Del Potro, Melzer, Radwanska Among Champs; Coming Previews
Melzer Steals Memphis Title from Raonic
Austrian Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer stole a title on Sunday, defeating next-up Canadian Milos “Big Baby” Raonic 7-5, 7-6(4) in the final of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis.
Melzer relegated Raonic to runner-up status for the second year, becoming the first 30-year-old to win the Memphis title since Ivan Lendl in 1991.
“After a tough season last year, it’s obviously something nice,” Melzer said. “I played a really good match today, I kept my head in the game. I knew it was tough. He’s probably the best server on tour at the moment. Sometimes you just walk left to right without doing anything, but I felt like when the ball was in play and when I had my chances, I played really solid.”
Raonic also lost in the final last year to Andy Roddick.
“It doesn’t feel like it’s too far out of my grasp,” Raonic said. “It’s like somebody dangling a piece of cake in front of my face and then taking it away at the last second. I’ll definitely be back.”
Del Potro Beats Former Champ Llodra for 1st 2012 Title at Marseille
No. 4 seed Juan Martin del Potro defeated homecountry favorite Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4 in the final at Marseille for his first title of the year.
“Llodra has a very difficult game to play against. He hits drop shots, he slices, so it’s not easy to play against him,” said del Potro. “I was really nervous. I didn’t make a double fault since the Davydenko match and I had one at 5-4, serving for the match, so you could see how nervous I was. I’m really glad I won another tournament here in France, so it’s amazing for me.”
It was the first indoor title for del Potro, who is now 1-3 indoors.
“Juan Martin played a great match and didn’t give me any opportunities on his serve. He was impressive on his serve,” Llodra said. “He served well and we know the quality of his ground strokes so there wasn’t much I could do.”
Ferrer Beats Almagro for ATP Buenos Aires Title
Spaniard David Ferrer stopped Nicolas Almagro’s 10-match win streak, beating his fellow Spaniard and defending Buenos Aires champion 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win the Copa Claro title.
“This is a very nice and happy moment,” Ferrer said. “To win here is very special as it is a tournament that I really like…I knew that I had to improve [after the first set]. I ended very stable and Nicolas had more ups and downs.”
Almagro was attempting to win his second consecutive title after the Brazil Open.
Radwanska Grounds Down Goerges for WTA Dubai Title
Agnieszka Radwanska’s fiery 2012 campaign continued over the weekend in Dubai, where the Pole claimed the championship after a 7-5, 6-4 decision over Julia Goerges.
In the semifinals Radwanska topped former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, while Goerges battled past former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
“I was pretty close to losing in the first round, so I’m extremely happy right now,” Radwanska said. “Tonight I think I was just better in a couple points, to be honest. In the important moments I was more consistent.”
Radwanska, projected to rise to a career-high No. 5, improved to 8-2 in career finals while Goerges dropped to 2-2.
2nd WTA Memphis Title for Arvidsson
Swede Sofia Arvidsson claimed her career second title at Memphis on Saturday night, defeating New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 6-3, 6-4 in the championship match.
“Marina beat me really easily the last time we played, so I expected a really tough match,” Arvidsson said. “After the first two games I really came into it. I think my serve was working really well, and my backhand was really good, especially down the line.”
Erakova dropped to 0-2 in career finals, while Arvidsson improved to 2-2.
“Sofia went out swinging. She made it difficult for me,” Erakovic said. “Her serve was a key factor today. Her serve is very tricky, in the sense she moves it around well and varies it with slice and spin. I felt I couldn’t attack it.”
Babos Beats Back Cadantu for 1st Title at WTA Monterrey
Hungary’s Timea Babos captured her first career title at the Whirlpool Monterrey Open on Sunday night, defeating Alexandra Cadantu 6-4, 6-4.
Two weeks ago the 18-year-old Babos had only one career WTA win, but this week ran to the title, with her scalps including No. 3 seed Sorana Cirstea and No. 2 seed Sara Errani.
“I was actually surprised because it was my first final and I wasn’t nervous or tight,” Babos said just after the final. “I just tried to play my tennis and stay aggressive. I was also really trying to keep my serve all the time, and she didn’t have a break point, which was really positive for me.”
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships; Dubai, U.A.E; Surface: hard
Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Mardy Fish, Janko Tipsarevic, Juan Martin Del Potro
Floaters: Ivan Ljubicic, Nikolay Davydenko, Marcos Baghdatis, Mikhail Youzhny, Richard Gasquet, Michael Llodra
Notes: Tough openers include (4) Tsonga vs. Baghdatis, (2) Federer vs. Llodra, and Gasquet vs. Youzhny; Fish and Del Potro are the seeds making first-time Dubai appearances; wildcard to Marko Djokovic; former champs in the field are Djokovic (2011-09) and Federer (2007,’05-03).
Abierto Mexicano Telcel; Acapulco, Mexico; Surface: clay
Seeds: David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Gilles Simon, Kei Nishikori, Florian Mayer, Juan Monaco, Marcel Granollers, Fernando Verdasco
Floaters: Carlos Berlocq, Thomaz Bellucci, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Stan Wawrinka, David Nalbandian
Notes: Tough openers include (3) Simon vs. Berlocq and (7) Granollers vs. Bellucci; seeds Simon, Nishikori and Mayer makes debuts at event; former champs in the field are Ferrer (2011-10), Almagro (2009-08) and Juan Ignacio Chela (2007,’00).
Delray Beach International Tennis Championships; Delray Beach, Florida, U.S.A.; Surface: hard
Seeds: John Isner, Marin Cilic, Viktor Troicki, Andy Roddick, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Alex Bogomolov Jr., Kevin Anderson, Bernard Tomic
Floaters: Jurgen Melzer, (WC) Tommy Haas, Philipp Petzschner, Xavier Malisse, Ivo Karlovic, Ernests Gulbis, Olivier Rochus, Jarkko Nieminen
Notes: Tough openers include (8) Tomic vs. (WC) Haas, (4) Roddick vs. Petzschner (or anybody), (5) Kohlschreiber vs. Rochus, and (2) Cilic vs. Nieminen; seeds Cilic, Troicki, Tomic make debuts at event; former champs in the field are Gulbis (2010), Malisse (2007,’05), and Haas (2006).
Abierto Mexicano TELCEL; Acapulco, Mexico; Surface: clay
Seeds: Roberta Vinci, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani, Irina-Camelia Begu, Alexandra Dulgheru, Johanna Larsson, Gisela Dulko, Alberta Brianti
Floaters: Alize Cornet
Notes: Tough opener for (8) Brianti vs. Cornet; Pennetta (2008,’05) is the lone returning champ.
BMW Malaysian Open; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Surface: hard
Seeds: Agnieszka Radwanska, Jelena Jankovic, Peng Shuai, Jarmila Gajdosova, Petra Martic, Ayumi Morita, Jelena Dokic, Anne Keothavong
Notes: Dokic (2011) is the lone returning champ in the field.
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