July 29, 2016

With Kitzbuhel Title, Paolo Lorenzi Becomes Oldest First-Time ATP Winner

 

Paolo Lorenzi

Paolo Lorenzi

(July 23, 2016) Fourth seed and 48th ranked Paolo Lorenzi of Italy became the oldest first-time winner on the ATP World Tour beating Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-4 in Kitzbuhel on Saturday.

The Italian’s only other final came in March 2014 when he lost in Sao Paulo to Federico Delbonis. At 34 years, 7 months, he has beaten the record set by Victor Estrella Burgos in February 2015 for oldest first-time winner on the ATP World Tour. Estrella Burgos was 34 years, 6 months when he won Quito.

 

The 123rd-ranked Basilashvili made some history of his own by becoming the first player representing Georgia to reach an ATP World Tour final.

 

“I think it’s great to win an ATP World Tour trophy,” said the victor. “I don’t look at the age, so I don’t mind if it’s happening at 34.”

“Winning one trophy was a goal for this year, so it’s great for me. I hope this is not the last,” said Lorenzi. “I’m changing a lot. I need to be more aggressive and improve a lot of things, so this is just the start.”

“I couldn’t handle my nerves today,” said the 24-year-old Basilashvili. “I was very tight, very nervous. I couldn’t handle the pressure, but I think I played great this week and we’ll see for the future.”

 

“This is a present for me. I think it was a fantastic week,” said the winner. “Today I was playing really good. I am really happy with this win.”

“I think it was a great week for both of us. He’s a lot younger so he will have a lot of time for winning,”

 

Lorenzi is the first player this year to win both an ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour title, winning Challengers in Canberra and Caltanissetta.

He is the third-oldest champion this season on the ATP World Tour, behind 37-year-old Newport winner Ivo Karlovic and Quito victor 35-year-old Estrella Burgos.

 

 

 

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Wawrinka, Thiem, Garcia and Bertens Win Last French Open Warm-up Tournaments

227 Wawrinka fistpump and yell

(May 22, 2016) Defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka comes into the second major of the year by winning the Geneva Open beating Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-6(11) in the final. This is the Swiss’ 14th career title.

The Geneva title also gives Wawrinka his first career crown in Switzerland. Wawrinka had played for the singles title in Gstaad in 2005 and for the doubles title there in 2004 and 2008 but lost all three times.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to win a title in Switzerland, after all these tournaments and winning Davis Cup, said the world No. 4 and third seed at Roland Garros. “To be able to do it here in Geneva, in the event’s second year is something special. The fans were great. They made a lot of noise today.

“Marin is a great player. Of course he’s had some injury problems of late but he’s the type of player who can always step up against the best in the world. He really ramped up the pressure toward the end, with those set points, so it was nice to be able to finish off the match.”

Kiki Bertens, a qualifier beat Mariana Duque-Marino 6-2, 6-2 to win the Nuremberg tournament on Saturday. Bertens knocked out the top seed, Roberta Vinci in the second round of the German

Caroline Garcia made her country happy on Saturday beating veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 6-4, 6-1 to win the Strasbourg International for the second title of her career.

Lucic-Baroni played the final of this event 19 years ago against Steffi Graf.

In a battle between up-and-comers on the ATP tour, top seed Dominic Thiem of Austria beat German 19-year-old Alexander Zverev 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 to defend the Nice Open title for his third ATP trophy of the year.

This is Thiem’s 6th career title.

“It’s been an unbelievably great week,” Thiem said. “The first time I had to defend a title and I made it. Maybe I played better in the three matches before this, but a final is always special. You have so much to win and so much to lose. I played a solid third set and I’m really happy. My arm is a little tired, but I will be ok for Roland Garros on Monday.”

The French Open begins on Sunday.

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Almagro, Kohlschreiber and Schwartzman Win ATP Titles

Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman

(May 1, 2016) Unseeded Diego Schwartzman came back to win his first career ATP title on Sunday when he upset second seed and former top ten player Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-0 to win the Istanbul Open. Schwartzman, from Argentina rallied from 2-5 down in the second set before marching on to the victory.

