2014/10/30

Andy Murray Saves Five Match Points to Win Valencia Open

 

Robredo - murray

By Florian Heer

(October 26, 2014) VALENCIA – On Sunday, the 32-man draw at the City of Arts and Science in Valencia was whittled down to just two players when third-seed Andy Murray took on Tommy Robredo in a repeat of last month’s Shenzhen final. Back then, Murray saved five match points en route to his first title in 15 months and same would happen in Sunday’s final in Valencia. In a sublime encounter with spectacular rallies, great emotions and brilliant atmosphere, the Brit emerged victorious winning 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(8) after three hours and 20 minutes. Both players basically collapsed on each other at the net.

Tommy Robredo

Tommy Robredo

Robredo flipped Murray the double bird before handshake, which actually explains all. “The next time I’ve match balls against you, I’ll beat you,” the Spaniard’s said right after the longest final on the ATP World Tour this year so far. “We were both very focused in the match but we have different characters. Some players show their emotions on court, others don’t.” Robredo talked about handling the emotions during the game. Murray smashed his racket more than once during the final, whereas the Spanish 32-year-old veteran remained calm in the difficult moments.

The 27-year-old Scot took his third title of 2014 after winning in Shenzhen as well as in Vienna and his 31st title in total. “I feel really tired right now,” Murray said afterwards. “Tomorrow, for sure I will enjoy it but right now my body is pretty sore. I know it was an incredible match. Some of tennis at the end of the third set and also in the second set was extremely high level. I was just lucky to manage to win. Tommy had his chances but I played some good tennis in the right moment.”

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

“I’m leaving for Paris this evening at 11 pm. I would like to have a week off but I’ll take care. Tomorrow, at least I’ll take a day off. I know I just have to win matches to go to London. The other players in Paris behind me in the Race need to play extremely well to knock me out. I have almost done everything I could,” the world No. 10 said. Murray moves to fifth position in the ATP Race to London and two more wins in Paris would guarantee his spot for the ATP World Tour Finals.

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Earlier the day, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau claimed their eighth doubles title of the season winning 6-4, 6-2 against Kevin Anderson and Jeremy Chardy, who contested their first final as a team. By adding another 500 points, the Dutch-Romanian combination will improve to fifth position in the ATP Doubles Race to London.

“There was a tough line-up with a lot of strong teams here in Valencia at the beginning of the tournament,” Tecau said. “We took advantage of a few seeds, who lost early but we also had some tough matches. We focused on getting one win after another and today we found ourselves winning the title. We are very happy.”

“Good teamwork, great partnership,” Rojer added. “That’s our key to success. We work well together, not only in the matches but also outside the court. We always talk about our matches, what we can improve and how we can improve. There are many little things, which makes a team strong but these are things that had helped us to come along as a team this year. Centre Court here is great. It’s like playing inside a museum. From what we’ve had seen the city is also beautiful. The weather is incredible. Playing an indoor tournament at this time of the year with having sunshine like this, you will not find anywhere else,” both seemed to feel good in Valencia and added that they will stick together as a team in the next season.

Juan Carlos Ferrero

Juan Carlos Ferrero

Juan Carlos Ferrero also spoke to the media. “We are very happy with this week. We had about 180,000 visitors coming to the open Fun Park and about 85,000 tickets were sold,” the tournament director said. “The tournament will remain here as an ATP 500 event for at least two more years. We would like to have it here even longer but for the moment we will keep it like that.”

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit.  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.  He was in Valencia covering the Valencia Open as media for Tennis Panorama.

 

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Murray defeats Ferrer to reach Valencia Final

Murray

By Florian Heer

(October 25, 2014) VALENCIA – Top-seed David Ferrer and the tournament’s No. 3 seed Andy Murray met in a blockbuster semi-final at the City of Arts and Science in Valencia on Saturday. Both met for the 15th time and for the third time within the last three weeks. Ferrer defeated Murray in the third round at the ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai earlier this month before the Brit hit back in the Vienna final last Sunday, extending his head to head lead over the Spaniard to 8-6 before Saturday’s encounter.

Ferrer gifted the opening game to the British world No.10 by striking two double faults. Murray took the opening set in the tenth game and went two breaks up in the second to gain a 3-0 lead but Ferrer wasn’t done yet. The rallies became longer and more spectacular when the Spaniard made four games in a row heating up the atmosphere on Agora Centre Court. Murray, however, remained calm and gained another break in the eleventh game, saved three break points in the following and eventually served out winning 6-4, 7-5 in just under two hours.

