2014/10/23

Marin Cilic Stops Top Seed Tommy Haas to Win Fourth Zagreb Title

 

Marin Cilic-001

By Florian Heer

(February 9, 2014) ZAGREB – Top seed Tommy Haas and the tournament’s number five Marin Cilic faced each other in the final of the ninth edition of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors. The German had won two of the previous three meetings, including their last encounter in the semi-finals of Hamburg in 2012. It was also the eighth time in the nine-year history of Zagreb that a Croat has reached the final. The tournament’s “dream-final” led to an almost fully packed Dom Sportova with about 5,000 spectators attending the match.

Both players hit a couple of unforced errors in the beginning of the match and consequently lost each of their opening service games. Cilic gained another break in the sixth game when Haas overcooked two forehand shots from the baseline and eventually served the first set out after 35 minutes of play.

In the second set, it was again the German veteran, who struggled to hold his serve and Cilic gained the decisive break through a nice forehand long line winner in the seventh game. The Croat, who is coached by former world number two and ace-hitting-machine Goran Ivanisevic, served big in the following to consolidate the advantage and eventually closed the match out winning 6-3, 6-4 after 80 minutes. Cilic won his fourth ATP title in Zagreb – the tenth in his career – without dropping a set in the entire week and is now holding a tournament best 22-4 win-loss record.

Tommy Haas-001

During the on-court ceremony Tommy Haas, who normally always thanks all the linesmen and umpires at the end of a week, criticized the absence of the Hawk Eye System in Zagreb.

“The hawk-eye was missing,” the top-seed still said on court. “I don’t say that every time I complain about a call that I’m right. It’s tough out there watching the lines all the time but only a few millimetres can be crucial. Hawk Eye just helps to see if a shot was in or out and you’re used to it now as so many tournaments now have it,” Haas added at the news conference.

“Congratulations to Marin, I think he played a very solid match and served very well when he had to,” Haas said about the match. “I wasn’t able to play my best tennis today, in particular at the beginning. Marin played the big points better and deserved to win. Overall I was very happy and excited to be in the final here and now I try to build up from here and to continue staying healthy, which is the most important thing for me,” the 35-year old stated.

The winner was more than happy afterwards. “Today I played really well, probably the best tennis this week. Another positive thing is that I haven’t lost too much energy this week as I played all the matches in two sets. For my next two tournaments, which are in a row it’s an important thing,” Cilic said.

Doubles finalists-001

In the doubles final second seeded team of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau won their first title together. Both started their campaign as a new pairing in Brisbane this season and played their fourth tournament in 2014. They defeated another new tandem on the Tour in persons of Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak, who made their debut as a team. Rojer and Tecau fought back winning the match 3-6, 6-4, 10-2 after 68 minutes. The Dutchman took his tenth ATP World Tour Doubles title and the Romanian won his seventeenth tournament. The pair share € 23.000 in prize money.

 

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

Share

Tennis – ATP Results Round-Up for February 8, 2014

ATP

ATP World Tour 250
Montpellier, France (+1 hour GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] R Gasquet (FRA) d [3] J Janowicz (POL) 76(6) 76(4)
[5] G Monfils (FRA) d [6] J Nieminen (FIN) 62 36 61

Doubles – Semi-finals
N Davydenko (RUS) / D Istomin (UZB) d [2] R Junaid (AUS) / A Qureshi (PAK) 36 63 10-7

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2014

COURT CENTRAL start 12:15 pm
M Gicquel (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) vs N Davydenko (RUS) / D Istomin (UZB)

Not Before 2:45 pm
[1] R Gasquet (FRA) vs [5] G Monfils (FRA)

 

ATP World Tour 250

Viña del Mar, Chile (-3 hours GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Clay

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Semifinals
[1] F Fognini (ITA) d [3] N Almagro (ESP) 64 16 76(5)
L Mayer (ARG) d S Giraldo (COL) 76(2) 63

Doubles – Final

[3] O Marach (AUT) / F Mergea (ROU) d [2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) 63 64

