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2012 Daily Tennis News Wire -
Bastad

Singles - Final: (1) D Ferrer def. (2) N Almagro 6-2 6-2
How overwhelming was this? On clay, against a strong defender, David Ferrer needed only an hour and seven minutes. He won 60% of the points.
In terms of rankings, it does him no good. He has used up his 250 point slots; he remains #5. But he has five titles this year: Auckland, Buenos Aires, Acapulco, 's-Hertogenbosch, and now Bastad. That is more than he has ever won before. He hasn't clinched a spot in London, but it seems very likely. At the rate he is going, he might even be able to challenge Andy Murray for the year-end #4 ranking -- although he didn't sound too hopeful about that: "I don't work to be in the Top Four. I work to be a better player and nothing else. I think the Top Four are amazing players, and they are better than everyone else at this moment. I don't think about the Top Four, I think about me and the Top Ten." Still, he looks like he has a shot. Even if he doesn't, he certainly has a nice-looking trophy case.
Nicolas Almagro was #10 win or lose, but this is still disappointing. He'll have a lot of points coming off next week. This significantly increases the risk that he will lose his #10 ranking. And it will be a long time before he has a chance to climb again.

Doubles - Final: (1) Lindstedt/Tecau def. (2) Peya/Soares 6-3 7-6(7-5)
Three titles already this year for Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau. The problem is, they're all 250s -- Bucharest, 's-Hertogenbosch, and now Bastad. They lost the final at their one big chance, at Wimbledon. And it was on their minds; Lindstedt admitted, "we came here almost like in a coma. We have been very, very tired all week, but we have managed to raise our game to play our best tennis for the semis and the final." He declared that it was "unreal to win a home title three years in a row."
Small as they are, it's three titles here, to go with their three titles this year. They came in #3 in the Race, and they strengthen their grip on that spot. Their place in London seems secure. Now if only they could win events that big....


Stuttgart
Singles - Final: (1) J Tipsarevic def. (2) J Monaco 6-4 5-7 6-3
Janko Tipsarevic just can't seem to figure out the meaning of the word "easy." This took two and a half hours (plus rain delays in the second and third sets), and continued his tradition of playing marathons here. And he is supposed to play next week, too! Hard to imagine how he can keep this up.
Maybe he's one of those guys who just likes winning. He earns his first title of the year. It is the third of his career, and his first on clay. But all three of his titles have come in the last twelve months, and all are 250 point events. So he isn't likely to move any time soon -- even with this title, he remains #8, and fully 1200 points behind Tomas Berdych in the contest for #7. (Ironic to hear him say that the car he won will go to his wife, but "the points go to me." Not many of them....) The good news is, there doesn't appear to be any chance that he will fall until the Olympics.
Juan Monaco was #14 win or lose, but the fact that he lost means that he is much less likely to move up next week. At least he should be able to stay Top Fifteen.

Doubles - Final: Chardy/Kubot def. (4) Mertinak/Sa 6-1 6-3
Lukasz Kubot's singles ranking has been falling. Given his history, that makes it almost inevitable that his doubles will be picking up again.
It's amazing to realize that Kubot's last doubles title came all the way back at Bucharest 2010 (with Chela). But he had two other finals this year (Rome with Tipsarevic and Bucharest with Chardy). It was only a matter of time before he broke through.
As for Jeremy Chardy, this is only his second career doubles title -- and his first in Europe, and his first on clay. Given the way relations between France and Germany are going these days, it has to feel good for a Frenchman to pick up a title on German soil....


Umag
Singles - Final: (2) M Cilic def. (4) M Granollers 6-4 6-2
There really isn't much to say about this. It was competitive for half a set, then it became a blowout until Marin Cilic had to serve for the match. He blew that, but came back.
And it doesn't do Cilic a bit of good. #15 he came in; #15 he stays; and it's just barely possible that he could lose that spot next week. Still, he picks up his second title in the space of a five weeks (following Queen's). It seems pretty clear that he is now entirely back from his problems.
Marcel Granollers continues to find titles elusive, but he earned enough points that he should hit the Top Twenty. Hard to believe he can't get direct Olympic entry. But Spain's roster of players is very deep indeed....


Newport
Singles - Final: (1) J Isner def. (WC) L Hewitt 7-6(7-1) 6-4
This was pretty much your standard grass match. John Isner -- who had been broken only once in his previous four matches -- faced only one break point, which he saved; Lleyton Hewitt saved all but one. But it means that Hewitt's string of four straight finals won is over. Still, he had his best result in two years., and improves his ranking about six dozen places.
John Isner doesn't improve his ranking at all -- he remains #11 -- but he does improve his odds of returning to #10 next week. And he earns his first title of 2012, as well as scoring his first-ever title defense. If he doesn't get too tired, he is likely to be a significant contender at the Olympics. Which is probably a bigger deal than the #10 ranking anyway -- after all, Isner has been to #10.

Doubles - Final: (3) S Gonzalez/Lipsky def. (2) Fleming/Hutchins 7-6(7-3) 6-3
When Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky won their first title together, it was on clay at Barcelona 2011. Now they have one on grass. If they could only compromise and start winning on hardcourt, think where they might be!
It's the first title of the year for either player. Lipsky did have a final at Halle (guess he likes grass, eh?). Winning on grass against a British pair... seems promising, at least.

 


 

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