Del Potro, Isner, WTA Qualifiers Collect Titles Entering Oz Open
by Staff | January 11th, 2014, 6:54 pm

Big men captured the final two ATP events prior to the kick-off of the Australian as giants Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner swept to titles over the weekend.

Del Potro gave Bernard Tomic a likely preview of what it will be like facing world No. 1 Rafael Nadal next week in Melbourne, thumping the unseeded Australian 6-3, 6-1.

“I think Bernard was a little frustrated after seeing me very focused on the match and hitting the ball so well,” Del Potro said. “He is still young in some moments of the match, but he has everything to win titles, and he will reach finals very, very soon…The finals never are easy, but I was surprised by my level tonight. I think I played great. My forehand worked perfectly, I made a lot winners, many aces, I played good slices.”

Tomic dropped to 1-1 in career finals after capturing the Sydney title last year. Del Potro improved to 18-7 in finals. “Juan played too good. There was nothing I could do,” Tomic said. “I knew it was going to be like that where either he plays very good or gives me more chances…Tonight showed why he’s that quality of a player. So there was nothing I could have done. I tried to keep up, but he kept playing the way he was playing. I haven’t seen a guy play a second set like that. It was too good.”

Isner had a much tougher time in the final at the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand, with the No. 3-seeded American toughing out a 7-6(4), 7-6(7) win over unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei.

“I wish it didn’t have to be so close at the end, it gives me a lot of grey hairs,” said Isner, who collected his eighth career title at the site of his first career title in 2010. “Sometimes you come in with low expectations, the pressure’s off, and things tend to work out. That was the case this week.”

The 30-year-old Lu was competing in his first career ATP final, gained when he upset world No. 3 David Ferrer in the semifinals.

“He just served incredibly,” Lu said of the big American. “There was one period of time when I couldn’t read his serve. Even sometimes, when I guessed right, I still couldn’t really get the ball back.”

Qualifiers won titles at both WTA events over the weekend.

Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza won her first career title in her first final at the Hobart International, dominating No. 7 seed Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 6-0.

“I didn’t expect to win a lot of matches in the second tournament of the year, but I knew that I’d just worked so hard before,” said Murguruza, who didn’t drop a set through eight matches of qualifying and main draw. “When I was at home I was thinking to myself, ‘If I go to the tournament I’m going to fight so much,’ and that’s what I did. I was like a big bull out there.”

The big bull is now 1-0 in career finals, while Zakopalova fell to 2-11 in career finals. The Spaniard is projected to rise to a career-high No. 38.

At the APIA International Sydney, another qualifier won her first career title in her first final when Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova upset No. 5-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 6-4.

“I was nervous but tried my hardest not to show it,” said the former Wimbledon semifinalist. “I was trying to concentrate so hard that I only saw the ball — I was only watching the ball. I was like, ‘Okay, just watch the ball and follow every point.’”

Pironkova beat three Top 10ers en route to the title in Kerber, Petra Kvitova and Sara Errani, and dropped Kerber to 3-6 in career finals.

“She was playing unbelievably well and she deserved to win the match and the tournament,” Kerber said. “I was just trying to play my game and find my rhythm — I gave everything but she was too good.”

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8 Comments for Del Potro, Isner, WTA Qualifiers Collect Titles Entering Oz Open

tennisaddict Says:

a specific Aussi Open contest on ICU! Amazing, give your opinion on different challenges and get points! We’ll see then who had best predictions!

Michael Says:

Congrats to Del Potro and Isner. It seems Del Potro is in very good form prior to the Australian Open. He definitely has the wherewithal and capability to win this major but unfortunately what is troubling him there is the heat in the court. If he can combat it, he might relive those magic moments of 2009 when he won the US Open defeating Rafa and Roger back-to-back.

gonzalowski Says:

Glad about these winning titles.
Isner looks like a nice guy, he had those ‘problems’ with some north-american spectators so glad about him now.

Actually it’s Garbiñe Muguruza, that’s a basque name. She has been 6 months ankle-injured, and at this event hasn’t lost any set.

Delpo-Rafa would be a match to see!

Tootie Says:

That’s too bad that Lu didn’t win. What I like best about him is that he is not living in sin with a girl. What a novel idea: waiting until one marries before engaging in intimacy! By the way, God’s Word calls it fornication, a sin.

gonzalowski Says:

Well Tootie, I respect the idea, but I don’t feel it’s a sin, a word about evil, but joy and the good of life.
They are your words, not God’s words!

But interesting subject, anyway.

Queen Says:

Lord have mercy, discussions on this blog get dumber and dumber.

gonzalowski Says:

Well, Sunday discussion… :)

Hippy Chic Says:

Tootie this is a tennis forum,and niether the time or the place for you to preach your religious beliefs,let people live their lives the way that they choose to,after all its none of your buisness.

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