ATP Saturday News: results, quote, Sunday's OOP, etc.
Here's the Dubai round-up. Well done for F-Lo to play Roger in the final.
RESULTS - SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2004
Singles – Semifinals
F Lopez (ESP) d M Youzhny (RUS) 64 46 64
(1)R Federer (SUI) d J Nieminen (FIN) 76(7) 62 (saved 3 set points)
Doubles – Semifinals
(1)Bhupathi/Santoro d Pala/Vizner 61 76(4)
(2) Bjorkman/Paes d Nadal/Robredo 63 64 :(
For the Dubai singles draw, go to: http://www.atptennis.com/posting/2004/495/MDS.pdf
For the Dubai doubles draw, go to: http://www.atptennis.com/posting/2004/495/MDD.pdf
ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2004
Centre Court – 7:00 PM
(1) Bhupathi/Santoro vs (2)Bjorkman/Paes (best of three tie-break sets)
Not before 9:00 PM
(1) R Federer (SUI) vs F Lopez (ESP) (best of three tie-break sets)
ATP MEDIA NOTES - SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2004
WORLD'S TOP LEFT-HANDER TO PLAY WORLD'S TOP PLAYER IN DUBAI FINAL
* Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, the world's top left-handed male tennis player, reached his first ATP final with a 64 46 64 victory over Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the semifinals of The Dubai Tennis Championships. In a match-up of a contrast in styles and looks, Lopez served his way to overcome the Russian. Lopez backed up his serving with all-round play including control, versatility and mixtures of pace which ultimately dominated rallies and created easy volleys to put away.
* Top seed and INDESIT ATP 2004 Race leader Roger Federer, trailed the first set statistics to scrape out with the first set in a tie-breaker 9-7. Jarkko Nieminen held three sets points in the first set tie-breaker but the "Flying Fin" experienced first hand why his opponent is the number one when Federer stepped up with attacking play and ruthless risk-taking. The set points was the last time Nieminen smelt any opportunities as Federer, in true number one fashion, chased the lines and dominated the second set with a magical display of dazzling tennis.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Lopez: "It was a really close match. I played really well at the beginning, then in the second set he was serving so well I couldn't find a way to break him and then he broke me at 4-5. In the third set, it was 50/50 of who would win until 4-4, I broke and then held my serve."
(First ATP final) "I'm so happy. This is my first ATP final and it's at a very big tournament here in Dubai. It's not a small tournament so when you win matches you get so many points and you go up in the rankings and that's the most important thing."
(Bad start to the year) "I played the Davis Cup final in December and then went back home to Spain. However, I did not have time to really prepare for January. In February I played Davis Cup and then took three weeks off with no tournaments, just practicing and training hard, that's why I play good now."
(Playing Federer in the final) "I played Roger twice last year. When we played in Wimbledon, I played really good, but he was playing unbelievable at the time. Then we played in Madrid (indoors), I was really close to winning. I had 64 44 and 0-40 on his serve and then got out of it and I lost my opportunity. It's not easy to play against Roger, he's the best player in the world. I told everybody two years ago that he would become number one. I just have to go on court and do the best I can and to put him in trouble. If he plays good everybody knows he will be difficult.
Youzhny: "It was a good match but I think he served better for the whole of the match. He broke me in the third set and then kept holding."
Federer: "It was really difficult. I'm almost happy playing a leftie again tomorrow because to face those different spins all the time is not easy. I thought about the last time I played against a leftie and it was Jarkko last year in Vienna. I'm really not used to it, there's not many around and we could see clearly that I was struggling and missing a lot of easy shots. That's because you think the ball is going one way and it goes another, and it took me some time. Once again, my serve saved me out of some trouble and I had to play aggressive."
(Against Lopez) "It's going to be a different match because he (Lopez) plays with a one-handed backhand so he's going to slice his backhand more and this will change the whole tactic of the game. I've never lost to him on the Tour but I'm looking forward to a difficult one, because he must be very confident."
