Gasquet Run at Year-end Champs Includes ATP Moscow Title
Frenchman Richard Gasquet improved his chances of sneaking in to one of the final ATP year-end championship spots on Sunday by claiming the title at the Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow, in the final defeating Kazak qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
The top-seeded Gasquet’s win has him overtaking Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to move to No. 9 in the Emirates ATP Race to London after his third title of 2013.
“Two big tournaments are coming up, including the Masters in Paris,” Gasquet said. “I’ll try my best. I was close to losing today. But I fought a lot. It’s important for me to qualify for it. But the title here is important for me because my opponent played very well.”
Gasquet is the No. 5 seed next week at the Swiss Indoors, and starts against Frenchman Michael Llodra.
Haas Wins Vienna to Keep Year-end Hopes Alive
Tommy Haas defeated Robin Haase 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the Erste Bank Open final in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday to keep his slim hopes alive of qualifying for the year-end ATP championships.
It was the 15th career title for the German, who first won in Vienna 12 years ago.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling to win a title,” Haas said. “It doesn’t come around very often. To do it here after 2001, it’s special.”
Haase was up a break in the third but relinquished it with a doubles fault. “Right now I’m pretty disappointed,” he said. “When I played a final earlier this year in Gstaad I didn’t have any chances. Today I did have my chances. But Tommy hit a few great returns when he broke back in the third.”
Haas will compete in Valencia and at the Paris Masters during the final two weeks of regular-season ATP play in an attempt to qualify for the year-end Masters.
Dimitrov Ousts Ferrer for ATP Stockholm Title
No. 7-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria upset top-seeded David Ferrer 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 for his first career ATP title on Sunday at the Stockholm Open.
The 22-year-old Dimitrov became the first Bulgarian to win an ATP title in the Open Era (since 1968).
“It’s a great feeling and it’s good for your mental state,” Dimitrov said. “You know you can hang with these guys and the next time you play against them, especially in the Grand Slams, you will be better prepared.”
Ferrer was attempting his first career crown in Stockholm.
“He played great in the important moments,” the Spaniard said. “I had my chances in the third set.”
Halep Wins 5th Title of 2013 at Moscow
Simona Halep won’t be competing at the WTA year-end championships, but the breakthrough Romanian won her fifth title of the year Sunday at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, defeating Sam Stosur 7-6(1), 6-2.
“Maybe Sam was tired because she won in Osaka last week, and after Asia I had about 10 days of break because I had a right shoulder injury,” Halep said. “But I recovered well from that, and now I feel good, and my game was very good this week. Maybe I was just a little bit fresher today.”
Only Serena Williams has more WTA titles than Halep in 2013. Stosur during the week defeated fellow Grand Slam champions Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
“I think it was quite a battle to get to the tiebreak in that first set — I was down 3-1 and got it back on serve, which was great,” Stosur said. “But she really got on top of me in that tiebreak, and from then on it was a real uphill battle.”
Wozniacki Downs Upstart German Beck for WTA Luxembourg Crown
Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki bitterly missed out on the year-end WTA Championships by one spot, but capped off her 2013 season on a positive note by winning the BLG BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open title, in the final defeating German riser Annika Beck 6-2, 6-2 for her first championship of the year.
“I know there are a lot of Germans here so you probably wanted Annika to win today, but she had such a great week and she’ll have many more finals to come,” Wozniacki said during the trophy presentation. “Annika, you’re a great player and a great fighter, and most of all you’re a great person and fun to hang out with off the court. Your team is very nice too. Just keep working hard and I’m sure we’ll have many more finals in the future.”
It was the second career Luxembourg final for the Dane who lost in the 2008 final to Elena Dementieva. It was the 21st career title for Wozniacki. “I’m still young — I have a few more years to go — so to be at 21 already is just great,” Wozniacki said.
It was the first career final for Beck. “Caroline and I practiced once here and I was very nervous, and I was nervous today too,” Beck said. “But I never expected I’d be here until Sunday.”
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