2014/10/23

Guillermo Garcia-López Captures Casablanca Tennis Title

Garcia-Lopez

By Florian Heer

(April 13, 2014) CASABLANCA – Before the final had started on Sunday, it was clear that a new Grand Prix Hassan II champion will be crowned in Casablanca when the all-Spanish-affair took place between first-time finalists Marcel Granollers and Guillermo Garcia-López. It was the second time in three years that two Spaniards have faced off in the final here, after Pablo Andújar defeated Albert Ramos in 2012. The last meeting between the two players also took place in Casablanca back in 2010 with the better outcome for Garcia-López winning in straight sets.

In Sunday’s encounter, it was the 27-year-old from Barcelona having the better start. In front of an almost fully packed Centre Court, Granollers broke in the 11th game of the opening set to take it after 66 minutes.

In the second set, the quality of the match improved and the often noisy crowd heated up the atmosphere under the Moroccan sun. Garcia-Lópzez, who lost his focus due to some unsettled spectators for only a short time, gained the decisive break in the tenth game to take the match the distance.

The 30-year-old also had the better start into the final set, capitalized on his first break point opportunity and just played more consistent than his opponent. Garcia-López served the match out in the ninth game winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to capture his third ATP career title after two hours and 38 minutes.

“Of course I’m very happy today,” the winner stated afterwards. “I know Marcel very well. We practice together a lot of times, so we have known each other’s games for a long time. The match was very close all the time. We also had to face a couple of interruptions by the crowd, so the match was also very long and not easy to play for us,” Garcia-López said. “To play aggressively and concentrated was the key to success today. I will gain confidence from this win, as last year I played two finals and wasn’t able to seal victory. Today was a big step for me,” the Spaniard concluded.

His fellow countryman was understandably disappointed. “I think it was a tough match for both of us,” Granollers said. “I played solid until the middle of the second set, but then I had a couple of bad games. Guillermo, however, played a good match and he deserved to win,” Granollers said accepting defeat.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Novak Djokovic Crushes Marcel Granollers to Move into US Open Quarterfinals

Djokovic wins 89

(September 3, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 1 Novak Djokovic needed only 79 minutes to dismiss Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 to move into the quarterfinals on Tuesday at the US Open. Djokovic has now reached his 18th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Djokovic captured the last 13 games of the match and did not lose a point on his serve in the first set.

“Well, when you play against No. 1 of the world, is difficult match, no?,” Granollers said.  “I think he play very good.  I didn’t play of course a great match.”

The Spaniard Granollers, ranked 43rd in the world, entered the match having played three straight five set matches.

“Had some great matches in the past that I can compare with this one today, but, you know, definitely today, second and third set have been, you know, some of the best tennis that I’ve played on Arthur Ashe in my career,” said the Serbian.

“It all comes at a great time for me.  It was something I was wishing to be more aggressive as the tournament progresses and to be able to stay committed to play every point, to win every point, regardless of what’s the score.

“So I’m very happy with my mental state, how I feel physically, and the way I played.  You know, it’s definitely coming at the best possible time.”

Djokovic will play Mikhail Youzhny next.

 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises, Last US Man Tim Smyczek Beaten on Sunday at US Open

 

 

Tim Smyczek photo by JD Blom

Tim Smyczek photo by JD Blom

(September 1, 2013)FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 1 Novak Djokovic cruised to an easy 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 95 Joao Sousa or Portugal on Sunday night at the US Open.

Djokovic’s serve was broken only once, when he was serving for the match at 5-1 in the third set. Djokovic led in winners against Sousa 34-10.

Djokovic said that he’s working on his net play.

“I am not obviously as comfortable on the net as I am on the baseline, but I’ve been working on it,” said the Serb.  “It’s part of my game that I still need to improve.  I’m aware of that.

“It makes me happy that I have room for improvement, and I keep on spending hours and hours on the court and working on variety in my game.  And serve, especially that part of my game.  I want to try and get as many free points on the serve as possible.”

Djokovic moves into the round of 16 where he’ll take on Marcel Granollers of Spain who defeated the last US man left in the singles draw Tim Smyczek 6-4, 4-6, 0-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Smyczek was asked about being the last American left in the men’s singles draw.

“It was a cool feeling,” he said.  “You know, got a little taste of maybe what John (Isner) or Sam (Querrey) or Andy (Roddick) went through for so many years, or James (Blake) sometimes ‑ just a little taste.  Love to have more of it.”

With Smyczek’s loss there are no American men in the round of 16 at the US Open, the first time that has happened at a tournament that began in 1881.

“I think it’s tough being judged by just the Grand Slams,” said the American.  “’Cause if you look at it, John has had an unbelievable summer.  He won Atlanta; he finaled Cincinnati; he finaled Washington.  He just had a rough match third round against Kohlschreiber here.

“I think to be judged on just the Grand Slams alone isn’t quite fair.  But I do understand Grand Slams are what makes a career.  I think you can expect that to change next year.”

In addition no one from the US reached the fourth round at any of the four majors tournaments in 2013.

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On the Green Carpet – Photos from the BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

 

INDIAN WELLS, California (March 8, 2012) – The BNP Paribas Open held their players’ party at the IW club on Thursday night. Driving up to the “Green Carpet” in classic cars included the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, John Isner, Agnieszka Radwanska, Jelena Jankovic, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and a host of others.

Photos by Curt Janka and Jennifer Knapp.  Follow Tennis Panorama News’ BNP Paribas Open coverage here an on our twitter @TennisNewsTPN.

 

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