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2014

CENTRAL start 7:00 pm
SINGLES FINAL – [1] F Fognini (ITA) vs L Mayer (ARG)

 

 

ATP World Tour 250
Zagreb, Croatia (+1 hour GMT)

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] T Haas (GER) d [LL] D Evans (GBR) 57 64 63
[5] M Cilic (CRO) d [Q] B Phau (GER) 63 64

Doubles – Semi-finals
P Marx (GER) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [4] M Draganja (CRO) / M Pavic (CRO) 63 64

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 9 FEBRUARY, 2014

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
P Marx (GER) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [2] J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[1] T Haas (GER) vs [5] M Cilic (CRO)

Share

Marin Cilic and Tommy Haas to Meet in Zagreb Final

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

By Florian Heer

(February 8, 2014) ZAGREB – Top seed Tommy Haas and the tournament’s number five seed Marin Cilic led Saturday’s semi-final line-up at PBZ Zagreb Indoors. They were joined by qualifier Björn Phau and lucky loser Daniel Evans. This special situation of having a qualifier and a lucky loser in the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour event has been the first one since Prague 1999.

 

In the first match of the day Marin Cilic took on Björn Phau. The defending champion seemed to be in good shape and hasn’t dropped a set yet this week. The German qualifier, No. 358 in the world, competed in his first semi-final since Houston five years ago and is the eighth player in the past five years ranked outside the top 300 to reach the stage of the last four on the ATP World Tour. Cilic made a nervous start to this match. Some shaky serves and a couple of unforced errors led to break points for the underdog in the beginning of the encounter. However, Phau wasn’t able to convert and eventually it was the Croat, who capitalized on his single break point opportunity in the eighth game of the opening set to take the frame in the following.

With Phau losing his opening service game in the second set, Cilic began to dictate the pace but the German, quick on his feet, immediately broke back by running the baseline from coast to coast. In the end, the fourth seeded Croat was the more consistent player and broke Phau’s serve three times in a row. Cilic advanced to guarantee a Croat in the final for the eighth time in nine years in Zagreb winning 6-3, 6-4 in 84 minutes.

“I have never played or practiced with Björn before,” Cilic said afterwards. “It was difficult for me to read his game and in particular at the beginning I was a bit struggling to get into the match but later on I felt much better on the court,” the Croat analysed. “Overall I think, from both of us, the match wasn’t on the best level, especially in the second set with a lot of unforced errors and service losses. Nonetheless I was trying to force the pressure and I really wanted to make into the final. In the end I managed to finish the job, no matter how,” Cilic stated. “Tommy has a pretty good record in the finals, so I think it would be better to face Evans tomorrow,” the local told about his possible opponent for the final.

 

Tommy Haas

Tommy Haas

In the second encounter Tommy Haas faced Daniel Evans for the very first time. The German veteran gained his first victories of the season here in Zagreb after falling in the second round after a bye in Auckland and a first round defeat at the Australian Open. Evans has become the first British player other than Andy Murray to reach the semis in an ATP World Tour tournament since James Ward advanced to the semi-finals at London’s Queen Club in 2011. Haas outclassed his opponent in the first two games of the match and the Englishman needed to wait six minutes to make his first point of the match in the third game. From then on Evans found his way into the match by getting the early break back. The Brit made it an even affair, gained a break in the eleventh game to take the first set in the following. At this point it became clear, that this should become harder work for Haas than he may expected. Nonetheless, Haas remained patient waiting for his chance to break in the tenth game of the second set and therewith took the frame. The 35-year-old German improved his play in the final set, gained the decisive break in the sixth game to eventually reach his 28th career final winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 59 minutes.

“I didn’t know much about Daniel,” Haas said afterwards. “But what I saw today was very nice to see. I like his game a lot. He plays with a good slice on his backhand and he also has a good serve. It’s always difficult to play against qualifiers, who won a couple of matches before and gained confidence,” Haas admitted Evan’s performance this week. “I’m very excited to be in another final. It’s great to play against an opponent, who is a big star in this country here and he obviously likes it here. A lot of things speak for Marin to do well here again but of course I’ll try everything to make his run stop tomorrow,” Haas said.