“It was a tough match, even in the first set there were a lot of tough points and long rallies,” Murray said. “In the second set I was ahead and then when David started to come back I got a little bit of nerves but I managed to stay strong at the end and thankfully I got the win.”

“Obviously it is better when the spectators are with you but today there were a lot of important points and the crowd was very engaged, which gives a great atmosphere and it’s nice to play on these conditions,” Murray said. “It’s a nice tournament. The weather is still great, which is good to have a walk around and it’s good for the mind and the body. The people involved with the tournament were very helpful, obviously having experts like Ferrero involved. That always helps because people like him know what the players need and want. The hospitality is very good and convenient. The hotel is just in walking distance to the courts, which is also very nice,” the Scot is happy with the conditions in Valencia. Murray has reached his 45th career final and the third of the season. From all of those, he emerged victorious.

On Sunday, the world No. 10 will face Tommy Robredo for the title. The 32-year-old Spaniard defeated Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and one minute. Robredo staved off a trio of set points in the first set tie-break and then broke the Frenchman when he was serving for the set in the ninth game. In the end, the Spanish veteran reeled off four of the last five games to claim his 500th victory on the ATP Tour.

“It’s only a number, but it’s a special number,” Robredo said. “If somebody told me I would win 500 matches at the beginning of my career, I’d take it. So, I’m here and now I should go for 600,” the Spaniard was happy being the seventh active player (Federer, Nadal, Ferrer, Hewitt, Djokovic and Haas are the others) and the 44th player overall in the Open Era joining the 500 Match Wins Club.

Murray and Robredo have met six times on the ATP World Tour with the Brit leading 4-2. Murray also sealed victory in the last encounter between the two winning the final in Shenzhen in September in three sets.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer. He is in Valencia covering the Valencia Open as media for Tennis Panorama.

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Ferrer Nets 600th Win to Advance to Valencia Semis Along with Murray

Ferrer 600

By Florian Heer

(October 24, 2014) VALENCIA – The first and third seeds headlined the action on Day 5 at the Valencia Open.

Three-time Valencia champion David Ferrer defeated Tomaz Bellucci in only 67 minutes winning 6-1, 6-2. It was the 600th career win for the Spaniard, who has become the fourth active player to accomplish the feat after Roger Federer (987), Rafael Nadal (706) and Lleyton Hewitt (611). Ferrer was congratulated with a celebratory cake on Centre Court by his nephew and Tournament Director, Juan Carlos Ferrero.

“It’s great to achieve this victory here at home in Valencia in front of the people I love most,” the No. 5 from Javea said and he added that the two greatest victories in his career were winning the Masters final in Paris Bercy in 2012 and defeating Juan Martin Del Potro in the 2011 Davis Cup final.

“Actually I prefer courts, which are a little bit faster. So the surface here will not be an advantage for me tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough match with a long rallies.”

Ferrer is looking forward to another clash with Andy Murray after both had met in Shanghai as well as in Vienna’s final last Sunday and is more than satisfied with Friday’s announcement that the Valencia Open will be part of the ATP Tour calendar for at least another two years. “It’s good news for myself and the people from Valencia that the tournament will remain here for another two years. I’m very happy with this fact,” Ferrer, as one of the tournament’s three owners, told.

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The Valencia Open’s No. 3, Andy Murray, who has won 15 of his last 17 matches, went up against seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson for the fourth time with the Brit edging their head to head 2-1 before Friday’s encounter. After the Scot had lost the opening set in the tie-break, Murray gained the decisive break in the ninth game of the second to take the match the distance, where he began to outplay his opponent more and more. After two hours and 43 minutes, Murray sealed victory winning 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.

It was a very tough match today with a lot of long games and long rallies. I started to serve a little bit better at the end of the second set and I created some chances on his service games. Nonetheless, it was extremely close. Matches like this are tough on the body as well as tough on the mind. A lot of the games could have gone the other way but I managed to get through,” Murray said afterwards.

“The match tomorrow will be an important one, as was last week and also in Shanghai. This tournament is very important to remain the chance of qualifying for London but next week in Paris will be also a deciding factor. Regardless of what is happening now here, I think it was a good decision to play in Valencia. So I have the chance to influence what will happen in the ATP Race. Rather I will play against David (Ferrer) in the semi-finals than someone else. If I win that match, I’ll put myself in a great position,” the Brit said about qualifying for the final showdown.

