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Old 02-07-2011, 04:39 AM   #76
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CHILE 2011

Spaniard Tommy Robredo staged a successful comeback in the Movistar Open final, preventing first-time ATP World Tour finalist Santiago Giraldo of Colombia from serving out the match before prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5) on Sunday in Santiago.

Robredo, a former World No. 5, claimed his 10th ATP World Tour title and his first since winning back-to-back crowns at Costa do Sauipe and Buenos Aires during the 2009 ‘Golden Swing’. Nine of his 10 ATP World Tour titles have come on clay courts.

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“Extremely happy about this 10th title,” said Robredo, who earned 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $68,850. “Ten is a very nice number and it feels good to lift the trophy again.”

Sixth seed Robredo came out with confidence in his 17th tour-level final, winning six straight games to go up a set and a break. Giraldo finally stemmed Robredo’s run as he recovered the service break in the second game, and broke the Spaniard two more times in the set – drawing level when Robredo double-faulted on set point.

The eighth-seeded Giraldo broke for a 3-2 lead in the third set, but failed to serve out the match as Robredo got back on serve at 5-4. Robredo was unable to convert on a break point chance at 5-all, but clinched the win in the tie-break on his second match point opportunity.

“When he served at 5-3 in the third, he started being less aggressive and put the ball more in play which allowed me to play longer and get into the court again,” said Robredo. “He was hitting really hard until then and it was really tough to put my game together.”

Robredo, 28, had dropped to a No. 40 ranking coming into this year’s Movistar Open after winning a total of 20 matches last season – his fewest since 2000. He has a 9-2 record through the first five weeks of the 2011 season, including his fourth-round run at the Australian Open (l. to Federer).

“I feel I started the year well. I am feeling great. It gives me a lot of hope to continue this way,” he said. “I think I can have the best or one of the best years in my career in 2011.”

Robredo next heads to the Brasil Open in Costa do Sauipe, where he faces Italian Fabio Fognini, whom he defeated in three sets in the Santiago semi-finals.

“The plan is now to get to Sauipe as soon as possible and to try to get used to the conditions before playing my first round,” said Robredo. “When you do well at one event it means you have less time to adapt in the next one. I hope I can do well still over there.”

World No. 54 Giraldo, who is off to a career-best 10-4 start, was looking to become the first Colombian to claim an ATP World Tour title since 1995 when Mauricio Hadad won in Bermuda.

“I am a bit disappointed as I served for the match at 5-3,” said the 23 year old. “I think my lack of experience played a part at that time. I maybe got a bit tense and it went against me. On the other hand, I am very happy about the match we played. I gave everything I had, I played with all my heart and, in the end, Tommy won the match and was the better player.

“I’ve had a great week over here and I hope to continue this way.”
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:40 AM   #77
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ZAGRAB 2011

Ivan Dodig ensured the PBZ Zagreb Indoors trophy remained in Croatian hands for the third straight year as he won his first ATP World Tour title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over eighth seed Michael Berrer in Sunday’s final at the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament.

The 26-year-old Dodig had failed to reach the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour event prior to his giant-killing run in Zagreb, which saw him beat No. 2 seed and 2006 champion Ivan Ljubicic in the quarter-finals followed by No. 3 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the semi-finals. The Croatian received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and €72,600.

“This is the best thing that can happen to a player - to play at home in front of your own crowd and win your first title," declared Dodig. "I’m really happy and enjoying the moment. It’s been amazing all week; it’s an unbelievable experience.

"I didn’t have any pressure, I just tried to concentrate on my tennis and play point by point until the last point. I think I was serving very well all week, especially on the important points. I’m really happy that my serve was working great in every match."

The unseeded Dodig made a fast start to the match, breaking serve in the second game as he clinched the opening set in 38 minutes. After saving four break points in a lengthy fourth game of the second set, Dodig then broke through in the seventh game before saving one more break point as he served out victory after one hour and 38 minutes. The Zagreb resident struck 16 aces and saved seven break points in total.

The No. 84-ranked Dodig compiled his first Top 100 (No. 88) finish on the ATP World Tour last season and was the only player to take a set off eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Australian Open this year. He improved to a 7-2 mark on the season.