 

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

Share

Tennis – ATP Results Round-Up for February 7, 2014

 

 

ATP World Tour 250
Montpellier, France (+1 hour GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Indoor Hard
RESULTS – FRIDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] R Gasquet (FRA) d [Q] A Olivetti (FRA) 64 62
[3] J Janowicz (POL) d [7] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 62 64
[5] G Monfils (FRA) d D Istomin (UZB) 64 64
[6] J Nieminen (FIN) d [Q] M Gicquel (FRA) 63 36 76(5)

Men’s Doubles – Semi-finals
M Gicquel (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) d H Kontinen (FIN) / J Nieminen (FIN) 63 62

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2014

COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
N Davydenko (RUS) / D Istomin (UZB) vs [2] R Junaid (AUS) / A Qureshi (PAK)

Not Before 2:45 pm
[5] G Monfils (FRA) vs [6] J Nieminen (FIN)
[1] R Gasquet (FRA) vs [3] J Janowicz (POL)

 

ATP World Tour 250

Viña del Mar, Chile (-3 hours GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Clay
RESULTS – FRIDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] F Fognini (ITA) d [5] J Chardy (FRA) 64 36 62
[3] N Almagro (ESP) d [Q] T Daniel (JPN) 62 75
S Giraldo (COL) d [7] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 36 64 62
L Mayer (ARG) d D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 36 75 63

Doubles – Semi-finals
[3] O Marach (AUT) / F Mergea (ROU) d [1] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 67(2) 61 10-7
[2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) d J Chardy (FRA) / L Dlouhy (CZE) 62 62

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2014

CENTRAL start 5:30 pm
S Giraldo (COL) vs L Mayer (ARG)
[1] F Fognini (ITA) vs [3] N Almagro (ESP)
DOUBLES FINAL – [3] O Marach (AUT) / F Mergea (ROU) vs [2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL)

 

 

ATP World Tour 250
Zagreb, Croatia (+1 hour GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] T Haas (GER) d [Q] A Kuznetsov (RUS) 76(6) 64
[LL] D Evans (GBR) d [3] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 64 26 64
[5] M Cilic (CRO) d [4] I Dodig (CRO) 75 64
[Q] B Phau (GER) d D Sela (ISR) 64 63

Doubles – Semi-finals
[2] J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU) d M Demoliner (BRA) / P Raja (IND) 76(4) 36 10-6

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 8 FEBRUARY, 2014

CENTRE COURT start 4:00 pm
[5] M Cilic (CRO) vs [Q] B Phau (GER)
[1] T Haas (GER) vs [LL] D Evans (GBR)
P Marx (GER) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [4] M Draganja (CRO) / M Pavic (CRO)

 

 

Share

Dan Evans Stuns Philipp Kohlschreiber in Zagreb to Reach Semis

Dan Evans

Dan Evans

By Florian Heer

(February 7, 2014) ZAGREB – After an exciting opening month of the season in Australia and Asia as well as the first round of the Davis Cup, ATP World Tour action returns to Europe. Leading the way at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors is world number twelve Tommy Haas, who is making his tournament debut and world number fourteen Mikhail Youzhny. Four of the top five seeds were in action on Friday at Dom Sportova. Two unseeded quarterfinalists met in the first encounter of the day when Dudi Sela took on Björn Phau for the fourth time. The German qualifier could only win one match before between the two but seems to be on a roll at this tournament. Phau advanced into the stage of the final eight by battling through the qualification and with victories over Ante Pavic and Mikhail Youzhny. The German is playing his first ATP World Tour event since falling in third round at Indian Wells in March last year losing to Juan Martin Del Potro. This is the German’s first quarterfinal since Stuttgart in July 2012. Sela, who played one quarterfinal this year before in Chennai was without any chance today. Phau, who already reached some good indoor results on Challenger level in the past, took the match winning 6-4, 6-3 in 69 minutes

 

The second match of the day guaranteed a Croatian semi-finalist for the eighth time in nine years in Zagreb when three times champion Marin Cilic faced Ivan Dodig. Cilic fired down fourteen aces on his way to victory over compatriot Mate Delic in the first round and he hit another twelve aces in a straight sets win over Serbian Dusan Lajovic in second round. Fourth-seeded Dodig opened his campaign with a 7-6, 6-3 win over countryman Ivo Karlovic but today he had to accept the fact that Cilic was the more consistent and luckier player in the decisive moments winning 7-5, 6-4 after one hour and 32 minutes.