“Players, who win a Grand Slam deserve to be in the biggest competition at the end of the year. That’s my opinion. But as I said the last few weeks if I worked for the ATP Tour, I would want ATP tournaments to have more value. Of course I would be disappointed if I couldn’t make it to London because I’m playing this many tournaments trying to finish within the top-8. That’s what I want to do. Normally I would play two tournaments in Asia and two tournaments in Europe. Now, there are still ten days left, one more week to London,” Murray explaining about adding a few tournaments to his schedule.

Jeremy Chardy defeated Spanish Wild Card Pablo Carreňo-Busta for a second time in their second meeting winning 6-1, 6-2 in only 51 minutes.

“It was easier than I might have expected,” the 27-year-old Frenchman was happy reaching his second semi-final of the season. “Pablo is a good player. I played against him at the beginning of the year in Vina del Mar and back then it was a tough match but today I was very solid. Maybe Pablo also had to deal with a bit of pressure today playing in front of his home crowd. Nonetheless, since the beginning of the tournament I feel really good.”

“This has been my best year so far. I play very solid and I’m happy with my game. I hope that I can continue playing like this here in Valencia. I really like the court here, it seems to suit my game very well.

The French will battle Tommy Robredo in the semi-finals. The 32-year-old Spaniard beat compatriot Pablo Andújar 7-6, 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes in the final singles match of the day, recording his first victory in three meetings between the two.

“It was a very intense match today with a lot of ups and downs. Chardy is a great player with a very good serve. It will be a very tough match and I have to plan a good strategy to be successful in the end,” the Spaniard said. On Saturday, Robredo is within reach of another ATP milestone. The world No. 21 is now one match away from his 500th career win.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer. He is in Valencia covering the Valencia Open as media for Tennis Panorama.

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Ferrer and Murray Reach Quarterfinals of Valencia Open

DSC_0938

By Florian Heer

(October 23, 2014) VALENCIA – After their meeting in Vienna’s final last Sunday, David Ferrer and Andy Murray continue their pursuit of valuable points for the ATP Race to London on Day 4 at the Valencia Open 500.

The Spanish top-seed, who started his bid for a fourth title crown in Valencia with a straight set victory over Andreas Seppi, went up against his compatriot Fernando Verdasco for the 17th time. Ferrer emerged victorious from all of the last five meetings and was also in command in Thursday’s encounter. The world No. 5 advanced to the quarterfinal after 67 minutes winning 6-3, 6-2 without facing a break point.

“It wasn’t an easy win today but I played very well and consistent without a lot of mistakes,” Ferrer said afterwards. My serve was pretty good and I’m happy with my game today. It was important to win my first match against Seppi. It was difficult as the conditions are different compared to last week in Vienna but of course it is great to play in front of your home crowd with your family and friends courtside.”

The Spanish top-seed will face Tomaz Bellucci next who received a walkover when his opponent Roberto Bautista-Agut wasn’t able to compete in the final match of the day due to abdominal problems.

Vienna champion Andy Murray, who returned to Valencia for the first time since 2010, downed Jürgen Melzer in the opening round 6-3, 6-3 and took on Fabio Fognini for the fourth time. The British wild card lost the final meeting between the two in the Davis Cup earlier this year but was in total control of Thursday’s match. Murray didn’t face one single break point and served out after 72 minutes winning 6-2, 6-4. It was also the Scot’s 100th career win indoors.

“The surface is much slower here compared to Vienna last week,” Murray said. “The balls are much slower, there are more rallies and you have to do a bit of re-adjustment to Vienna. The quality of the tournament has improved. The hospitality for the players has improved a lot since the first year as well as the facilities and I enjoy being here again,” the Scot said about his comeback to Valencia.

“Over the last few months, I have started to get my consistency back and I feel better. It’s normally a good sign that I’m able to win matches, in which I haven’t been playing well. Nonetheless, I think that I can definitely keep improving,” explained Murray, who returned to tenth position in the ATP World Rankings this week after a six-week stint outside the top 10.

Pablo Andújar, who captured his first Top 10 win in more than two years with a straight set victory over second-seeded Tomas Berdych in the opening round continued his streak beating Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes.

In the only singles match played outside the Agora Centre Court, Jeremy Chardy advanced to his seventh quarterfinal of the season beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 after two hours and two minutes. The Frenchman will play Pablo Carreňo-Busta next.