It was a career week for Schwartzman, beating top seed Bernard Tomic in the second round and saving a match point in the final eight.
“It was an amazing match for me,” said the winner. “I played well and fought all match. What happened to Grigor with the cramps also happened to me in Australia this year. With my doubles final and title in singles, it’s amazing.

“I’ve practiced really hard to improve my tennis. I played all the points with 100 per cent effort and I need to. All the matches are tough, against Tomic, Dzumhur and Bagnis. I played really well.”

 “I started cramping at 5-2 in the second set, said the Bulgarian runner-up. “It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t close out the match. I have to give credit to Diego.

“I have two big events coming up and hope that I can face one of the top guys there. There will be some altitude in Madrid and I won’t have much time to get ready, but I like it there.”
AlmagroIMG_3445_AlmagroNicolas Almagro came back to beat Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win the Estoril Open on Sunday. This was Almagro’s 13th career title. All of his titles have come on clay.

This is Almagro’s first tour-level title since Nice 2012.

 

Kohlscreiber in press

Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber claimed his third Munich crown beating Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (4). The German also won titles in 2007 and 2012.

“Unbelievable. Great story the whole week,” said the champion. “Great performance. Huge final… I’m very happy and pleased with my performance.
“I think it was another great final in Munich.”

“It was a very close final, attractive for the crowd, for sure,” Thiem said. It was very painful for me but Philipp was the better player today, and he deserves to win.
“Almost every final is close because both players never give up. They want to win the title. I’ve won the last five finals… now I’ve lost one. It’s no tragedy, especially against Philipp.”

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Federico Delbonis Wins Grand Prix Hassan II for Second Career ATP World Tour Title

(April 10, 2016) Federico Delbonis defeated Borna Coric 6-2, 6-4 to win Grand Prix Hassan II for his second career ATP World Tour title on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Argentine, who was the fourth seed, did not lose a set all week in Marrakech. He adds this title to his 2014 Sao Paulo crown.

The third seed and rising star Coric, ranked at 48th in the world lost his second career final. The 19-year-old Croat lost his first final to Stan Wawrinka earlier this year in Chennai.

“I’m very happy to win again on the ATP World Tour,” Delbonis said. “I played at a great level today and it’s great to lift the trophy here. I took my chances, but it was not easy. In the end, I did my job and got the victory. This is what I work for. To win at this level, you have to be mentally focused the whole match.”

“It was a tough match for me today,” noted Coric. “I didn’t find any solutions. I had an opportunity in the second set but unfortunately I couldn’t break him. Nevertheless, I’m happy with my start in the clay season and I’m looking forward to Monte-Carlo next week.”

With the win, Federico Delbonis will return to the Top 40 of the ATP World Tour rankings.

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Nick Kyrgios Wins Open 13 for First ATP World Tour Title

 

(February 21, 2016) Nick Kyrgios captured his first career ATP World Tour title defeating fourth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the Open 13 final in Marseille on Sunday.

This was Kyrgios’ second final, he lost to Richard Gasquet in the Estoril title match last year.
The 20-year-old Australian did not lose a set or his serve during the tournament. He closed out the match with an ace. He beat three top 12 players in succession – No. 10 Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals, No. 8 Tomas Berdych in the semifinals and No. 12, the 2014 U.S. Open champion Cilic in the final.

He is the first player under of 21 to defeat two Top Ten players in consecutive matches since Juan Martin del Potro did it at the 2009 U.S. Open  when the Argentine beat Rafael Nadal in the semifinals and Roger Federer in the final.

“I played my first final last year and was looking for my first title,” Kyrgios said. “But I didn’t really expect to win this title this week after having a couple of weeks off. But from the first round I started playing really well and just gained confidence as I kept winning matches.

“I think I served really, really well again. I was serving really well all week. I didn’t get broken once. That was the main thing that was good. And I was able to put pressure on my opponents’ serves a lot when I was going through my service games really quickly.”