 “Today against Marin it was a different match compared to yesterday,” Dodig said. “For me it was a little bit tough today to adopt Marin’s game. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for me, especially with my serve I am not happy at all today,” the fourth-seeded added. Cilic on the other hand celebrated his eighteenth victory out of his last nineteen matches in Zagreb. “I think that the key points were going on my side,” the winner analysed. “Especially in the end of the first set and at the beginning of the second when Ivan was not able to confirm his break. After that game we had new balls and it was tougher for him to gain the break back and in the final stage of the match I was also a bit lucky,” the defending champion admitted. “Of course playing with Ivan involve a lot of emotions, which sometimes is tough to deal with but I think I handled it very well today,” Cilic was satisfied with his performance as well as his mental strength.

 

A very first meeting took place with the match between Philipp Kohlschreiber and Daniel Evans. The German, who made his Zagreb debut yesterday defeating Andrey Golubev in straight sets, had to face a highly motivated British number two. The world number 147 entered the main draw by replacing the tournament’s seventh seeded Radek Stepanek, who withdrew due to a right heel injury. From then on Evans cruised past Jan Hajek and defeated qualifier Michael Berrer. The 23-year-old from Birmingham also made the better start into today’s encounter breaking Kohlschreiber’s serve in the third game to eventually take the set in tenth. The man from Augsburg, fought his way back into this match, breaking serve in the fourth and eighth game to take the encounter into a decider. Here again, the Brit was wide awake right from the beginning when he capitalized on his first break point opportunity in the final set. Evans didn’t become flustered, defended his advantage until the end of the match and served out in the tenth game winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 after two hours to reach his first ever semi-final on the ATP World Tour. “I enjoy every day here in Zagreb. I only found out the day when main draw started that I will have to play on Tuesday,” the lucky loser said. “So I had the chance to play a lot of matches this week, which is always good and it is a big achievement for me to reach the semis here,” Evans said. “For me Davis Cup is still one of my favourite things to do and so this is a big goal for me to play for my country. That I wasn’t selected for the tie on clay last weekend is a difficult decision but there are some players in Britain, who ran the same level and eventually the captain has to decide. It’s normal in sports that from time to time someone has to be left out,” the Englishman explained. In the end this decision might have become a lucky one for Evans as otherwise he may not to be here in Zagreb.

 

In the final match of the day top-seed Tommy Haas met Andrey Kuznetsov for the very first time. The 35-year-old German made his Zagreb debut yesterday winning in three sets against countryman Benjamin Becker. The Russian battled his way through the qualification, defeated 2008 champion Sergiy Stakhovsky and Heilbronn finalist Igor Sijsling to appear in his third ATP World Tour quarterfinal. The the first set in was even affair without any break points. Haas eventually took the set in the tie-break 8-6. The German veteran improved his play with the start of the final frame. Haas capitalized on the first break point of the match in the opening game of   the final set after 47 minutes. The top-seed served out by an ace winning 7-6, 6-4 in 85 minutes. “We both served well, the tie-break was hard fought and I think it was important for the momentum to win it,” the top-seed said afterwards. “It is always dangerous to play qualifiers at a tournament, who have already played a couple of matches before. Daniel beat with Philipp a top-player today and I have to focus on my game tomorrow but I expect another tough match,” Haas stated about his semi-finals task.