Nieminen: "I had three set points in the tie-breaker and on two of those I had pretty good chances but I went for a little too much with two unforced errors. It's a shame I couldn't take the first as it would have been interesting how the match would go after that. Then the second set I had chances to break but I couldn't then he just played too good, and if you don't take chances against Roger then you lose."
* Roger Federer takes on Spain's Feliciano Lopez, as the leader in the INDESIT ATP 2004 Race looks to become the first back-to-back winner of this prestigious event in the Middle East. Goran Ivanisevic reached consecutive finals in 1996 and 1997, as did Nicolas Kiefer in 1999 and 2000, but no one has won this event twice. Nieminen is looking for his first appearance in an ATP final since the BMW Open in Munich last year, when he lost to Federer in straight sets. If Federer wins in the final, it will take him to 16 wins from 17 matches for 2004. With a large number of Swiss supporters, the "Federer Express" is on a roll without dropping a set this week.
* Feliciano Lopez could possibly break into the top 20 if he wins the Dubai title. This is the first ATP final that Lopez appears in. Lopez is 0-2 lifetime against Federer.
* Former doubles partners and Indian Davis Cup team members, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes go up against each other with their respective partners in doubles final. Bhupathi's partner, Fabrice Santoro is the 2004 Australian Open Champion and are the number one seeds and play Paes who is teamed up with Jonas Bjorkman, the number two seeds.
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs Roger Federer (SUI) Federer Leads 2-0
03 Wimbledon (England) Grass R16 Roger Federer 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4
03 Madrid TMS (Spain) Hard QF Roger Federer 4-6 7-6(3) 6-4
YTD W-L: 5-3
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: September 20, 1981
INDESIT ATP 2004 Race: 138T
INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking: 32
W: Australian Open (d Safin); QF: Rotterdam (l Henman);
YTD W-L: 15-1
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 12
Date of Birth: August 8, 1981
INDESIT ATP 2004 Race: 1
INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking: 1
Here's the Scottsdale update. Andy lost a tight three-setter. I was following it on line with a gal who was watching it live on TV, and she said Andy had a trainer out and wasn't moving well in the third set. She said he didn't run down balls, and seemed to be hurting. But Andy does't really mention that, and is giving credit to Spadea, so perhaps it just wasn't his night.
Who would have thought a Kiefer/Spadea final? :D Talk about parity. Well done to them both.
Oh, I don't have the Acapulco update yet, but Moya faces Verdasco in the final. I believe they are 1-0, with Carlos beating him on hardcourts last year -- perhaps Miami. *too lazy to look it up* Vamos, Carlos! :D
RESULTS - MARCH 6, 2004
Singles - Semifinals
(4) V Spadea (USA) d (1) A Roddick (USA) 67(5) 63 64
(7) N Kiefer (GER) d V Hanescu (ROM) 46 75 64
Doubles - Semifinals (4) Leach/MacPhie d (1)Allegro/Koenig 63 76(4)
Coetzee/Haggard d Kiefer/Moodie Walkover (Kiefer exhaustion)
ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2004
Stadium Court - Noon
(4)V Spadea (USA) vs (7)N Kiefer (GER)
Coetzee/Haggard vs (4) Leach-MacPhie
ATP MEDIA NOTES – SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2004
SPADEA UPSETS RODDICK; KIEFER ADVANCES TO SECOND STRAIGHT FINAL
No. 4 seed Vincent Spadea rallied to beat top-seeded Andy Roddick 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, and advance to his third career ATP final, the first since August 1999 in Indianapolis. Spadea is trying to capture his first career ATP title. The 29-year-old Boca Raton, Fla. resident lost a tight opening set tie-break and fell behind 0-2, 15-40 in the second set before getting out of trouble. He then broke Roddick three consecutive times to win the set. In the final set, the only break came in the ninth game as Roddick lost serve at 0-40.
Roddick was limited to six aces while double faulting five times. Spadea, who converted four of seven break points in the two hour and three minute match, hit 40 winners to Roddick's 23.
The win over No. 3 Roddick was Spadea's first win over a Top 5 opponent since beating No. 2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in three sets in the quarterfinals of Lyon in 1999.
