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MERCEDES CUP

€568,000 ATP International Series Gold

Stuttgart, Germany

July 7-13, 2008

Surface: Clay

(+2 hour GMT)

 

 

RESULTS – SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2008

 

Singles – Finals

J Del Potro (ARG) d [2] R Gasquet (FRA) 64 75

 

Doubles - Finals

[4] C Kas (GER) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) d M Berrer (GER) / M Zverev (GER) 63 64

 

 

SINGLES FINAL – DEL POTRO CAPTURES FIRST ATP TITLE

·         Argentine teenager Juan Martin del Potro captured his first ATP title at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart on Sunday, defeating second-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-5.

·         The 19-year-old becomes the sixth first time winner of an ATP title this year. He matches the achievement of Kei Nishikori (Delray Beach), Sergiy Stakhovsky (Zagreb), Sam Querrey (Las Vegas), Marcel Granollers (Houston) and Victor Hanescu (Gstaad).

·         After capturing the title, del Potro was presented with a brand new white Mercedes-Benz SLK 350.

·         He is the second Argentine to win an ATP singles title this season, joining David Nalbandian, who was victorious in Buenos Aires, and the third Argentine champion in the past six years at Stuttgart.

·         World No. 65 del Potro was contesting his first ATP singles final. On his way to the title match he defeated Evgeny Korolev, No. 5 seed Simone Bolelli, No. 4 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber and No. 8 seed Eduardo Schwank. Having fallen third round on his debut in 2006, his tournament record now stands at 7-1.

·         The Tandil resident failed to win back-to-back matches on the ATP circuit until April, although had only contested three events, when he reached the quarterfinals at Munich (l. to El Aynaoui). Following a first round exit at Masters Series Rome and a second round dismissal at Roland Garros, the right-hander then made the semifinals at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Ferrer). Prior to arriving at Stuttgart, he fell first round at Wimbledon (l. to Wawrinka).

·         Del Potro made a fast start to the match, breaking Gasquet in the first game to lead 1-0. Gasquet broke back to level for 2-2, but del Potro was able to regain the initiative and broke at 5-4 before serving out the set.

·         The Argentine broke early again in the second set, but was once again pegged back at 3-3. With Gasquet leading at 4-3 there was a short rain delay and when play resumed, del Potro earned his fourth break of serve in the 11th game before serving out the match to love after 1 hr., 35 min and avenging his loss to Gasquet at the Pacific Life Open last year.

·         The 22-year-old Gasquet was through to his first ATP singles final of the season having only reached one ATP quarterfinal in the lead-up to Stuttgart, falling to David Nalbandian at Queen’s Club. He had only won back-to-back matches on four occasions this season.

·         Placed at No. 15 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, the Beziers native is currently eight spots down from his career-high of No. 7 (July 9, 2007). He was bidding for his first title since 2007 Mumbai (d. O. Rochus). He now slips to a 5-6 record (1-3 on clay) in ATP singles finals.

 

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Del Potro: “I feel unbelievable, it's like a dream for me. I hope to win more titles in my career, but the first one, I think is the most important. It was very tough, because it was my first final. Now I have to go step-by-step and have to savor this moment."

Gasquet: “I played not my best match. I was frustrated because I was playing badly but he played well, I am happy for him. It's his first title so it's important for him. It was difficult for me to play my best tennis, the court was too slow to play but I try my best and I will try to come back next year and win this tournament. It's positive to make a final, I tried my best and I hope to do well in Toronto and Cincinnati, they are Masters Series, it's important for me."

DOUBLES FINAL – KAS/KOHLSCHREIBER WIN FIRST ALL-GERMAN FINAL

·         Fourth seeds Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber won a first ever all-German ATP doubles final at the MercedesCup against Michael Berrer and Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-4 in Stuttgart on Sunday.

·         Rookie pairing Kas/Kohlschreiber converted three of four break point chances to win their first ATP team title. They went from 2-2 to 5-2 in the first set and from 1-2 down to 5-2 in the second set. Kas served for the match a 6-3, 5-2, but was broken. However, Kohlschreiber was able to serve out to love at the second opprtunity.

·         World No. 33 Kas now improves to 17-18 for the season after capturing his career-first ATP doubles title; the 28-year-old had fallen short in his first five ATP finals, including at Zagreb, with Rogier Wassen, earlier this season. No. 82 Kohlschreiber collects his second title of the season, having won his fourth career title at Doha (w/ Skoch) at the start of the year, before finishing as runner-up at Rotterdam.

·         Both World No. 221 Berrer and No. 115 Zverev were chasing their second titles of the season after winning in Munich (w/ Schuettler) and Halle (w/ Youzhny) respectively.

·         Kas/Kohlschreiber share €30,500 in prize money and earn 250 South African Airways ATP Rankings points, while runners-up Berrer/Zverev receive €15,300 and 175 points

 

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Kas: “I feel a little bit relieved. I was a little bit nervous before the finals, also before the semifinals already because this week I thought we were going to have a good chance maybe to win the title. I just want to say thank-you to Philipp because there was a great chemistry in the team this week, there was a lot of fun, we were practicing a lot. It's very special (to win at home), it's almost too special to say in words. So, now I have the title and I hope the next one's going to come soon."

Kohlschreiber: "It was a great week, I think it was great that there were four German players in a doubles final, I think it's huge. Of course when you win the title you make a little bit of history and it's great."

 

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