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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ATP Results – Del Potro Advances Easily in Basel, Isner Upset in Valencia

swissindoors

ATP World Tour 500
Basel, Switzerland  (+2 hours GMT)
21-27 October, 2013     Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 24 OCTOBER, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[1] J Del Potro (ARG) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 61 62
[8] G Dimitrov (BUL) d [WC] A Dolgopolov (UKR) 63 62
[Q] P Mathieu (FRA) d M Llodra (FRA) 64 63
E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [Q] T Kamke (GER) 75 63
D Brands (GER) d L Kubot (POL) 62 64
V Pospisil (CAN) d I Karlovic (CRO) 63 64

Doubles – Quarterfinals
M Llodra (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) d A Begemann (GER) / M Emmrich (GER) 63 76(5)
T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) d D Istomin (UZB) / H Zeballos (ARG) 64 76(5)

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2013

CENTER COURT start 14:00
E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs D Brands (GER)

Not Before 16:00
I Dodig (CRO) vs V Pospisil (CAN)

Not Before 18:00
[1] J Del Potro (ARG) vs [Q] P Mathieu (FRA)

Not Before 20:00
[8] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [3] R Federer (SUI)
[3] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Hanley (AUS)

COURT 2 start 16:00
Not Before 16:00
[1] R Bopanna (IND) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs J Knowle (AUT) / O Marach (AUT) – AFTER SUITABLE REST

 

2010-11-02-open-tennis-valencia

ATP World Tour 500

Valencia, Spain  (+2 hours GMT)
21-27 October, 2013     Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 24 OCTOBER, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[1] D Ferrer (ESP) d J Benneteau (FRA) 62 61
[3] N Almagro (ESP) d [Q] M Przysiezny (POL) 64 75
J Chardy (FRA) d [4] J Isner (USA) 76(7) 63
[5] J Janowicz (POL) d [Q] J Sousa (POR) 62 75
J Nieminen (FIN) d [Q] A Falla (COL) 62 63
M Youzhny (RUS) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 64 63

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) 64 75
T Haas (GER) / A Sa (BRA) d [4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 61 63

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 25 OCTOBER, 2013

AGORA start 13:00
J Nieminen (FIN) vs M Youzhny (RUS)
D Tursunov (RUS) vs J Chardy (FRA)
[1] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [5] J Janowicz (POL)

Not Before 20:00
[3] N Almagro (ESP) vs [7] F Fognini (ITA)
J Isner (USA) / F Lopez (ESP) vs [2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)

PISTA 1 start 16:00
Not Before 16:00
J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs J Nieminen (FIN) / D Tursunov (RUS) – After Suitable Rest

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Ferrer Advances, Haas Falls at Valencia Open

2010-11-02-open-tennis-valencia

 

(October 23, 2013) No. 1 seed David Ferrer eased past Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 in 62 minutes. While in a battle of Germans, Philipp Kohlschreiber upset second seed Tommy Haas 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the Valencia Open. Ferrer is looking to capture his fourth Valencia title. He has a 26-5 record at the tournament.

In a match full of power-serving, John Isner hit 17 aces to top Ernests Gulbis 7-6(4), 7-6(2)

 

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 23 OCTOBER, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[7] F Fognini (ITA) d M Granollers (ESP) 63 62
D Tursunov (RUS) d [WC] R Bautista Agut (ESP) 62 76(3)

Singles – First Round
[1] D Ferrer (ESP) d G Monfils (FRA) 63 62
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [2] T Haas (GER) 36 63 63
[4] J Isner (USA) d E Gulbis (LAT) 76(4) 76(2)
J Chardy (FRA) d F Mayer (GER) 46 75 63
J Nieminen (FIN) d B Paire (FRA) 63 63

Doubles – First Round

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d D Bracciali (ITA) / F Fognini (ITA) 64 63
[4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d K Anderson (RSA) / J Erlich (ISR) 64 67(9) 10-5
S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d C Kas (GER) / G Simon (FRA) 76(2) 67(2) 10-4

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 24 OCTOBER, 2013

AGORA start 13:00
J Chardy (FRA) vs [4] J Isner (USA)
M Youzhny (RUS) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
[1] D Ferrer (ESP) vs J Benneteau (FRA)

Not Before 20:00
[3] N Almagro (ESP) vs [Q] M Przysiezny (POL)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)

PISTA 1 start 13:00
[Q] A Falla (COL) vs J Nieminen (FIN)
[Q] J Sousa (POR) vs [5] J Janowicz (POL)
[4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) vs T Haas (GER) / A Sa (BRA)

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Simon Crashes Out of Valencia Open

SimonCincy

(October 22, 2013) Nicolas Almagro aiming to capture his third Valencia title opened his campaign by beat Pablo Andujar 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday. Almagro won the title in both 2006 and 2007.

