Tennis News Wire -
THE GRAND CHAMPIONS BRAZIL
SOCIEDADE HARMONIA DE TENIS, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
10-13 MAY 2012
SANTORO LANDS FIRST ATP CHAMPIONS TOUR TITLE
Fabrice Santoro clinched the first title of his fledgling ATP Champions Tour career on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Mark Philippoussis in the final of the Grand Champions Brazil in Sao Paulo.
Despite not claiming to be a clay court specialist, Santoro showed real guile on the red clay of the Sociedade Harmonia de Tenis, outmaneuvering his hard-hitting opponent with different angles and touch.
The man known as The Magician, was delighted with the result.
“This is magical for me,” he said. “It’s been a special week. I think the level of tennis this week was very good, the court was great, the conditions are perfect and the final against Mark was a fantastic match.
The Frenchman also spoke about what the ATP Champions Tour means to him.
“I am 39, I’ve played tennis for 36 of those 39 years and I hope that I can play tennis for many more decades." he said. "Tennis is something that I will love forever and I love that this Tour gives me the chance to continue my love affair with the sport.”
He also paid tribute to Philippoussis, a player he has long admired.
“Mark is such a great player and I had to play my best tennis to beat him today," he said. “He can make winners from anywhere on the court and along with Federer, I think he has the most natural, beautiful technique of any player I’ve seen. It was a pleasure to be on court with him today.”
Though disappointed not to have collected a first title of 2012, Philippoussis was pleased with his achievements during the Tour’s South American swing in Medellin and Sao Paulo.
“I’ve had a great time this fortnight,” he said. “I’m disappointed not to win today but Fabrice played his best match of the week and he deserved to win. This is a gorgeous court to play tennis on and it’s been like a home from home in Sao Paulo this week.”
In the match to decide 3rd and 4th place in Sao Paulo, the 2009 and 2010 Champion Thomas Enqvist defeated Brazilian Flavio Saretta 6-3, 7-6(3).
Matches in Sao Paulo are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner. After all round-robin matches are complete, the top two players in each group will meet in Sunday's final.
To view the round-robin groups and the order of play for the week in Sao Paulo, click here: http://www.atpchampionstour.com/results33.html
The ATP Champions Tour resumes in Knokke-Heist, Belgium for the third annual Optima Open (August 16-19) where the line-up includes John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Goran Ivanisevic and Carlos Moya.
RESULTS - Sunday May 13th, 2012
Thomas Enqvist d. Flavio Saretta 6-3, 7-6(3)
Fabrice Santoro d. Mark Philippoussis 6-3, 6-4
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
Matches won/lost (sets)
Mark Philippoussis 2-0 (4-0)
Thomas Enqvist 1-1 (2-2)
Mariano Puerta 0-2 (0-4)
Fabrice Santoro 2-0 (4-0)
Flavio Saretta 1-1 (2-2)
Sergi Bruguera 0-2 (0-4)