No. 7 seed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany advanced to his second straight ATP final as he rallied to beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes. Hanescu, who was appearing in his first career ATP semifinal, was three points away from reaching the final, serving at 6-4, 5-4, 15-0. But the 26-year-old German battled his way back to break Hanescu in that game and in the 12th game when the Romanian double-faulted. The only break in the third set came in the 10th game as Kiefer hit a winner on his first match point.
Kiefer has won eight of his last nine matches since beginning the season with an 0-4 record. Kiefer, who reached his first ATP final in the U.S. two weeks ago in Memphis (l. to J. Johansson), is playing in back-to-back finals for the first time in his career. This is his 14th career ATP final (6-7) and he is trying to win his first ATP title since Hong Kong (d. Philippoussis) on Oct. 8, 2000. Since then, he is 0-4 in ATP finals.
In the doubles final, No. 4 seeds Rick Leach and Brian MacPhie take on South Africans Jeff Coetzee and Chris Haggard. Leach-MacPhie were finalists in San Jose last month and Coetzee-Haggard are coming off a runner-up effort in Memphis two weeks ago.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID:
Spadea: "It's a great victory and I can't totally cherish it yet but I just have to focus on tomorrow. But it's always a great accomplishment, to beat a player who's ranked as high and what he's accomplished, especially the way it happened, being down a set and a break and almost two breaks. I could have easily been complacent and folded. I felt like I was very close and the tie-break was bothering me a little bit and throwing me off my rhythm and my ability to fight. I was just trying to forget it and keep the ball in play a little bit. I knew he had a long day yesterday and he had the two matches, with the last one going three sets at night. I felt like if he's going to take this in straight sets I might as well have him hit five to eight balls in each rally unless he hits an ace. I felt like I needed to step up a bit in terms of my effort."
(on how the win ranks in his career) "The win is definitely up there, beating a Top 3 or Top 4 player. It's a big highlight career wise and for 2004 and I'll just try to feed off it and use the momentum tomorrow and the rest of the year. It doesn't happen every day but it's a big career highlight. I don't know if it finally hit me. I've been focusing on one day at a time. Theses matches all come in one and the same. It could have been a quarterfinal match but it was the semis and I'm in the final."
(on getting to his first final since 1999) "Looking back I haven't been to a final since 1999 so it's a great relief now to be able to know I'm still there and contending for titles when I play well and have my mind into it."
Roddick: "I'm frustrated a little bit because I was looking good and thought I may have made the upswing to where I was playing really well in the second. Then it was weird because I starting serving badly. I think it was great tennis and Vince played really well during the match. I felt I let it get away a little bit. It was weird because I starting serving badly and that's not normal the case."
"I thought I regrouped well in the third. I was putting pressure on him in the service games, but he was coming up big. He was taking the ball off the baseline and hitting really well. It took that one bad game on my serve and that was it. Vince played great throughout the match, but I let it get away."
"If I'm being honest, I feel like I let him back into the second set. I had a couple break points to go up a double break. I had a pretty good swing on one of my forehand returns and just clipped the net, but after that he just out-toughed me."
Kiefer: (on losing first and second set leads) "I had many chances and I didn’t take them. I didn’t feel so good this morning and just tried to stay in there. I was up a break 4-1 in the first set and I didn’t pay attention and he didn’t do anything special. I didn’t play my game and I didn’t find my game today. I just focused on trying to stay in there. In the second set, I was up a break again at 3-1 and at 5-4 he was serving for the match. I started a comeback, nothing special. I just tried to focus and I saw he was getting a little tired and I did it."
(on withdrawing from doubles) "I wanted to be safe. I didn’t feel so good. I was tired and weak and didn’t want to take the risk just to injure myself where I couldn’t play in the final tomorrow. I don’t like this because when I play I want to give 100 percent. Normally I’m not like this and when I go play doubles I give it 100 percent. It wasn’t easy. I don’t like this decision, but he (Moodie) was OK with it."
"I slept very bad and I couldn’t eat much this morning. I had a long day yesterday playing singles and doubles and I felt a little tired. I think it’s quite normal. I just have to get over it. If you win these matches while feeling not good it’s good for my mind."
