December 10, 2016

Andy Murray Closes the Gap on No. 1 with Vienna Title

Tsonga Murray 8814

(October 30, 2016)Andy Murray has closed the gap in race for the No. 1 ranking when he won his third straight ATP title at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna on Sunday. The Scot beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (6)in the final for his seventh title of the year, 42nd of his career.

Murray can move into the No. 1 spot if he wins next week’s Paris Masters and Novak Djokovic doesn’t reach the final.

“I get a step closer with every win but it’s still a long way from here,” Murray said. “From two to one seems a small jump in a way but it’s the hardest one to make. To go from 100 to 50 is more spots but is a lot easier.”

“I felt like I was controlling the ball a lot better, said Murray. “I think I played my best tennis today of the tournament… Jo fought well and started playing a lot better. He was more aggressive and taking some more chances and making the shots.”

“The tie-break was really, really tight. I think it was a high-level tie-break. There wasn’t really many mistakes… The last few months have been very good.”.

“I’m really happy with my week,” Tsonga said. I played good tennis. I fought until the end, and that’s most important for me… It was nice to play five matches in a row like this. It hasn’t happened to me many times these last couple of months. For me, I think it’s great. It’s always good to play against those [top] players.”

The Scotsman now trails World No. 1 Novak Djokovic by just 415 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London heading into the final week of the ATP World Tour regular season.

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Cilic Beats Nishikori for Swiss Indoors Title

Cilic fh

(October 30, 2016) In a repeat of the 2014 US Open final, Marin Cilic beat Kei Nishikori 6-1, 7-6 (5) to win the Swiss Indoors title in Basel on Sunday.

This is the Croat’s second title of the year and 16th of his career. The world No. 12 also won the Masters title in Cincinnati. The win keeps him in last spot to qualify for the ATP Tour Finals in London.

 

“Today on the court I had really good energy and was quite positive and motivated,” said Cilic. “There were a lot of things at stake for me and looking ahead to the [Emirates ATP] Race To London, this match can decide a lot. I was really motivated to be focused on every point. I was extremely happy and proud with how I help the energy up for those two sets.

“I’m really grateful for my team for giving me good energy and we’re looking to do more and always improve. When you have a week like this, it’s worth more and I’ll definitely enjoy this. It’s the first at the 500 level and now I have trophies from all the different categories. Next week is Paris and it’s another important week for the Race To London and to finish the season well. I hope to play well there.”
“In the second set, I was a little tight,” Nishikori said. “I had a couple set points and couldn’t convert. He played good tennis today.

“It was a good week for me, playing another final. I had some good wins. It will be important to have another good week in Paris and again in London. That will be my last goal of the year.”

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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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Berdych, Ferrer and Cilic Take ATP Titles

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

(October 25, 2015) Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Marin Cilic won singles titles on the ATP World Tour this week.

Tomas Berdych claimed the Stockholm Open for a third time besting American Jack Sock 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the final. Bedych came back from a break down in the first set.

It’s Berdych’s 12th ATP World Tour title. The Czech, who has already qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

“I’ve definitely built up a good history here, which always helps,” Berdych said. “The tournament does a really good job taking care of us, making us feel at home. Sometimes you find a place in the world that suits you well, and it’s the case here. I’m glad to be able to add to my titles here.”
Later in the day, Sock and Nicholas Monroe won their first team doubles title as a team against Mate Pavic and Michael Venus. For Sock, this was his third doubles title of the year.

“My goal is always to do the best I can in singles,” Sock said. Doubles I play for fun and to get some more practice during the week, so singles is definitely my priority. (Berdych) is top-five, top-seven in the world for a reason. He stays in every game.”

 

 

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

 

David Ferrer made strides to reach the ATP World Tour Finals in London next month when the Spaniard won his 26th career title coming back from a set down to beat American Steve Johnson 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to win the Erste Bank Open in Vienna on Sunday. The top seed and world No. 8 won his fifth title of the year. He won titles in Doha, Rio de Janeiro, Acapulco and Kuala Lumpur.

“It was a very tough match and difficult to beat Steve, who has a good serve and played aggressively throughout the match,” Ferrer said. “I waited for my opportunity and my experience counted. He also had his chance to win the tournament. Steve is playing very well, he’s beaten a lot of good players this week.”

“He just had a bit more experience,” said first-time ATP finalist Johnson who is ranked 47th. “I had some looks at 5-4 [in the third set], then at 5-5 he played a couple of incredible shots. I had an awesome week and am super-proud about how I played. I’m not going to be sad about this week and I look forward to the rest of the year. I have gained a lot of confidence and will work hard in the off season, because I know I can beat these guys.”
In the doubles final, first-time partners Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo came back from a set and a break down to win the final 4-6, 7-6(3) 10-6.

With the win, Melo will move up to No. 1 in the doubles rankings on November 2.

“I’m living the dream, playing three tournaments and winning 500, 1000 and 500 [Emirates ATP Rankings] points again,” Melo said. “There was a lot of pressure on my shoulders to become No. 1, this is a tough achievement. I am a really lucky guy to [soon-to-be] No. 1 with the Bryans still around.”

“It’s an amazing feeling, following surgery in May and the decision to focus solely on doubles,” Kubot said. “I couldn’t find a permanent partner this year, after I came back, so I am very happy to have won one of my favourite tournaments. I’m glad they got [ATP World Tour] 500-level status, because they really do deserve it as an indoor tournament. It’s my fourth title of the year, with my fourth different partner on four different surfaces. I am very happy to have played with Marcelo, maintaining his momentum. Our opponents had everything under control, but we took our chances and won the last point.”

 

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

In a case of what the late Hall of Fame baseball player Yogi Berra would have said, it was déjà vu all over again as Marin Cilic defended his title at the Kremlin Cup, in a repeat of last year’s final beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 – the same score as last year.

For the 2014 US Open champion, it’s his 14th career crown and his first final since last year’s Moscow final.

“Maybe the first four or five games I didn’t feel so confident, but then it got better,” said the Croatian. “I’m glad the result was repeated. Last year was emotional for me. Of course, this year’s a little different. I felt very comfortable and relaxed on the court. Perhaps the victory this year is special in the sense that it is usually more difficult to defend than to win the tournament for the first time. The Kremlin Cup has become special for me and I can’t wait to come back here again.”

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