“I felt I was getting much closer in that second set,” said the 27-year-old Croatian finalist. “Every game was becoming a little more intense. I felt also that he was becoming a bit more frustrated, which was good for me. I had a chance at the end of the second set to get the break, but he managed to play well.

“I think he played really, really well today. He served amazing. It was difficult also from the back of the court. I think he was returning well, making a lot of returns in the first set. I didn’t adjust well enough on the balls that were coming back.

“But I’m really satisfied with the week. It’s really good moving forward and it’s important for me. Nick was playing high-level tennis in the end, but I wasn’t playing too bad either and that’s something good I can take from the match.”

Kyrgios, who is ranked No. 41 in the world will see his ranking move into the low thirties.

Related articles:

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 4 – KyrgiosGate

“The Journey Starts Today” An Interview with Nick Kyrgios

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Juan Martin del Potro Makes a Winning Return at Delray Beach; ATP Results

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

(February 16, 2016) Juan Martin del Potro made his long awaited return back to tennis on Tuesday at the Delray Beach Open, when he defeated Denis Kudla 6-1, 6-4 in a first round match on Tuesday night.

 

The 27-year-old Argentine, who won the 2009 U.S. Open is making his first appearance at a tournament since March last year, sidelined by left wrist surgery. He’s had multiple wrist surgeries since 2009. Del Potro only played two tournaments in 2015 – Sydney and Miami. The former World No. 4 is currently No. 166 in the world.

 

 

ATP World Tour 250

Delray Beach, U.S.A. (-5 hours GMT)
15-21 February 2016   Surface: Hard

 

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2016

Singles – First Round
A. Krajicek (USA) d [1] K. Anderson (RSA) 76(3) ret. (shoulder)
R. Ram (USA) d [2] B. Tomic (AUS) 76(3) 61
[5] J. Chardy (FRA) d M. Ebden (AUS) 62 61
[6] S. Johnson (USA) d J. Millman (AUS) 63 57 76(8) – saved 1 M.P.
[7] D. Young (USA) d M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 76(3) 30 ret. (leg)
S. Querrey (USA) d T. de Bakker (NED) 46 63 64
[WC] T. Smyczek (USA) d T. Fritz (USA) 63 63
[WC] J. Del Potro (ARG) d D. Kudla (USA) 61 64
[WC] N. Rubin (USA) d S. Groth (AUS) 64 46 76(6) – saved 3 M.P.
[Q] T. Ito (JPN) d [Q] D. Novikov (USA) 62 64
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d R. Berankis (LTU) 64 62
B. Becker (GER) d [Q] R. Albot (MDA) 64 61
I. Marchenko (UKR) d M. Granollers (ESP) 63 64

Doubles – First Round

O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) d R. Berankis (LTU) / A. Mannarino (FRA) 64 62
SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2016

STADIUM start 11:00 am
M. Fyrstenberg (POL) / S. Gonzalez (MEX) vs [3] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[6] S. Johnson (USA) vs B. Becker (GER)
Not Before 2:30 pm
I. Marchenko (UKR) vs R. Ram (USA)
Not Before 6:00 pm
D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [4] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs J. Millman (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am

[4] E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) vs J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Paes (IND)
[8] A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [Q] T. Ito (JPN)
O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) vs D. Kudla (USA) / D. Young (USA)
After Suitable Rest – C. Guccione (AUS) / B. Tomic (AUS) vs S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)

 

ATP World Tour 250
Marseille, France (+1 hour GMT)
15-21 February 2016   Surface: Hard

 

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2016

Singles – First Round
T. Gabashvili (RUS) d [5] G. Simon (FRA) 36 63 76(7) – saved 3 M.P.
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d F. Lopez (ESP) 63 26 76(5)
A. Kuznetsov (RUS) d L. Pouille (FRA) 76(1) 64
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 64 64
E. Gulbis (LAT) d [Q] K. De Schepper (FRA) 64 67(6) 76(2)
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) d [WC] R. Ramanathan (IND) 62 75
[WC] A. Zverev (GER) d [Q] J. Benneteau (FRA) 76(4) 75