(on reaching the final) "When you play great winning is easy. When you win by fighting and just staying in there and focusing on your big shots. I didn’t play my best at the net today but I tried to stay in it. When I didn’t play that good I tried to use my legs and run and focus on something. I know that I’m fit and I have to continue to work on my game and I’ll be ready."
"I think what I was missing the last few months was fighting. I would get down and I just wouldn’t stay in. In this sport, and this is a good example, if you stay in and fight, everything is possible. This is what I tried to put in my head and now it is there. When you get into a final you want to win it, but this shows me I’m still there. This gives me a lot of confidence in my game. Two weeks ago in Memphis I had my chances. I mean everybody who plays in a final can win.
(on trying to get back to his Top 10 form in 1999) "Of course I want to go back. I want to be happy when I’m old. But this isn’t my goal. The reason I play tennis is that I want to go to the top. I’m getting my fighting spirit back and I just have to get a few shots and this is coming. I think it can be a good season. I don’t want to rush. It can be this year or next."
Hanescu: "I wasn’t nervous, but my play wasn’t so great today. From the beginning my serve was, I can say terrible. I couldn’t make my first serve and it’s very difficult to play against Kiefer with a second serve. The courts are very slow. The court is different than the other one. I played all three matches on the clubhouse court and the center court is bigger and more difficult to play in."
"Of course I can learn from this and I hope to play well in the next tournament. I have to think about it. I’m not prepared to tell you what is important and what wasn’t important and what mistakes I made. Yes, I was tired from the beginning. I played two matches yesterday and from the beginning I was tired. It was very tough for me.
No. 4 seed Vincent Spadea takes on No. 7 seed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany in the final of the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic. Spadea is attempting to capture his first career ATP title while Kiefer is looking to win his first ATP title since October 2000 in Hong Kong.
The winner of the best-of-three sets final earns 35 INDESIT ATP 2004 Race points and $52,000 while the finalist collects 24 Race points and $30,600.
Kiefer, who is coming off his first career ATP final in the U.S. in Memphis two weeks ago (l. to J. Johansson), is trying to win his seventh career ATP title. The 26-year-old German has won eight of his last nine matches after an 0-4 start this season.
FIRST-TIME 2004 WINNERS -- There have been two first-time winners on the ATP circuit this year: Antony Dupuis (Milan) and Joachim Johansson (Memphis). Spadea is one of three players who are trying to win their first ATP title on Sunday. In Dubai, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez takes on top-seeded and world No. 1 Roger Federer while in Acapulco, top-seeded Carlos Moya plays another Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the final.
The Acapulco info just came in:
RESULTS - SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2004
Singles – Semi finals
F Verdasco (ESP) d (WC) Guillermo Cańas 63 36 63
(1) C Moya (ESP) d (7)J Chela (ARG) 62 76(4)
Doubles – Semi finals
B & M Bryan (USA) d M Fyrstenberg / M Matkowski (POL) 61 62
JI Chela (ARG) / N Massu (CHI) d L Arnold / A Calleri (ARG) 36 75 76(4)
ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2004
Centre Court – 1:00 PM -
WTA Singles Final
Iveta BENESOVA (CZE) vs Flavia PENNETTA (ITA)
ATP Singles Final
(1)Carlos MOYA (ESP) vs Fernando VERDASCO (ESP)
ATP Doubles Final
Bob & Mike BRYAN (USA) vs. Lucas ARNOLD / Agustin CALLERI (ARG)
ATP MEDIA NOTES - SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2004
ALL SPANISH FINAL IN ACAPULCO
· Top seed Carlos Moya moved through to his second final of the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Telefonica MoviStar in Acapulco after defeating 2000 champion Juan Ignacio Chela. Moya, also a champion in Mexico is reached his fourth final in just five tournaments this year and extended his 2004 record to 17-.
· Young talented Spaniard Fernando Verdasco is playing his first career ATP final. The young player from Madrid had only reached 2nd round as best result on the ATP. Verdasco defeated Guillermo Cańas in 3 sets under a very intensive and strong sun.