Germany’s Berrer suffered disappointment in the Zagreb final for the second year in a row, having finished runner-up to Marin Cilic in his maiden ATP World Tour final last year. The 30 year old had advanced to the final without the loss of a set, including victory over fifth seed Florian Mayer in the semi-finals.

"My performance wasn’t as stable as earlier in the week and I gave him two easy breaks of serve," lamented Berrer. "I don’t think I played that good today – it was probably the worst match I played all week. But he played at a good level. He was serving like his mentor Goran [Ivanisevic]! It was difficult for me today. Whenever I had a break point he came out with some great serving.

“I’m looking forward to coming back – as they say, all good things come in three, so hopefully it will be third time lucky next year.”
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:41 AM   #78
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JOHANNESBURG 2011

Fourth seed Kevin Anderson captured his maiden ATP World Tour title at his hometown event on Sunday as he came from a set down to defeat India’s Somdev Devvarman 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg.

Afterwards, during the trophy presentation ceremony, Anderson announced he would donate R5,000 to the Save The Rhino campaign to stop the poaching of rhinos in Africa. As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament, Anderson received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $76,500.

Anderson, the top-ranked South African player on the ATP World Tour at No. 59 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, is the first player from his country to win an ATP World Tour title since Wesley Moodie triumphed at Tokyo in October 2005.

“There’s so many emotions running round right now," said Anderson. "Not only winning a tour title, but winning it here in South Africa is a great experience and memory I’ll have for the rest of my life. I’m just really thankful that I was able to come out and play here.

“Hopefully I can keep going and keep getting better. I’m going to keep working hard. There’s still a lot I want to achieve. It’s a great honour being mentioned with the Wayne Ferreiras of South African tennis; it’s definitely an exciting prospect for me."

Playing Devvarman for the second time, Anderson recovered from an early 1-3 deficit, but was broken again in the seventh game as the unseeded Indian took the first set. However, Anderson hit back in the second set with a break of serve in the sixth game before reeling off five straight games from 1-2 in the third set to wrap up victory in two hours and 19 minutes.

Afterwards, Anderson admitted that a lengthy rain delay after just three games in the first set helped to settle his nerves. "I think the rain played a little part in helping me re-focus and re-set and I really felt I came out there a different person. Even though I lost the first set, I was able to turn things around and play really good in the second and third sets."

The 24-year-old Anderson clinched his first ATP World Tour title in his second final, having finished runner-up in Las Vegas (l. to Querrey) in March 2008. The 6'8" right-hander has made a career-best start to the season, also reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane (l. to Roddick) in the first week of the year.

World No. 110 Devvarman was also bidding to win his first ATP World Tour title and dropped to a 0-2 record in finals, having also finished runner-up to Marin Cilic in Chennai two years ago. The 25 year old hit form this week, having failed to win a tour-level match in 2011 prior to his run in Johannesburg.

“I felt I was very comfortable in the first set, obviously," reflected Devvarman. "But in the middle of the second set, when I lost serve there, I think that was the turning point for sure because up till that point I felt I was more comfortable. I felt I had had more chances on his serve than he had on mine. Once you give a good player like Kevin [that] kind of confidence and advantage, it’s always tough to come back, especially with the way he serves.

“It’s disappointing that I lost, but it’s exciting because I see a lot of areas in my game that can improve. So I’m going to go back to the drawing board and try and get better."
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #79
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BRASIL OPEN 2011

Top-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro has claimed his second Brasil Open title in Costa do Sauipe to add to his 2008 victory after a close straight-sets win over Ukrainian No. 4 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6(3). The Spaniard did not face a break point and dropped only three points on his first serve in the opening set.

“The truth is that it was a beautiful final, a final that I was very happy to be part of," Almagro said. "It’s clear that the tournament is a very important one not only for me but here in all of Brasil and I’ve been lucky enough to win it twice and I will continue to try my best in the future here.”

While their head-to-head was 1-1 going into the final, Dolgopolov, of the Ukraine, had won their previous meeting in a third-set tie-break in Shanghai last year. But Almagro won their only prior meeting on clay, in the third round of Roland Garros last year. Despite the loss, Dolgopolov’s appearance in his first ATP World Tour final this week is likely to take him to a new career-high mark in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings and possibly to within the Top 30. In his last outing, he reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open.

Dolgopolov said: "I think I played well during the whole tournament, of course the final didn't go my way but Nicolas played a very good match. I'm looking forward to the next tournament and to playing here next year."