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

Share

Tennis – ATP Results Round-Up for February 6, 2014

ATP
ATP World Tour 250
Montpellier, France (+1 hour GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Second Round
[1] R Gasquet (FRA) d [WC] P Mathieu (FRA) 61 63
[Q] M Gicquel (FRA) d [2] [WC] G Simon (FRA) 76(4) 63
[3] J Janowicz (POL) d A Mannarino (FRA) 76(2) 63
D Istomin (UZB) d [4] D Tursunov (RUS) 75 64
[5] G Monfils (FRA) d J Sousa (POR) 63 62
[6] J Nieminen (FIN) d [WC] P Herbert (FRA) 76(5) 76(5)
[7] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d D Brown (GER) 63 64
[Q] A Olivetti (FRA) d N Davydenko (RUS) 76(5) 67(5) 75

Doubles – Quarter-finals
H Kontinen (FIN) / J Nieminen (FIN) d [1] A Begemann (GER) / M Emmrich (GER) 76(5) 63
M Gicquel (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) d [3] P Hanley (AUS) / J Marray (GBR) 64 76(4)
N Davydenko (RUS) / D Istomin (UZB) d [4] K Skupski (GBR) / N Skupski (GBR) 64 64

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2014

COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[6] J Nieminen (FIN) vs [Q] M Gicquel (FRA)
Not Before 1:30 pm
[5] G Monfils (FRA) vs D Istomin (UZB)
[3] J Janowicz (POL) vs [7] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
Not Before 6:30 pm
[1] R Gasquet (FRA) vs [Q] A Olivetti (FRA)

COURT 1 start 6:30 pm
H Kontinen (FIN) / J Nieminen (FIN) vs M Gicquel (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA)
 
ATP World Tour 250

Viña del Mar, Chile (-3 hours GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Clay

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Second Round
[1] F Fognini (ITA) d A Bedene (SLO) 64 76(0)
[3] N Almagro (ESP) d [Q] M Alund (ARG) 46 63 64
[5] J Chardy (FRA) d P Carreno Busta (ESP) 63 76(5)
[Q] T Daniel (JPN) d [8] F Delbonis (ARG) 16 76(5) 76(7) – saved 1 M.P.
D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d H Zeballos (ARG) 62 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d D Bracciali (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) 64 64
[2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) d [WC] C Garin (CHI) / N Jarry (CHI) 46 63 10-8
[3] O Marach (AUT) / F Mergea (ROU) d P Lorenzi (ITA) / F Volandri (ITA) 26 63 10-7
J Chardy (FRA) / L Dlouhy (CZE) d D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) / S Robert (FRA) 63 63

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2014

CENTRAL start 2:00 pm
[7] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs S Giraldo (COL)
Not Before 5:30 pm
[1] F Fognini (ITA) vs [5] J Chardy (FRA)
[3] N Almagro (ESP) vs [Q] T Daniel (JPN)
J Chardy (FRA) / L Dlouhy (CZE) vs [2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL)

COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) vs L Mayer (ARG)
[1] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) vs [3] O Marach (AUT) / F Mergea (ROU)

ATP World Tour 250
Zagreb, Croatia (+1 hour GMT)
3-9 February 2014 Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2014

Singles – Second Round
[1] T Haas (GER) d B Becker (GER) 46 63 63
[Q] B Phau (GER) d [2] M Youzhny (RUS) 46 75 61
[3] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d A Golubev (KAZ) 64 62
[4] I Dodig (CRO) d I Karlovic (CRO) 76(5) 63
[Q] A Kuznetsov (RUS) d [8] I Sijsling (NED) 16 63 76(5)
[LL] D Evans (GBR) d [Q] M Berrer (GER) 16 61 76(4)
D Sela (ISR) d L Lacko (SVK) 63 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[2] J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU) d S Stakhovsky (UKR) / M Youzhny (RUS) W/O (Youzhny – illness)
P Marx (GER) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [WC] T Androic (CRO) / M Cilic (CRO) 75 63

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 7 FEBRUARY, 2014

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
D Sela (ISR) vs [Q] B Phau (GER)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[5] M Cilic (CRO) vs [4] I Dodig (CRO)
[3] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [LL] D Evans (GBR)
[1] T Haas (GER) vs [Q] A Kuznetsov (RUS)
M Demoliner (BRA) / P Raja (IND) vs [2] J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU)

 

Share