It was a confidence-boosting victory for former world no.1 Rafael Nadal at the Bet-At-Home open in Hamburg. After Stuttgart and Buenos Aires, this was the season’s third ATP title for the Spaniard. Nadal’s victory against Fabio Fognini was especially sweet since the Italian had beaten him twice on clay this season. In Atlanta, John Isner made it the third time in three years after beating Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the final of the BB&T Open. The men’s doubles top seeds Mike and Bob Bryan also won the final in Atlanta and thus claimed their 107th title playing together. However, there was upset of sorts at the Swiss Open at Gstaad, where top-seeded David Goffin of Belgium lost to last week’s Umag title winner Dominic Thiem of Austria.
World no.10 Rafael Nadal had some trouble in his final match against Italy’s Fabio Fognini regardless of the fact that he played on the surface of his choice. Two losses to Fognini, earlier this season, must have weighed on Nadal’s mind as he was broken in the very first game of the match. After the 12-minute opening game, Nadal made it 1-1 by breaking right back. But Fognini broke again to make it 2-1 in his favor. Another break ensued and the score read 2-2. The fifth game was the first service hold of the match and Nadal led 3-2. The see-saw first set lasted 77 minutes before Nadal clinched it with a fierce forehand down-the-line winner. In the second set, Nadal broke early and led 3-1. But the tenacious Italian broke Nadal twice and prepared himself to serve for the second set. Nadal managed to save one set point and broke Fognini’s service to make it 5-5. Nadal held his serve at 6-5 and Fognini tried to take the set to the tiebreak. However, Nadal fought hard and broke Fognini once again to win 7-5, 7-5 in 2 hours 34 minutes. The 29-year old Nadal has a unique achievement of winning at least one European ATP World Tour clay-court title every year and the victory at Hamburg extended that streak. Men’s doubles crown at Hamburg was claimed by Jammie Murray (GBR)/John Peers(Australia) by defeating the Colombian duo of Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah 2-6, 6-3, 10-8.
At the BB&T Atlanta Open, USA’s John Isner scored an easy 6-3, 6-3 victory over Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the final. By winning the tournament for the third successive year, Isner joined a select band of 7 active tennis stars, who have earlier achieved the three-peat on ATP World Tour. The other players are; Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Lleyton Hewitt. These players share 23 three-peats among themselves. Isner’s win over Baghdatis was completed in a little over an hour, during which the American sent down 13 aces and never faced a break point against him.
Celebrated American twins Bob and Mike Bryan secured their 107th title of their illustrious career by defeating Britain’s Colin Fleming and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in the final. The Bryans lost the first set but bounced back to win the second on tiebreak. In the match tiebreak, they dominated Fleming/Muller and won the title with a 4-6, 7-6, 10-4 victory.
At Gstaad’s Swiss Open tournament, Dominic Thiem won his second title after claiming the Umag Open in Croatia last week. Thiem defeated top seeded David Goffin of Belgium in a match that saw nine breaks of serve. Thiem began strongly to take a 3-1 lead in the first set but frittered away the advantage as Goffin applied pressure and broke the Austrian twice. Just when the Belgian looked like taking the set, he committed a double fault at crunch time to bring scores level at 5-5. Thiem grabbed his opportunity provided by the sudden shift in the momentum and broke the Belgian, when it mattered most. After taking the first set at 7-5, the Austrian didn’t allow Goffin to come back in the second and finished the proceeding with a 7-5, 6-2 title victory.
The men’s doubles title at Gstaad was claimed by the Belarusian/Uzbeki pair of Aliaksandr Bury and Denis Istomin, who defeated Oliver Marach of Austria and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan 3-6, 6-2, 10-5. In hard-fought match, Bury/Istomin bounced back after losing the first set and played better in the match tiebreak.
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