Almagro’s victory marks his eighth ATP World Tour victory, all of which have come on clay. His win also improves his record in Costa do Sauipe to 15-4 and his finals record on the ATP World Tour to 8-2. Almagro dropped just one set en route to victory, against Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela in the semi-finals.

Almagro extended his streak of winning at least one title a year to six consecutive years, dating back to his debut title in Valencia in 2006. Half of Almagro's career titles have come during the Latin American swing. His previous titles came in Acapulco in 2008-09 and in Costa Do Sauipe in 2008.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:30 PM   #80
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En route to the final, the Spaniard defeated No. 8 seed Michael Berrer and fourth seed Ernests Gulbis before saving a staggering 24 of 26 break points to oust ATP World Tour Champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. He was the first player ranked outside the Top 50 to beat Nadal since No. 106 Nicolas Mahut defeated the Mallorcan at The Queen’s Club in June 2007.As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament, Garcia-Lopez received 250 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points and $99,725 in prize money.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:43 AM   #81
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San Jose 2011

Milos Raonic became the first Canadian to win an ATP World Tour title in 16 years as he dethroned top seed and defending champion Fernando Verdasco 7-6(6), 7-6(5) Sunday at the SAP Open.

The 20-year-old Raonic, who was making just his eighth tour-level main draw appearance, earned $92,000 for winning the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament and is projected to move up to No. 59 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings on Monday.

“It’s something that came quicker than expected, but something amazing,” said Raonic, who became the youngest winner on tour since a 19-year-old Marin Cilic captured the New Haven title in 2008.

While World No. 9 Verdasco was contesting his 14th tour-level final and Raonic his first, the 84th-ranked youngster kept his composure as he faced down four set points in the opening set. He rallied from down 2-6 in the tie-break, winning six straight points to establish the lead.

“I just made one mistake with my forehand at 6-5. All the other points he played aggressive… He played good and he put all the returns in and not much I can do in that moment,” Verdasco said.

Raonic earned the only mini-break of the second set tie-break and clinched the victory on serve on his third match point.

“When it gets close it sort of just comes down to who gets it that day,” said Raonic. “It comes down to a few points and I was there for it. I sort of used up my luck today, in a way. I got out of that first set and the second set I was a little bit more confident by then. It came out the way I wanted it to.”

Raonic did not drop a set en route to the title, losing serve once in four matches, and finished the week with a tournament high 58 aces in four matches, including 13 in Sunday’s final.

The Thornhill, Ontario, resident was just four years old when Canada last celebrated an ATP World Tour champion (Rusedski in 1995 Seoul), and hoped that his success would inspire the next generation of players. “If I can keep playing like this, then [hopefully it’ll] sort of start a movement to have more televised matches tennis-wise, and help the sport grow,” he said. “I think Canada does have that athleticism and the talent to have more players at the top. “

Raonic has made the biggest jump from the year-end South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, moving from No. 156 at the start of the season to No. 84 coming into the week. He broke into the Top 100 for the first time after reaching the fourth round on his Australian Open debut, including a win over World No. 10 Mikhail Youzhny in the third round.

Reflecting on his season, Raonic said: “It’s been amazing... I came here and had probably my best week. I can’t stop smiling. I’m happy about it and I hope I can keep it going more than six weeks into the full year schedule and see where I am at the end of the year.”

With his victory over the World No. 9, Raonic joined a select group of individuals who won their first tour-level title with a victory over a Top 10 player in the final. Since 2000, only six other players had accomplished the feat: Albert Portas, Hyung-Taik Lee, Michael Llodra, Marcel Granollers, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mikhail Kukushkin.

“He has good potential and he has one of the best serves, and also on the baseline he plays so aggressive,” said Verdasco. “The moments he needs to play solid, he plays solid and I think that he can be a Top 20 player very soon. Now he’s going to be [ranked] 50-something, and it’s just the beginning of the year. He has all year to become a good player and I think he can do it.”

Verdasco, who lost 11 points on serve Sunday, was broken just once in 53 service games during the week. He dropped to a 5-9 record in tour-level finals.

