Chela Beats Moya for Acapulco Crown

Posted on March 4, 2007

Fourth seed Juan Ignacio Chela eased the disappointment of his loss in the 2006 final by defeating two-time former champion Carlos Moya 6-3, 7-6(2) in the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco Saturday night.

Chela has a career record of 20-5 at this event. He won it in 2000 when it was held in Mexico City (d. Puerta).

It was the third straight week that an Argentine won an ATP title -- Guillermo Canas (Costa do Sauipe) and Juan Monaco (Buenos Aires). The last time three different Argentines won consecutive titles was in 2002: Chela in Amersfoort, Jose Acasuso in Sopot and Guillermo Canas in Toronto.

Chela saved all three break points he faced in the final and won seven consecutive points from 0-2 in the second-set tie-break to close out the match.

The Argentine’s last title came almost three years ago at Estoril (d. Safin). He has a career record of 4-5 in ATP finals. He is off to a strong start of 14-4 this year, reaching the semifinals in Costa do Sauipe two weeks ago (l. to Canas) and the quarterfinals of Buenos Aires last week (l. to Almagro).

Chela's four ATP titles have all come on clay: Mexico City (2000), Amersfoort (2002), Estoril (2004) and Acapulco (2007).

Chela capitalized on the misfortune that struck countryman Agustin Calleri in the semifinals. Calleri was leading Chela 6-4, 5-3 when he injured his right hamstring when he was within three points of victory. Calleri continued for two games but retired from the match at 5-5 in the second set.

Former World No. 1 Moya, 30, was playing in his second final of the year. He was runner-up at Sydney in January (l. to Blake). He was 1-1 in finals last year, capturing his 19th career title at Buenos Aires (d. Volandri). He has won an ATP title for seven straight years and 11 of the last 12. His career mark in ATP finals is 19-22. He has a match record of 12-6 so far this year.

Moya has particularly thrived at this event, taking home the trophy in 2002 (d. Meligeni) and 2004 (d. Verdasco). His career record here is 21-5.

Chela: “I am so happy about this title. It is the most important tournament of the Latin American clay swing and this victory means a lot to me.”

“I won the title when the tournament was held in Mexico City and reached the final last year, I really love it here.”

“Today I think I played very solid, I hit the ball really hard. I took more risks than I usually do and it paid. Against Carlos, you need to control the points and be aggressive and that’s what I did the entire match. I never lost my concentration and when I saw that he didn’t take advantage of his lead in the second set, I had all the chances to win.”

Moya: “I think Juan Ignacio played a great match. I am however disappointed, especially about that second set. I had several chances to win it and couldn’t. In the tiebreak I got nervous because I thought a bit too much about my lost opportunities. I think if I had won this second set, I really could have won the match because he was starting to feel tired. He played a few difficult matches this week.”