WHAT THE PLAYER'S SAID
About the final: "I am very happy to play my first ATP final. I am pretty tired today but I am sure that tomorrow I will be Ok since I am really looking forward to play. I will try to give everything as a way to thank the crowd for all the support I have received during the week. Moya is a friend of mine and I know it is going to be very difficult to defeat him”
About today’s match: “We both looked for the backhands and I think that I managed to play at my top level. I tried to play in the same way as the other days. I knew that if I would play the way I was playing I knew I could beat him. Last week it was easier for me but today I saw him much better and stronger. I knew how to handle the pressure and my body and that was the difference today.”
About the court conditions tomorrow: “It is pretty fast the court for being a clay court and I think that helped me today.”
About Feliciano Lopez: “Feliciano is my best friend, he is like my brother and I am very happy to see he is also in a final. I wish him all the best and I hope he wins his first title tomorrow against Federer”
Moya: "It has been a very complete match. I think I played my best tennis during the first set. I was lucky since I played very well in the Tie break and I am very happy to be again in a final here in Acapulco.
About Verdasco: “I played in Miami last year but he is a much better player right now. He is more consolidated. He beat very good players here, he has a lot of talent and I just hope I can win tomorrow. I feel that I play younger players on Tour. I played against Gasquet at the beginning of the tournament and now it is Verdasco who is only 20. He might feel the pressure tomorrow and I will try to take advantage of this circumstance.”
About the time of the final: “It is Ok with the heat. The ball might be faster but I think I can take some advantage of that. I only expect to do a good match and win the title since it would be my 2nd Acapulco title and my 16th title in my career.”
Cańas: “I think that he played a very good match. I never felt comfortable on court and that is to his credit. I tried to conduct the match today but I could not make it and specially since I did not serve as well as I wanted. The court was a bit faster and slippery than during the other days and he played better under these circumstances”
“I am happy with the semis after receiving a wild card and I ma very happy with the crowd since they really make me feel at home. I have always been close to the final here and I will definitely come next year to try to make it to my first final here.
Chela: “I found a very solid Moya during the whole set. He was faster and could not do anything against him. It is my first semi final in a long time and I am happy for that.”
· Final day at the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Telefonica MoviStar in Acapulco with two Spaniards in the final. This is the first all Spanish final in 2004. Moya has a pretty good record against fellow country man. Earlier this year he defeated Tommy Robredo in Chennai. In 2003 he won 6 out of his 10 matches against another Spaniard.
· Moya, is playing his 4th final of the year and looking for his second title of 2004 (w Chennai). This is Moya's second final in the Latin American Swing (did not play Vińa del Mar).The Spaniard reached the quarterfinals in Acapulco in 2003 (l. to Mantilla) and the semi-finals in 2001 (l. to Blanco), now has a 14-2 record in the tournament.
· Moya is looking for his 16th career title and 2nd Acapulco title. Moya would be the first player in case of victory to have won two titles in Acapulco. Thomas Muster managed to win 4 Abierto Mexicano but those were played in Mexico City.
· Verdasco entered the tournament as last direct acceptance and finds himself now playing the final. The Spaniard, a lefty as well as his best friend Feliciano Lopez, played his first quarterfinal, semi-final and now final of his career this week. He will step in the Top 100 of the INDESIT ATP Rankings for the first time in his career on Monday.
· Verdasco wished all the best of lucks to his “almost brother” Feliciano who is also looking for his first career ATP title in Dubai.
Carlos Moya (ESP) vs Fernando Verdasco (ESP) Moya Leads 1-0
03 Miami TMS (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Carlos Moya 7-6(5) 6-3
YTD W-L: 5-5
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: November 15, 1983
INDESIT ATP 2004 Race: 89T
INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking: 103
W: Chennai (d Srichaphan); F: Sydney (l Hewitt); Buenos Aires (l Coria);
YTD W-L: 17-3
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 15
Date of Birth: August 27, 1976
INDESIT ATP 2004 Race: 9
INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking: 7
Susan, on which channel did your friend watch the semis?
Ronaldo, I'm fairly sure she was watching it on Eurosport. The match was not shown in the U.S.
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