The pair will meet again in the first round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, an ATP World Tour 500 tournament that gets underway Monday in Memphis.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:44 AM   #82
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Rotterdam 2011

World No. 4 Robin Soderling defended an ATP World Tour title for the first time in his career Sunday as he fought past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

The Swede, who defeated Mikhail Youzhny in last year’s final and also finished runner-up in 2008 (l. to Llodra), improved to a 14-2 event record. As winner of the first ATP World Tour 500 tennis tournament of the year, he earned 500 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and €279,500 in prize money.

Soderling won two ATP World Tour titles in the same year for the first time in 2010, also claiming his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris-Bercy, and has already matched that feat just six weeks into the 2011 season. He opened his campaign with victory at the Brisbane International (d. Roddick), before going on to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open (l. to Dolgopolov).

“I’ve had two wins and one final, it’s very good, I like it here a lot," said Soderling. "It suits my game and when you come to a place where you’ve played well before it brings out good feelings. Of course it’s tough trying to defend the title, it adds some extra pressure, but I felt good and had only positive feelings.

"I’ve had a very good start to this season. I’ve already won two titles and only lost one match in three tournaments."

Watch: Soderling Interview | Tsonga Interview

The 26-year-old Soderling has now amassed eight ATP World Tour titles from 18 tour-level finals, with six of those trophies coming indoors. It took some effort from the Swede to cross the line this week, though. He saved one match point to end a three-match losing streak against Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round and also dispatched World No. 10 Youzhny in a repeat of the 2010 final on Friday.

After a slow start, the eighth-seeded Tsonga also provided a stern test for top seed Soderling. The Frenchman struggled on serve in the first set, only winning 46 per cent of points behind his first serve, and despite rallying from a 0-3 deficit, he was broken again in the eighth game as Soderling clinched the opener.

Much improved serving from Tsonga proved to be the difference in the second set and his decision to attack Soderling in the sixth game paid dividends as he broke through to lead 4-2 before going on to level the match, having won 16 of 17 points behind his first serve.

Both players impressed on serve at the beginning of the third set, but it was Soderling who proved to have the edge when it mattered. The Swede benefitted from successive ground stroke errors from Tsonga to break serve in the eighth game before clinching victory after 83 minutes with his 12th ace.

“I had many tough matches this week," said Soderling. "I had to fight a lot for every match. I was lucky, I had the margins on my side. I think to win tournaments like this, you need to of course play well, but you need a little bit of luck as well.”

Tsonga dropped to a 0-4 record against Soderling, but felt he is going in the right direction. "Today I played better than in other matches against him," said the Frenchman. "I played a good match today. It was difficult of course because he played unbelievable, he didn’t miss many things. I had to play my best tennis to win some games and break him, so it was difficult. At the end he just played better than me."

World No. 18 Tsonga was bidding to end a 15-month title drought, with his last trophy – and last final appearance - coming in Tokyo in October 2009. The Frenchman lost a tour-level final for only the second time (5-2 record), having also finished runner-up in the 2008 Australian Open final (l. to Djokovic).

Tsonga’s results at the beginning of the 2011 ATP World Tour season have marked a welcome return to form for the 25 year old, who was sidelined for much of the second part of last season with a left knee injury. He now will turn his attentions to the Open 13 next week in Marseille, where he will join top seed Soderling.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:25 AM   #83
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Open 13 2011

World No. 4 Robin Soderling is proving nigh on unstoppable at the start of the 2011 ATP World Tour season as he clinched his third title in four tournaments with a 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-3 victory over Marin Cilic in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille.

The Swede has opened the season with a 17-1 match record, also winning titles at the Brisbane International (d. Roddick) in the first week of the season and at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Tsonga) last week. His only defeat came at the hands of Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in five sets in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

“It’s of course a very nice feeling," said Soderling. "Winning three tournaments in four tries is something I’ve never been close to before. It’s the best possible start. I’ve won many matches and only lost one, unfortunately in the fourth round in Melbourne. It’s a great start and I really hope it can continue this way."

It is the first time in his career that the 26-year-old Soderling has won three ATP World Tour titles in a season. As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament, he added a further 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points to his tally and received €93,450 in prize money.

Top seed Soderling had not dropped a set in three matches to reach the final, but found himself up against it when Cilic broke serve in the first game. While Soderling was able to fight back and level at 4-4, Cilic had the edge in the ensuing tie-break and took a one-set lead.

