Garcia-Lopez, Kerber, Nishikori, Win ATP/WTA Titles
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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