Sam Querrey Wins in LA Open, Davydenko in Umag, and Bellucci in Gstaad
In the battle of two young lefties, big serving Thomaz Belluci of Brazil beats Andreas Beck of Germany to clinch his first career ATP tour title in the Allianz Swisse Open 2009, Gstaad, 6-4, 7-6(2).
Bellucci becomes the fifth qualifier to win a title this season. With the victory, he will be back inside the top 100 in the world ranking, after remaining outside since May 11, 2009.
The 23-year old Beck's slow start helped Bellucci to secure the only break of serve in the match in the first game. The lefty Brazilian wrapped the first set untroubled when Beck, also lefty, shanked his forehand into the net.
The rain delay at 3-4 in the second set disrupted Bellucci's focus in the first game after the resumption of play, as he faced the first break point of the match before holding for 4-4. The Brazilian could not capitalize on two break-point chances when Beck was serving for 6-5 to stay in the match. He raised his level in the tie-break to seal victory against the first-time finalist, under an hour and 41 minutes. The Brazilian reflected on the match in his interview, "I served a little bit better than him and he started the match a little bit slowly and I was able to break serve. In the tie-break I didn’t make any mistakes and I think I played much better than him.”
The field was loaded with talents, including home-boy Stalinas Wawrinka, Igor Andreev (last year's finalist), and Nicolas Kiefer, all of whom fell to the 21-year old Brazilian. Other well-known names in the draw were 2007 champion Paul-Henri Mathieu, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Mikhail Youzhny, and Feliciano Lopez.
The 119th ranked Brazilian's path to the final was marred with upheavals. He barely survived two match points in his first match against Swiss Michael Lammer, was down a set against Kiefer in the quarter finals when the German retired, and faced a set point in the second set against Andreev in the semi-finals.
Some of the biggest names of tennis who have played in the Swiss Open since 1915 include the five-time winner Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, Rod Laver, Ilie Nastase, Boris Becker, Yannick Noah, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courrier, and Roger Federer.
In the second final of the day, last week's German Open winner and top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko kept his title streak when he eased past Juan Carlos Ferrero, with his second title of the season in the Studena Croatia Open, Umag, 6-3, 6-0, in seventy one minutes. It was the Russian's first back-to-back title, 16th career title, and tenth straight singles victory.
While his first serve percentage was below Ferrero's (72-65%), it was business as usual for Davydenko's returnability (59-33%). The Russian faced only two break points in the entire match, both coming in the first set, and saved one. He converted six out of ten break opportunities. The Russian downplayed his goals of winning titles in the upcoming hard court events, “My next tournament is ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal, but right now I just want to enjoy Umag and then I'll think about the American hard-court season later."
Though disappointed to lose the second set in bagel, the former world no. 1 from Spain was not unhappy of the overall result. “I think I had a very good week this week in Umag,” said Ferrero. “I won some more points, which is important for my ranking and I have a lot of confidence now for the hard-court season. I would like to finish the year in the Top 15." It is the first time since 2005 that Ferrero has reached more than one final in the same year. In April, he won Casablanca for his 12th career title — but first since winning Madrid in 2003.
In the third final of the day, LA Tennis Open, Sam Querrey clinched his second career title, after trading sets with Carsten Ball, a 205th ranked lefty from Australia, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Although they played three sets, the match was over under an hour and half. The American broke the Australian four times in the match, twice in the last set. Ball made twice as many unforced errors as Querrey. The 32nd-ranked American powered down his 11th ace of the match to seal the victory. He became first American to reach three consecutive finals in the American series since Andy Roddick in 2004. The American was determined to win this time, after failing to clinch in the last two finals. "I was nervous [after losing the second set]. I lost the last two finals, and I did not want to lose this one," said Querrey. "Outside the Slams, this [LA Tennis Open] is my favorite to win," he added.
Last night, the native Californian stunned top-seeded German Tommy Haas with a straight set victory, 6-3, 7-5, to reach the final. It was their fifth meeting, and, prior to this event, Haas had led the head to head with 3-1.
Haas praised the American's improvement, "He's definitely improved. I played him the first couple of times when he was younger and going for much more and not really being smart about his shots.
"Now he selects his shots. I feel like his serve is really a weapon, even though I don't think he served unbelievably tonight either.
"The [evening] conditions make it tougher. Overall he serves really well and has a very big forehand and is starting to move better."
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