Soderling struck back in the second set with an early break of serve and despite relinquishing his lead midway through the set, reeled off three straight games from 3-3 to level the match. He then converted one of his three break points in the third set to clinch victory in just over two hours.

“It was tough," admitted Soderling. "I was a little bit unlucky that he broke me in the first game and then he played really well. I wasn’t aggressive enough and really let him dictate the rallies in the first set. I told myself I needed to be on top of things a little bit more and be more aggressive and it really worked; the second set was really good for me. I’m really proud the way I turned things around.”

It marked Soderling’s ninth ATP World Tour title from 19 tour-level finals. The Tibro native had finished runner-up in Marseille (l. to Hrbaty) on his debut in 2004.

World No. 28 Cilic was contesting his ninth ATP World Tour final (5-4 record) and his first since finishing runner-up in Munich (l. to Youzhny) last May. The Croatian returned to top form this week in Marseille, having won back-to-back matches only three times in the past six months.

“For a set and a half I was playing really well and in a high level; I was able to stay with him physically and dictating the game," reflected Cilic. "I was extremely happy with the performance I played. In the seventh game of the second set, when I lost serve, that changed the momentum a bit. He got a step in front of me and I was all the time behind, looking to make changes to get back in the game. He was really playing good in the second part of the match.

“I’m really pleased with this week and also the past two or three weeks, starting with the Australian Open. That shows me I’m a little bit more in the game and playing better. It’s, of course, a little bit of a relief to come to the final after almost a year. I think I played well all week. There is no reason why I should stop here.”
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:27 AM   #84
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Memphis 2011


Top seed Andy Roddick ended Milos Raonic’s courageous run at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, prevailing 7-6(7), 6-7(11), 7-5 on Sunday to claim his 30th tour-level title and third in Memphis.

World No. 8 Roddick became the third active player on the ATP World Tour to win 30 or more career singles titles, joining Roger Federer (67) and Rafael Nadal (43). He also became the eighth American-born player to accomplish the feat.

“Winning tennis tournaments I don’t ever take for granted,” he said. “I’ve won 30 of them now, but I think every one of them is just as exciting. I get just as much joy today as I did my first one.”

Both players had their share of opportunities in the two tie-breaks. Roddick, who was playing in his 50th tour-level final, clinched the first set with his eighth ace of the match after saving two set points. In the second set, Raonic fought off elimination as he faced down three match points at 6-5, 8-7 and 10-9 and converted on his fourth set point of the tie-break.

Roddick had two chances to build a 5-1 lead in the third set, but Raonic rallied to hold and then capitalised on his fifth break point in the ensuing game to get back on serve. Raonic continued his fight, saving a fourth match point at 4-5, but was unable to come up with an answer on Roddick’s next opportunity.

On a dramatic match point, Raonic stretched Roddick wide to the ad court with a penetrating inside-out forehand and proceeded to the net. Roddick replied with a searching down-the-line backhand, which Raonic did well to cover and angled away a crisp forehand volley that looked good enough to get him back to deuce. But Roddick, desperate to avoid a third consecutive tie-break with the Canadian, hustled back to the deuce court and then lunged forward into a diving down-the-line forehand pass into the open court.

Roddick was left with with a grazed right forearm, but it was a small price to pay for the return. It was a dramatic end to a dramatic final, and most likely the best championship point the tournament has ever seen.

“That’s the best shot I’ve ever hit in my life, considering the circumstance,” said Roddick. “I played a pretty good point before that. Just making the return, you get disheartened when he doesn’t miss the next ball because it’s tough to get a serve back. He had a great volley there. I don’t really remember much else besides the fact that I went for the ball, I hit it, I didn’t really think much of it. Then I heard people cheering. I was like, ‘No, there’s no way that went in.’ I guess it did.”

Raonic said: “It’s tough playing when you’re in a final, you’re playing a Top 10 player and you’re not at your best, but all you can do is fight, keep fighting and hope things turn around. Some things were unfortunate in that match and I think it’s nice that he had to come up with something that amazing to finish off the match.”

Roddick, 28, improved to a 35-7 record at this ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court tournament. He also won the title in 2002 and ’09, and was runner-up in 2003 and ’07.

The top American has now won an ATP World Tour title for 11 straight years, best among active players along with Federer. Earlier this season, Roddick finished runner-up to Robin Soderling at the Brisbane International.

