Qatar Exxon Mobil Open 2010
Russian “invisible man” Nikolay Davydenko has emerged as a favorite to contend for his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in a week’s time after winning the 2009 ATP year-end championship and now, in the first week of the 2010 season, defeating Rafael Nadal in the final for the title at Doha. Davydenko showed his mental fortitude in coming back from a 6-0 first-set shellacking and then saving two match points before lifting the trophy after an 0-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 win over the Spaniard.
“The first set was 6-0, everybody saw it,” the 28-year-old Davydenko said. “But if you saw the match, it was not so easy. I tried every point but Nadal had very good concentration and played very well every point. I really had the chance to win some games, but I played a little bit slowly, he played much faster…[In the end] I think he lost a little bit of concentration and lost the match. For me it was a really good fight today.” Nadal remains without a title since May 2009 at Rome.
Surface: hard (Plexicushion)
Andy Roddick won his first tour event on Australian soil Sunday in his first event of the year at Brisbane, edging wily net-rushing Czech and defending champion Radek Stepanek 7-6(2), 7-6(7). Stepanek gagged the first-set tiebreak with a number of unforced errors, but came back from 0-4 in the second to force another breaker. “I don’t think I’ve ever squandered a lead where I’ve been putting in first serves and making approach shots,” Roddick said. “Once he got down he kind of loosened up and played more aggressively.”
It is an uplifting start for the season for Roddick, who suffered a hip injury last year after Wimbledon and a knee injury that ended his 2009 season in October, missing the year-end championships. “I certainly don’t know if I expected to come and win my first tournament after a pretty extended lay-off,” Roddick said.
Aircel Chennai Open 2010
Surface: hard (Play Pave)
Croat Marin Cilic, who many have pegged to finish 2010 in the Top 10 for the first time, won his fourth career title on Sunday in Chennai, edging Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-6(2), 7-6(3). The 21-year-old successfully defended his title from last year. “Obviously winning the title here will give me more confidence going into the Australian Open,” he said. “I’ll have a week off now, go to Melbourne, rest and have a few days of practice before the tournament starts.”
Cilic improved to 4-2 in career finals, and was 0-4 career against Wawrinka entering the final. “I tried to use everything in my game during the match,” Wawrinka said. “In the tiebreaks I think I needed to be a bit more aggressive. He took his chances before me.”
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