Doubles – First Round
R. Haase (NED) / A. Qureshi (PAK) d [1] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 76(0) 76(6)
[2] M. Pavic (CRO) / M. Venus (NZL) d [PR] L. Dlouhy (CZE) / S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 61 26 10-7
A. Bury (BLR) / I. Zelenay (SVK) d [4] W. Koolhof (NED) / M. Middelkoop (NED) 63 62
J. Erlich (ISR) / C. Fleming (GBR) d [PR] T. Bednarek (POL) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 76(0) 62

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2016

COURT CENTRAL start 11:30 am
[6] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [Q] M. Zverev (GER)
Not Before 2:00 pm
N. Mahut (FRA) vs [Q] V. Millot (FRA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
[WC] Q. Halys (FRA) vs [LL] D. Guez (FRA)
Not Before 6:30 pm
[1] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
Not Before 8:30 pm
[4] M. Cilic (CRO) vs R. Haase (NED)

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm

[WC] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs M. Kowalczyk (POL) / A. Siljestrom (SWE)
Possible Court Change – [3] N. Mahut (FRA) / L. Pouille (FRA) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS) / N. Kyrgios (AUS)
R. Junaid (AUS) / J. Marray (GBR) vs A. Bury (BLR) / I. Zelenay (SVK)

ATP World Tour 500
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (-3 hour GMT)
15-21 February 2016 Surface: outdoor clay

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2016

Singles – First Round
[1] R. Nadal (ESP) d P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 61 64
[2] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [WC] N. Jarry (CHI) 63 76(3)
[5] D. Thiem (AUT) d P. Andujar (ESP) 63 64
F. Delbonis (ARG) d [6] J. Sock (USA) 75 61
[7] F. Fognini (ITA) d A. Bedene (GBR) 75 63
A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d [8] T. Bellucci (BRA) 67(3) 75 62
N. Almagro (ESP) d D. Munoz de la Nava (ESP) 61 36 64
I. Cervantes (ESP) d [Q] T. Daniel (JPN) 36 75 62
P. Cuevas (URU) d [Q] F. Bagnis (ARG) 62 60
P. Lorenzi (ITA) d M. Cecchinato (ITA) 64 36 61
[Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d J. Monaco (ARG) 52 ret. right shoulder
S. Giraldo (COL) d [Q] G. Elias (POR) 64 76(5)
D. Schwartzman (ARG) d [WC] J. Souza (BRA) 63 62
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 34 ret. left foot

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2016

QUADRA GUGA KUERTEN start 2:15 pm
ATP – [3] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [WC] T. Monteiro (BRA)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [5] D. Thiem (AUT) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)
Not Before 6:30 pm
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [2] D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – S. Giraldo (COL) vs G. Pella (ARG)

QUADRA 1 start 2:30 pm
WTA – [Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) vs F. Schiavone (ITA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [7] F. Fognini (ITA) vs [Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
ATP – [1] M. Melo (BRA) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [WC] F. De Paula (BRA) / O. Luz (BRA)
ATP – After suitable rest – A. Bedene (GBR) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs T. Bellucci (BRA) / M. Demoliner (BRA)

QUADRA 2 start 2:30 pm
WTA – [5] P. Hercog (SLO) vs [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU)
Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – S. Rogers (USA) vs V. Cepede Royg (PAR)
ATP – P. Mathieu (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [4] N. Monroe (USA) / J. Sock (USA)
ATP – After suitable rest – D. Lajovic (SRB) / D. Thiem (AUT) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR) / D. Munoz de la Nava (ESP)

QUADRA 4 start 2:30 pm
ATP – F. Delbonis (ARG) / P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs M. Gonzalez (ARG) / A. Sa (BRA)
WTA – To be finished – [1] A. Rodionova (AUS) / S. Vogt (LIE) vs B. Haddad Maia (BRA) / T. Pereira (BRA) 76(5) 00
WTA – T. Moore (GBR) / C. Perrin (SUI) vs [2] M. Erakovic (NZL) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
ATP – After suitable rest – [3] P. Cuevas (URU) / F. Fognini (ITA) vs [WC] R. Dutra Silva (BRA) / J. Souza (BRA)