Raonic, who was making just his ninth tour-level main draw appearance, was contesting his second final in as many weeks. The 20-year-old Canadian had won the SAP Open title last Sunday with victory over World No. 9 Fernando Verdasco. He beat Verdasco again in the first round this week.

With a total of 32 aces in the final, Raonic set a new tournament record of 129 aces, surpassing Mark Philippoussis’ mark of 106 in 2001. He hit a career and tournament-high 38 aces in his win against Radek Stepanek on Thursday. He had reached the final by winning four straight three-set matches, including third set tie-break wins over Verdasco and Stepanek.

“He’s as exciting of a talent as we’ve seen in a while,” said Roddick. “The good thing for him is he’s going to be able to learn on the job because that serve is going to win him a lot of matches, even if he goes up and down with the rest of his play. It’s one of the bigger serves I’ve seen. I still think he can learn a lot about playing the game, but it won’t surprise me if he’s Top 10 sooner rather than later.”

Despite his loss, Raonic is projected to climb to No. 37 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings on Monday, making him the highest-ranked Canadian man in the history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings. Greg Rusedski was No. 41 in June 1994.

“It’s something really special and amazing,” said Raonic of his ranking. “It’s not by any means something to be too happy with because I want to keep improving that. It’s not where my goal lies. I want to keep improving, I want to keep progressing and developing and I think I can do a lot more.

“But I’m going to have a chance tomorrow when I wake up, even tonight, to have a chance to soak up everything that’s happened these past two weeks. A lot has happened, even the last six weeks, a lot has happened since the beginning of the year. I’m going to take the moments I need, take the time, think about it, learn from it, as well as use it to my advantage in the future.”

Raonic was looking to become the third player Sunday to clinch ATP World Tour titles in back-to-back weeks, after Soderling won in Marseille and Nicolas Almagro in Acapulco.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:28 AM   #85
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Buenos Aeros 2011

World No. 13 Nicolas Almagro earned his 200th tour-level match win as he captured his second ATP World Tour title in as many weeks with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Juan Ignacio Chela in the Copa Claro final on Sunday in Buenos Aires.

“It’s a very good feeling, I’m very happy after winning here and I hope it won’t just be nine titles in my career but a lot more,” said Almagro. He added about his milestone win, “It's a very high number and I hope I can keep getting to higher numbers in my career.”

The Spaniard was coming off his eighth career ATP World Tour title in Costa do Sauipe (d. Dolgopolov) last week and is on a nine-match winning streak. It is the first time in his career that he has won ATP World Tour titles in back-to-back weeks.

As winner of the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament, Almagro received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $82,800 in prize money.

All nine of Almagro’s ATP World Tour titles have come on clay courts, with five of those trophies coming during the Latin American “Golden Swing”, which incorporates four tournaments in South America during the month of February. As well as his successes this year, he also won back-to-back trophies in Acapulco in 2008-2009 and triumphed in Costa do Sauipe in 2008.

“It’s great to play the Latin American swing every year,” he said. “I’ve always had great results. When I was younger I made some semi-finals and lately I’ve won a lot of titles. I hope I can keep getting more here.”

The top seed Almagro squandered an early break advantage in the first set, but from 3-3 broke serve twice more to clinch the opener. Home favourite Chela was quick to respond, though, taking an early 2-1 break lead in the second set before breaking serve again in the ninth game to level the match. Breaks were exchanged early in the deciding set before Almagro broke decisively in the seventh game to wrap up victory in just over two hours.

“I knew it would be tough, but I was in good shape,” said Almagro. “It wasn’t easy because of the wind and we both had trouble with it. In the first set I was really aggressive, but in the second I made a few unforced errors that cost me the set. In the third I had to repeat what I did in the first set and happily I could do it to win.”

Chela said: “The key game was at 3-3 of the third set because I broke him the game before with great tennis but I couldn’t keep it up. I had to be more aggressive with my serve during the match because his is very good.”

Both Almagro and Chela had pulled double duty on Saturday, winning both their quarter-final and semi-final matches after rain had washed out the majority of play on Friday. In completing his quarter-final win over fourth seed Albert Montanes, the 31-year-old Chela earned his 300th tour-level match win.

The No. 35-ranked Chela was bidding to win his seventh ATP World Tour title and dropped to a 6-6 record in finals. He won two ATP World Tour clay-court titles last year in Houston (d. Querrey) and Bucharest (d. Andujar).

