Dominic Thiem of Austria emerged as the winner at Umag’s 26th Konzum Croatia Open against Portugal’s Joao Sousa. The final did not provide any thrill since Sousa was found it difficult to stand against the onslaught from the 21-year old Austrian. At the Skistar Swedish Open in Bastad, Tommy Robredo’s dream of a third title was destroyed by Benoit Paire, who became the first Frenchman since Thierry Tulasne won the title in 1981. But another Frenchman, Adrian Mannarino fell to Australia’s Bernard Tomic, who successfully retained his Claro Open Colombia title in Bogota. All three winners have moved up many spots in the Emirates ATP rankings announced on Monday. Thiem moved up two spots to a career-high no.24; Paire jumped 20 spots to come within top 50 and is now no.42 and Tomic’s ranking moved up by four spots to no.25 now. The Australian won his third ATP title and together with Dominic Thiem, he made it for the third time that two players born in the 1990s have captured ATP World Tour titles on the same day.
The title game between Dominic Thiem of Austria and Joao Sousa of Portugal at Umag didn’t last long. Thiem played too powerfully to permit Sousa any leeway. Watched by world no.1 Novak Djokovic, the match gave an impression that Thiem had a potential to go places. Sousa had come to the final after beating three big guys; Andreas Seppi, Fabio Fognini and Roberto Bautista Agut and he was expected to display the same form against the Austrian. But to his utter dismay, he didn’t have an iota of a chance. The young Thiem is one man, who plays the one-handed backhand to perfection and tells us that the shot is far from being extinct. Now that he has marched into the top 25 in the world, Thiem looks like improving his ranking further in times to come. In the semifinal on Saturday, he came back strongly against Gael Monfils and on Sunday he was too good for Sousa. Both players held serve until the seventh game of the first set. Then Thiem produced an array of amazing drop shots to break the Portuguese in the eighth game. From that point onwards, Thiem won seven out of eight games on trot to close the match at 6-4, 6-1 and win the title.
Benoit Paire of France foiled Tommy Robredo’s third Bastad title aspirations at the Swedish Skistar Open. The Frenchman wasn’t so sure in the first set as Robredo looked a better player and held two set points in the first set tiebreak. But once Paire took the tiebreak at 9-7, the complexion of the match changed. In the second set, Paire found an early break to lead 4-2 and never looked back before finishing a 7-6, 6-3 winner. For Paire, it was the maiden ATP title and for France it came after Thierry Tulasne had won in 1981.
Bernard Tomic finished a turbulent fortnight and capped it with retaining his title at the Claro Open in Bogota. The victory comes after the Australian no.1 was suspended from Australia’s Davis Cup quarter-final team to play Kazakhstan for angering Tennis Australia bosses and his arrest by Miami Police 10 days ago for a hotel brawl. But the 22-year old Australian put all that beyond him in defeating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 in Sunday’s final. This was the third ATP title for Tomic, who also won the 2013 Sydney International. After easily taking the first set, Tomic lost the second but came back strongly in the decider to win his second consecutive Claro Open.
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