QUADRA 5 start 2:30 pm
ATP – M. Daniell (NZL) / A. Sitak (NZL) vs [2] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – [Q] C. Burger (NED) vs [Q] E. Kostova (BUL)
ATP – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs [Q] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / D. Marrero (ESP)
Not Before 5:30 pm
WTA – After suitable rest – [4] V. Cepede Royg (PAR) / M. Irigoyen (ARG) vs P. Goncalves (BRA) / S. Marand (USA)

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Kei Nishikori Four-Peats at Memphis Open

nishikori memphis

(February 14, 2016) Kei Nishikori captured his fourth straight Memphis Open title on Sunday beating 18-year-old American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-4. The man from Japan now joins Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors as the only four-time winners of the event. In addition, Nishikori joins Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in winning a single tournament four times.

“It’s amazing to win four in a row,” Nishikori said. “I tried not to think about it too much this week. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure. It was a tough start again today, but I managed it better. I played better tennis as the match went on and I’m happier with the second set. I only gave him a few points on my serve in the last few games.

“We practiced five or six times the past few years in California, so I know how he plays. I never beat him before, so I was happy to beat him in a match. I tried different tactics to make him move more. He has very good reach so it’s not easy to hit winners, especially on these slow courts. I had to finish the points strong with my legs. He was tough to play.

“I felt a lot of support even here in the US against an American. A lot of Japanese came out today.”
 
“I definitely didn’t expect to get to a (ATP World Tour) final so quickly,” Fritz said. “It’s a great accomplishment to get here despite losing in the final. I had a great week and I have to be happy with the result. I have a lot of confidence moving forward. I need to get my body stronger and I can continue to play at this level.

“He started off a little tentative and was leaving some balls for me to step in and hit. He was making some mistakes, but he loosened up and started playing much better. After a couple games, the balls get heavier and are tough to put away. Kei’s such a fast player and incredible from the baseline and when I don’t have that to put the ball away, he got extremely tough.”

This is Nishikori’s 11th ATP World Tour title.

For the young American Fritz, it was a career week playing in just his third ATP tour-level event. The teenager will move into the top 100 after becoming just the fifth 18-year-old American to reach an ATP World Tour final in the past 30 years joining Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Andy Roddick, and Pete Sampras.

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Dominic Thiem Captures Argentina Open

 

(February 14, 2016) Austrian Dominic Thiem came back from a break down in the final set to beat Spain’s Nicolas Almagro of Spain 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (4) to win the Argentina Open on Sunday for his fourth ATP World Tour singles title.

Thiem reached the finals beating defending champion and 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal in semifinals, saving a match point.

“It’s the best of my titles so far because the tournament draw was so strong,” said the Austrian.

“It’s tough to stay focused and ready mentally. All the players who play here have a lot of experience. It’s something you cannot simulate. You just need to be in that situation to become strong mentally. I’m a bit older, more experienced. Even if you beat Nadal in the semis, you still want to win in the final. I didn’t think much about the victory yesterday and focused on the final today.

“You have to be aggressive against these great players. If you let them dictate, you’ll always be second best.”

The world No. 19 now has four tournament trophies, with all of his titles coming on clay courts.

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Martin Klizan Beats Gael Monfils for Rotterdam Crown

Martin+Klizan+Miami+Open+Tennis+Day+6+1qWEZ9N_z2Sl From Zimbio

(February 14, 2016) Slovak Martin Klizan did not need to save any match points, but still had to rally past fifth seed Gael Monfils 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-1 to win the Rotterdam tournament on Sunday.

The southpaw saved five match points to stun sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinals and held off three match points in his semifinal win over Nicolas Mahut.

“I cannot believe that it happened,” Klizan said. “It was my dream to be on the board with these unbelievably great players. It’s an amazing feeling. Every day I was just fighting. Most of the time I had three-hour matches every day, so the only thing I could do was fight. In the end I saved so many match points. I still cannot believe it.