“It was a great week, I had a great level,” said Chela. “Of course I’m sad because I lost but I’m happy with the tennis I played.”
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:46 PM   #86
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This is a very interesting thread. I read all the posts and the articles helped me remember many final matches. Why did you stop king?
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:05 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yolita View Post
This is a very interesting thread. I read all the posts and the articles helped me remember many final matches. Why did you stop king?
I just go busy .I am now going to post the remaining ones Sorry for the delay
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:07 AM   #88
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Dubai 2011

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the third year in a row on Saturday as he defeated top seed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament. He became the sixth active player to win 20 tour-level titles (20-13 finals record).

The Serbian also joins four-time former champion Federer as the only players to have won three successive titles in Dubai and improved to a 15-match winning streak at the tournament. He defeated David Ferrer in the 2009 final and Mikhail Youzhny in last year’s championship match.

The 23-year-old Djokovic has been arguably the man to beat on the ATP World Tour in the past two months. Since reaching the semi-finals (l. to Federer) at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November, the Belgrade native has gone on a career-best 14-match unbeaten run. He led Serbia to victory in the Davis Cup final in December before opening the 2011 season by winning his second Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open (d. Murray).

“I have this feeling in my head, and it's really important to know for me that I can perform this well,” said Djokovic. “This match has probably been one of the best that I played this year. I want to keep it up, definitely. I feel physically well, fit, mentally motivated to do even more coming up to Indian Wells and Miami where I haven't done well in the last years.

“Any time I win against Roger it's a great success because he's such a great player. We all know how mentally strong of a player he is. To be able to win against Roger in straight sets as I did tonight is incredible, but I want to keep on going. I know that I have qualities to do even more, and that's what I want.”

Djokovic came into his 21st clash with Federer with the confidence of having beaten the Swiss just over four weeks ago in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, but it was Federer who looked in better shape ahead of the final, with Djokovic having termed his own semi-final performance against Tomas Berdych a “catastrophe”.

It was a much improved performance from Djokovic in the final, though, as he quickly signalled his intent by breaking Federer’s serve in the third game of the match. The second seed was sublime on serve throughout the opener, relinquishing just four points, and the pressure told on Federer as he succumbed again in the ninth game.

Federer, who had been guilty of too many unforced errors in the first set, stepped up and produced tighter tennis in the second set and was rewarded with a break of serve in the third game. However, the Swiss was unable to maintain his lead as Djokovic’s impressive defensive skills paid dividends and he drew an overhead error from Federer on break point in the sixth game.

From there Djokovic quickly pulled away as Federer again lapsed into inconsistency on the backhand wing. A mistake from the Swiss cost him his serve in the eighth game and Djokovic raced through his final service game to clinch victory in 71 minutes.

“I guess I rose to the occasion,” assessed Djokovic. “I was aware of the challenge that is expecting me on the court, and I was aware of the fact that I need to be on top of my game in order to beat Roger. I was serving really well, especially the first set, holding my serve except that one game when I got broken, confidently through throughout the whole match. Just the perfect performance overall.”

The 29-year-old Federer was bidding for his second ATP World Tour title of the season and the 68th of his career. He has been on a superb run of form in the past six months, winning titles at Stockholm, Basel, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Doha, and was philosophical in defeat to Djokovic.

“I think Novak played well,” he said. “[It was] obviously [a] disappointing end as well to the match. I guess you can't win them all. I played so well in Doha in the finals, in London in the finals, in Basel in the finals. I guess I had to mess one up. It's a pity, but, look, Novak played great.

“I definitely feel he's playing well. I thought he was already playing well at the end of last year. We had a couple of real close ones. This one has been one of the rather disappointing matches for me against him. I can't play great every time either. So it's been a tough one, but I'm not too disappointed. It's another final for me. I tried tonight. Just didn't really happen for me.”
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:08 AM   #89
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Acapulco 2011

Gritty Spaniard David Ferrer went 6-for-7 on break point opportunities against Nicolas Almagro to successfully defend the Abierto Mexicano Telcel title and deny his countryman’s quest to become the only player to win three of the four Golden Swing crowns in the one season.

