By Florian Heer
(July 13, 2014) STUTTGART - Roberto Bautista-Agut and Lukas Rosol went head-to-head in Sunday’s final at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.
Right from the beginning the 26-year-old Spaniard was in control of the match. Rosol struggled with his service, having only a 31 first serve-percentage in the opening set, as well as facing problems with his return game, which led to a couple of free points for Bautista. The Czech was only efficient on his first break point of the match in the tenth game of the second set, which also meant winning the second set. Nonetheless, the world No. 23 from Castellón, who will break into the top-20 on Monday, was more consistent and eventually served the match out winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 after one hour and 42 minutes.
After his victory in s’Hertogenbosch, it was Bautista’s second title of the season as well as of his career. The Spaniard, who is taking away prize money of € 77.315 and a brand new Mercedes GLA 45 AMG, will also remain Stuttgart’s last champion on clay before the tournament will switch to grass courts in 2015.
“Lukas was taking a lot of risk in every shot today. I just tried to make him move and this was the key to victory. I’m also happy about winning the car and I’ll change my old one,” Bautista analysed with a smile.
“Since the beginning of the season I believe a lot in my strengths. I have been playing really well and won a lot of matches this year,” the 26-year-old explained.
“It is really difficult to win a tournament on grass and then after Wimbledon with only a few practices on the dirt and a couple of days off later on clay. This is really amazing. I work a lot and I did everything right this week to take the title,” the Spaniard was satisfied.
Rosol on the other side had to suffer another defeat in a final this season after losing to Grigor Dimitrov in Bucharest. “From my side, the match was not so good. I was looking for myself and couldn’t really find my rhythm. The serve was not working at all and I tried to take risks from the return but this wasn’t working either. Today my level wasn’t that good as in the previous round and it’s a pity because I really played well this week. Nonetheless, it’s an experience for me and I hope I can achieve a better result here next year,” Rosol was understandably disappointed afterwards.
Mateusz Kowalczyk and Artem Sitak took their maiden title on the ATP World Tour winning the doubles final 2-6, 6-1, 10-7 against Guillermo Garcia-López and Philipp Oswald after 60 minutes. “We love this tournament here. Everything is great,” the Pole, who also reached the final in Stuttgart last year, was overwhelmed afterwards.
Earlier the day, tournament director Edwin Weindorfer spoke to the media and said that he was satisfied with the quality of the matches throughout the week. “Although there was no German player making it into the tournament’s last stage, with Lukas and Roberto, we have two great players in the last clay court final in Stuttgart. Unfortunately we had some bad luck with the weather this week. After a good start on Monday with 2.000 spectators attending the show match between John McEnroe and Michael Stich, it was not possible to play on the entire Tuesday due to rain. Consequently, we will not reach the mark of 40,000 spectators this year,” the Austrian said.
“We received a great feedback form the players for everything concerning our “Road to Wimbledon-project” and in the next ten days we will start with the work for turning the surfaces of the Centre Court and the EnBW-Court into grass. Feliciano López, who participated in the most grass court matches this year and also took the title in Eastbourne, already told us that he will be here again for sure the next year. The 2015 edition of the Mercedes Cup is taking place the week beginning on June the 8th and we will also increase the prize money to the total amount of € 600.000,-. The partnership and contract with the title sponsor Mercedes will last until 2019 and of course we are hoping to present at least one top-player next year,” Weindorfer explained.
“Although the great times of US-tennis seems to be over – at least for the moment – we are looking forward to presenting players from the States. A youngster like Jack Sock is interesting and a big server like John Isner can be regarded as a certain candidate for the player’s field in 2015 on grass,” he added. “There is also Tommy Haas, who will start his rehab next week in Florida, to give his comeback on court in Stuttgart next year,” the German’s personal manager said about the condition of the former world No. 2.