Dubai Tennis Championship Final – Murray v Verdasco
Murray returns to form in Dubai
After a slow start in which he dropped his first two service games Andy Murray recovered to defeat Fernando Verdasco. He broke bac on both occasions and then a third time to eventually take the first set 6-3. He then took total control breaking twice more and finding his service rhythm to easily take the second set 6-2. It is Murrays’s first tournament win of 2017 and the 45th ATP title of his career, expect more to come.
America’s Sam Querry scored a surprise victory defeating Rafael Nadal. Querry got off to a quick start and took the first set in just 29 minutes. Nadal repsonded in the second and had five break point chances in the eighth game. However Querry held him off to level at 4-4 with the set eventually going all the way to a tie break. Nadal made key baseline errors allowing Querry to take it 7-3 and claim his first title of 2017 having served 19 aces in a very impressive display.
Austrian Dominic Thiem has won again on South American soil. Having won in Argentina and Mexico in 2016, he claimed the Rio Open beating Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets. The Spaniard took a 3-2 lead in the first set but Thiem, ranked 8th in the World, fought back to break twice taking the first set 7-5. He broke twice again in the second set and serving eight aces in the match to take it 6-4 and win his eighth ATP title.
Jo Wilfried Tsonga won his second straight ATP title adding the Open 13 in Marseille to his Rotterdam Open title last week. He defeated fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4 6-4 braking once in each set. The match lasted 69 minutes. It is the 14th title of Tsonga’s career and his third win in Marseille. He will hope to continue this fine form heading towards the French Open.
Delray Beach Open Final in Florida – Sock v Raonic
Second Title for Sock
Jack Sock has his second ATP title this year after winning his final by default. Top seeded Canadian Milos Raonic had to with draw due to a hamstring injury. As a result Sock is the Champion in Delray Beach, adding to his victory in Auckland in January continuing a fine start to the season for the American.
Zvarev upsets the home crowd to end Gasquet’s Montpellier reign
Germany’s Alexander Zvarev upset Richard Gasquet and the crowd hoping to see the Frenchman win in Montpellier for the third straight year. Both men got one break each in the first set but the German held his nerve to take the lead in the tie break. Zvarev then broke again in the eight game of the second set to take a 5-3 lead. Zvarev then served out the final game to take his second ATP title after winning in ST Petersburg in September.
Grigor Dimitrov has continued his excellent start to the season with victory on home soil in Sofia in his native Bulgaria. He broke opponent David Goffin in second game to take an early 3-0 lead. Goffin fought back to break but at 5-6 Goffin made a series of errors on his service game allowing Dimitrov to take the first set with his first set point. The second set followed a similar pattern as Dimitrov raced into a 5-1 lead and had 0-40, Goffin saved all three match points then broke back in the next game. However at 5-4 he could not break again as Dimitrov finished the contest at the second attempt. Dimitrov has two titles this year and a grand slam semi final to his name in what is looking a potentially big year.
Victor Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic won his third straight title in Ecuador winning a tight contest against Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi. Lorenzi took the first set on a tie break but Burgos hit back to break at the key moment to take the second set 7-5. There were no breaks in the final set went all the way to a tie break which itself went all the way. At 6-6 Burgos got the key mini break and took his match point to continue an extraordinary run of 15 straight wins on the clay courts of Quito. Burgos returns to the top 100 in the World rankings as a result
The world’s top two players showed why in a three set classic with excellent tennis to kick off the ATP 2017 tour in Doha. Novak Djokovic took the first set after breaking in the 8th game and led by an early break in the second set. However Andy Murray reached number 1 in the world for a reason and fought back to take the second set 7-5 to force a decider. at 4-4 The Serb seized his chance to gain the decisive break. Murray fought back again to threaten at 0-30 in the next service game but Djokovic weathered the test to claim the game and his first title of the season and end Murray’s 28 match unbeaten run.
Experience beats youth as Bautista Agut claims fifth ATP title
Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut won a comfortable straight sets victory over Daniil Medvedev of Russia to claim the Chennai Open title. Bautista Agut won a break in each set against the youngster who was chasing his first title. There were plenty of long rallies but Medvedev made too many mistakes and the experience of Butista Agut told. The win is the Spaniard’s fifth ATP title.
Grigor Dimitrov ended his title drought with a three set victory over fifth world ranked Kai Nishikori of Japan. Dimitrov scored two breaks to easily take the first set but Nishikori hit back with a run of four straight games in the second to level. Dimitrov kept his composure to break in the final set and serve it out to take the third 6-3. It is Nishikori’s fifth final defeat in Brisbane but a sign we may begin to see the full potential of Dimitrov going forward.
It was an all Spanish affair in North Carolina as Pablo Carreno Busta won his first ever ATP tour title against compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut. There was a break of serve each in the first set which Agut took on a tie break. Serving took control in the second as it got to 6-6 with a single loss of serve. Busta who has lost two finals this year already showed resolve to win the tie break 7-1 to take the match to a deciding set. Busta’s only break point came at 4-4 and he took his one and only chance to get the break. He then proceeded to serve the match out After final losses in Brazil and Portugal Busta finally has his title. His opponent Agut has two titles this year and this was his first loss in an ATP Final.
Andy Murray’s 22 match unbeaten run came to an end in Cincinnati as he was defeated in the final by Croatian Marin Cilic. A week after his gold medal battle in Rio against Martin Del Potro, Murray lost his serve twice in the first. it got to 5-5 in the second with Cilic having to save four break points before breaking himself to take the second set 7-5 and claim his first WTA Tour title of the season. For Murray the week will be a useful workout on the Hard Courts with the US Open not far away.
In form Ivo Karlovic of Croatia claimed his second ATP Tour title in Mexico by defeating Feliciano Lopez of Spain in straight sets. Karlovic in his third fnal in the last four ATP events was taken all the way in a tight first set before winning a close tie-break with just one mini break taking it 7-5. Karlovic then took control breaking his opponenet twice in the second set to take it 6-2 and add the Los Cabos open to his title won in Newport, Rhode Island three weeks ago.