Sixth seed Gilles Simon was demolished by Alejandro Falla 6-1, 6-0. Simon won a total of 36 point during the entire match and had his serve broken five times.

Bernard Tomic retired in the third set of his match against Mikhail Youzhny. He was trailing 4-1 in the third set.

 

ATP World Tour 500
Valencia, Spain  (+2 hours GMT)
21-27 October, 2013     Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 22 OCTOBER, 2013

Singles – First Round
[3] N Almagro (ESP) d P Andujar (ESP) 62 63
[5] J Janowicz (POL) d [Q] P Carreno Busta (ESP) 75 76(7)
[Q] A Falla (COL) d [6] G Simon (FRA) 61 60
J Benneteau (FRA) d F Lopez (ESP) 63 61
[Q] J Sousa (POR) d [WC] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 63 75
[Q] M Przysiezny (POL) d [WC] F Verdasco (ESP) 63 76(1)
M Youzhny (RUS) d B Tomic (AUS) 36 64 41 ret. (illness)

Doubles – First Round

J Nieminen (FIN) / D Tursunov (RUS) d [3] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 62 36 10-6
T Haas (GER) / A Sa (BRA) d [WC] R Bautista Agut (ESP) / P Carreno Busta (ESP) 75 61
SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 23 OCTOBER, 2013

AGORA start 12:00 noon
E Gulbis (LAT) vs [4] J Isner (USA)
M Granollers (ESP) vs [7] F Fognini (ITA)
[1] D Ferrer (ESP) vs G Monfils (FRA)

Not Before 17:00
P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [2] T Haas (GER)
[WC] R Bautista Agut (ESP) vs D Tursunov (RUS)

PISTA 1 start 12:00 noon
F Mayer (GER) vs J Chardy (FRA)
J Nieminen (FIN) vs B Paire (FRA)
C Kas (GER) / G Simon (FRA) vs S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)
[4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) vs K Anderson (RSA) / J Erlich (ISR)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs D Bracciali (ITA) / F Fognini (ITA)

 

 

 

 

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Pospisil Takes a Firm Step Forward in Valencia

By Tumaini Carayol

VALENCIA, Spain – Of all the juniors in 2011, it has been Milos Raonic who has made the most progress since the beginning of the year and solidified his place as a future star. But Raonic isn’t the only young player to make strides in 2011, and not even the only player from his country to do so. This year has also been the coming-out year for another Canadian born in 1990 called Vasek Pospisil.

 

Age and country is where the similarities between Raonic and Pospisil end, however. While Raonic shot up the rankings out of seemingly nowhere, Pospisil has been a steadily improving work in progress.

 

For most of the year, Pospisil could be found on the challenger circuit, spending most of his time traveling to obscure venues and winning numerous matches for minimal points and prize money. His breakthrough has come in bits and pieces – first when he defeated Chela in Toronto before giving Federer a tight two-setter, then when he qualified for the US Open and emphatically won his first ever Slam main draw, and then when he single-handedly led Canada into the Davis Cup World Group.

 

This week in Valencia has proven to be yet another bold step forward. After qualifying for an ATP 500 event for the first time, the Canadian found some majestic form en-route to a nail biting tight three set victory over 23rd-ranked John Isner on Monday.

 

The victory in itself was impressive, but the manner in which he took the match was even more so. From the very first point, the 21 year-old looked to take the ball on, and it set the tone for the rest of the match, with his forehand dominating proceedings from start to finish. There were moments in the match when his form wavered – but he always found a way through those patches.

 

He eventually ended up in a third-set tiebreak with Isner, and though most tend to immediately concede defeat when faced with a tiebreak with the 6’ 10” American, Pospisil simply committed himself even more, blasting four winners in the first five points before eventually finding himself up three match points. Once again, the Canadian wavered, but also once again, he refused to let it affect him, holding tight onto his serve before eventually finding an Isner second serve and punishing it to advance into the second round.

 

Will Pospisil ever be a world-beating top player? Maybe; maybe not. At this point it is unlikely, but still hard to tell. However, considering how much hype and time is given to the likes of Ryan Harrison, Bernard Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov – all talented but temperamental, inconsistent and with the mental strength of a brick – it’s just nice to see a young player with talent and his head firmly screwed on.

 

After all, in tennis that’s all you need.

Tumaini Carayol is covering the Valencia Open  for Tennis Panorama News. He is a  contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his Valencia coverage here and on our twitter account @TennisNewsTPN. Follow his personal twitter at @FootFault_.

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