Nishikori Successfully Defends ATP Barcelona Title
Kei Nishikori showed his claycourt chops on Sunday by successfully defending his title at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, defeating Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-4.
“I’m really happy I’m able to defend the title,” Nishikori said. “I think the second set was extremely tough and I don’t really know how I won it to be honest. Pablo was very aggressive, he kept moving the ball and made me run up and down all the time. I also tried to be aggressive and I think that’s why I won the important points, but I’d say he played better than me.”
It was the ninth career title and second this year after Memphis for Nishikori, who improved to 9-5 in career finals.
Andujar fell to 3-4 in career finals, looking for his first title since 2014 Gstaad. “It was a great, high-quality final,” he said. “We were both playing well. I played better in the second set and I felt I deserved something more, but what happened was I let some opportunities pass. I believe that I could have won but here we are. I feel I played my best tennis this week.”
Home Crowd Spurs Kerber to WTA Stuttgart Crown
In a battle punctuated by grueling rallies in the final games, German Angelique Kerber outlasted Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Sunday in Stuttgart, Germany.
Each player claimed large scalps en route to the final as Kerber upset top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the second round and Wozniacki ousted No. 2 Simona Halep in the semifinals. Wozniacki led 3-1 and 5-3 in the final set but could not close it out.
“It was small things today that made the difference,” Wozniacki said afterwards. “I had 5-3 in the third set and 30-all, and it could have gone both ways, but she took her chances and it went her way. We’re great friends, we hang out a lot and practice a lot together, and it’s always nice to play a friend in a final.”
Kerber is 11-0 on clay this year, and improved to 5-9 in career finals. Wozniacki fell to 23-17, and is 1-2 in finals this year [CORRECTED].
Age Over Youth as Garcia-Lopez Wins ATP Bucharest
The age over youth trend this year kept steady Sunday on the ATP circuit when 31-year-old Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Czech Jiri Vesely 7-6(5), 7-6(11) for the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy clay court title in Bucharest, Romania, his second of the year after Zagreb.
En route the the title the No. 5-seeded Spaniard defeated Marcos Baghdatis, No. 4 seed Lukas Rosol and No. 2 seed Gael Monfils in the semifinals. He improved to 5-3 in career finals.
“It was complicated for me to close the match,” G-Lo said. “I was feeling nervous, a lot of things crossing my mind, but in the end I was happy to win. It is the first time in my career that I’ve won two titles in a year.”
The No. 7-seeded Vesely fell to 1-1 in career finals after winning at Auckland in January.
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