Serbian won his first major title three years ago when he defeated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Melbourne. He is the 13th man in the Open Era to win multiple Australian Open titles.

Djokovic improved to a 2-2 record in Grand Slam finals. Prior to both his Australian Open triumphs he had finished runner-up at the US Open, losing out to Roger Federer in his first major final in 2007 and falling to Rafael Nadal last year.

Defeat for Murray marked his third defeat in three Grand Slam finals. The 23-year-old Scot was beaten by Federer in the 2008 US Open final and fell again to the Swiss in the championship match at Melbourne Park last year. The Dunblane native was bidding to become the first British male to win a Grand Slam championship since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Open.

How The Final Was Won

Reaction: Murray Vows To Keep Working Hard

Reaction: Djokovic Eager For More Success

"It's better than it was last year," said Murray on his feelings after the match. "It was obviously tough, disappointing. I thought Novak played unbelievably well. It's tough, but got to deal with it. Anyone who played in three finals would have loved to have won one. But I haven't. I just need to keep working hard and try and do it."

Speaking about Murray, whom he has known since they were teenagers, Djokovic commented, "I really have big respect for him and his game, because I think he has everything what it takes to become a Grand Slam champion. I'm sure that very soon he will be."

After reaching the US Open final in September, and saving two match points to beat Federer in the semi-finals in New York, Djokovic went on to have a strong finish to the 2010 ATP World Tour season, highlighted by leading Serbia to victory in the Davis Cup final.

Riding that wave of confidence, the Belgrade native has torn through the Australian Open draw over the past fortnight, dropping only one set en route to the title, including a straight-sets dismissal of Federer in the semi-finals. Djokovic has now won 19 tour-level titles, with 15 of those trophies coming on hard court – the fourth most hard-court titles among active players.

Watch Highlights | Watch Interviews

"This was a great match. From the start to the last point, I did what I intended of doing tactically, what I talked with my coach, what I prepared for," said Djokovic "It's the best way that I could ask for to start a season. Both of those guys [Federer and Murray] play their best tennis on the hard courts, as well as I do. But to be able to win against those players in straight sets is incredible.

"During this tournament I was feeling great on the court," added the Serb. "The Davis Cup win may have a big role in my great performance here in this tournament. After we won Davis Cup title I was feeling great on the court, just eager to compete."

Murray had impressed on his route through the draw, not dropping a set until the quarter-finals and battling past World No. 7 David Ferrer in the semi-finals. However, the Scot was hindered by committing 47 unforced errors in his eighth meeting with Djokovic, and, in turn, the Serb produced a blistering display as he dominated the baseline rallies and broke serve seven times from 18 opportunities to prevail in two hours and 39 minutes.

"I would have liked to have played better," confessed Murray. "But I think he would have beaten every other player on the tour if he played like that tonight. He served well. He didn't make many mistakes from the back of the court. He moved really, really well. He hit the ball very clean.

"I look at the tournament as a whole, it was excellent. I don't think anyone would say that reaching a slam final is a bad achievement. It's a very, very good achievement. I'll be very happy with the way the tournament went. But I would have obviously liked to have gone one step further."
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