Top-seeded Ferrer, who in last year’s Acapulco final also denied Juan Carlos Ferrero an elusive third title of the clay-court swing, won his 11th ATP World Tour tournament with a 7-6(4), 6-7(2), 6-2 win over Almagro, who came into the match on a 13-match winning streak.

"I didn't think I could win here twice in a row and I realise I am having the best season start of my career this year," said Ferrer. "I hope I can continue like that this season. Acapulco is a very special event for me, where I always received great support from the people and I will do everything possible to come back next year."

Almagro added, "I want to congratulate David, for everything he has done in the last weeks. He's been playing at an unbelievable level."

Former World No. 4 Ferrer collects $264,000 and 500 South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings points for his victory. Ferrer converted the first six break points he earned in the match but was a denied a perfect record when Almagro crushed an off-forehand that landed on the line to save a match point in the seventh game of the third set. In contrast, Almagro cashed in just four of 13 break chances.

"It was a very intense match with a lot of rallies in the first and second set; we played a lot of great points," reflected Ferrer. "In the third [set], I think I was better physically and he started making more mistakes. My error was that after coming back and winning the first set, I relaxed in the second and he started attacking a lot more.

Almagro, who won back-to-back Acapulco titles in 2008-09, collected the runner’s up purse of $122,000 after falling to an 0-6 career record against Ferrer.

"Today was a very tough match and too bad I couldn't take advantage of my lead in the first set," said Almagro. "I am disappointed right now that I couldn't close this first set, maybe things would have been different. It's been an unbelievable South American swing for me. I played nonstop for three weeks at a very high level and I know I need to be proud and happy about it. I now look forward to resting a few days at home before getting ready for Indian Wells and Miami."

Ferrer has started the season with 14 wins from 16 matches, a record that includes titles in Auckland and Acapulco, and a semi-final run at the Australian Open.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:08 AM   #90
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Delray Beach 2011

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro won the first title of his comeback, denying sixth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.

It marked the first title for the 22-year-old del Potro since the 2009 US Open, when he came from two-sets-to-one down against five-time defending champion Roger Federer to capture the Grand Slam crown.

Del Potro, playing in his first final since the championship match at the 2009 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, rallied from a 1-4 deficit to start the match. He saved five break points in the 10th game of the opening set before converting on his third set point.

“Janko had the control in the first set, but I was focused on my serve because it was only a break. If I get a break soon, maybe I can come back to fight that set, and that’s what happened,” said del Potro. “I served very bad at 5-4, he had the opportunity to break my serve, but I improved a little bit my game, my forehand started to work; that helped me to close the set.”

He broke Tipsarevic to go up 3-2 in the second set and fought off three break points in the next game. In total, he saved 10 of 11 break points faced on serve during the one-hour, 54-minute match.

“I think the key was one of 11 break points and my first serve percentage was just horrible,” said Tipsarevic. “All the factors were going my way today to win. He was playing every single match late at night with no wind, so he was not adapted to the weather. You could see that in the middle of the first set that he picked up, but it was a tough match. We played almost two hours, two sets, but I really didn’t use my chances.”

Del Potro improved to an 8-3 record in tour-level finals and to a 4-0 mark in finals on U.S. soil.

“Today was my first match in the afternoon for a month. I was playing for two weeks those tournaments, then four matches here at night, then today was my first match in the afternoon,” he said. “It was very hot and of course I felt it, but in the final, you have to think how can you win. Even if you play bad or not, you have to win the final.”

Gaining 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points for his victory, the former World No. 4 will be back in the Top 100 for the first time since November. With semi-final runs at San Jose and Memphis and his triumph in Delray Beach, he will have risen nearly 400 rankings spots from No. 484 to No. 89 in a three-week span.

Del Potro played in three tournaments last season due to a wrist injury, undergoing surgery in May. He briefly returned in the autumn, making first-round exits in Bangkok and Tokyo, and relaunched his comeback at the start of the 2011 ATP World Tour season.

“He’s a tough player, a tough competitor. He was out for long, which means he’s hungry to win tournaments and win matches,” said Tipsarevic.

The 26-year-old Serbian was attempting to win his first ATP World Tour title after runner-up finishes in 2009 at Moscow and last year in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

“It just didn’t go my way today,” he said. “I think the tactic I had was too aggressive, probably because I was afraid that maybe if I start letting him play that we would dominate the court. I just didn’t execute well. The game plan I had was good. I just didn’t play good today.”
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