“In tennis you play best-of-three or best-of-five, so there is always the chance to win the match. So I just tried to fight until the last point and it was a good option.

“This is the best result in my career so far. I’m very, very proud of it. Also in our country, maybe I can be a motivation for the young players. I’m very happy for that.”
“Martin played a very good match,” Monfils said. “I think he just played a brilliant match today, better than me, so well done to him. I had good matches, but still it’s tough to lose in the final.”

For Klizan, it’s his four ATP World Tour title. He is 4-0 in finals, also capturing St. Petersburg in 2012, Munich in 2014 and Casablanca in 2015.

Nicolas Mahut and Vasek Pospisil won their first ATP World Tour doubles title together as they defeated Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya 7-6(2), 6-4.

“It’s my second 500 title and my second time here, so I think it’s a great tournament for me,” Mahut said. “I’m really proud of the week and I’m really happy to share it with Vasek; he’s a really good guy. We were a little bit disappointed last year to lose in the first round. This year we tried again and we’re really happy to hold the trophy.”

“We played a really good match,” Pospisil added. “We didn’t make any mistakes and we didn’t give them too many looks on our service games, which was key. We were serving well and putting a lot of pressure on them. Obviously, it helps to have a great partner so I think I got lucky there as well this week! We’re thrilled we got the win today.”

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Gasquet, Estrella Burgos and Bautista Agut Win ATP Titles

Richard Gasquet

(February 7, 2016) Richard Gasquet, Victor Estrella Burgos and Roberto Bautista Agut claimed titles on the ATP World Tour on Sunday.

Gasquet defended his Open Sud de France title with a 7-5, 6-4 victory against French countryman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

“It was great for me to win another title,” said Gasquet of his 13th tournament crown. “I am very proud to win my third title here, because it was a great match against a good friend. He had nothing to lose, so it was great to win.”
estrella burgos 1

Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic defended his title in Quito, making a comeback to defeat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 at the Ecuador Open. Both of his ATP World Tour tournament victories have come on the clay courts of Quito.

“I can’t describe the feeling when I saw the last ball go out,” Estrella said. “It was an unbelievable moment, to win back-to-back in Quito. Last year I was very nervous. I could barely breathe serving on match point. This year I was much more relaxed closing out the match.

“The conditions were difficult. It was sunny and so windy. It was impossible to return [Bellucci’s] serve in the first set.”

The 34-year-old is now 10-0 in Ecuador.

“It was a difficult day,” Bellucci said. “The wind did not allow me to maintain a good level. I was dominating and I had options to win the match, but I wasted them. In the third set, I lost my rhythm on serve and he raised his level. I’m happy to have reached the final, but sad because I could have won.”

 

Roberto Bautista Agut-001

Bautista Agut defeated Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4 in 82 minutes to win the inaugural Sofia Open for his fourth career title.

 

The Spaniard Bautista Agut won the Auckland event last month.
“It is always special to win a title,” said the 18th ranked player. “I have to be happy about this start to the season, the way I play. I am enjoying to be on the court. I just can’t be happier.

“I used drop shots a lot today because he is a great defender and sometimes he stays very far from the baseline. I needed to find a way to break the rhythm and drop shots gave me a lot of points today. To beat Viktor you have to work a lot. He is a very tough opponent. He runs a lot, he makes you play a lot of balls, he defends really well. We played a lot of rallies today and I like that as a Spanish player.”

“He was playing better – more offensive, more aggressive, took more risks,” Troicki said. “He also didn’t’ miss many balls. I felt like the better I played, the better he played. I had a long match yesterday. I needed to be 100 per cent fit to win. He started the season very well. He played great the last four tournaments. So I congratulate him. He deserved the win.

“It was still a good week for me. I reached the final again in four weeks. It is a great start to the season. I hope to keep it up with the good results. That is the only way to make it to the Top 10 which is my goal. I have to achieve it this year.”

The Latin American clay-court swing will set foot in Buenos Aires with the Argentina Open next week. The top four seeds will be top seed Rafael Nadal, Spanish countryman David Ferrer, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and American John Isner is No. 4.

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