Other than Roger Federer winning his seventh title at Dubai Duty-Free Tennis championships, Saturday brought some more interesting Tennis news. Rafael Nadal entered the final of the Argentina Open at Buenos Aires; David Ferrer got past Kei Nishikori at Acapulco and Rohan Bopanna/Daniel Nestor emerged as men’s doubles champions at Dubai Duty-Free tournament. Looking for a title win since Roland Garros, former world no.1 Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq in the semifinals. Now to win his 46th clay-court title, the Spaniard will play against another Argentinian Juan Monaco on Sunday. Meanwhile, David Ferrer stopped Kei Nishikori from going any further at Acapulco, where the Spaniard captured his fourth title at Abierto Mexicano Telcel. It has been a great start of the 2015 season for Ferrer, for whom the Acapulco victory was the third of the season after he won at Doha and Rio. In another result on Saturday, India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Daniel Nestor won their second title of the season at Dubai after also winning the Sydney Open in January.
At the Argentina Open on Saturday, top seed Rafael Nadal made a stuttering start against local favorite Carlocq Berlocq in the semifinals. With his service failing him, Nadal played at a far lower level and allowed the set to go to the tiebreak, Berlocq was just about to pocket the first set, when he raced away to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak. But Nadal produced some vintage tennis to bounce back by reeling off eight out of nine straight points and won the first set 7-6. In the second set too, Nadal lost his opening service game to fall behind the Argentinian. But again, the Spaniard brought out his old game and won six games on the trot to finish the match 7-6, 6-2. For the title clash, Nadal will take on another Argentinian Juan Monaco, who had a tough 3-set battle against Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the other semifinal. Monaco’s triumph was largely attributed to saving 12 out of 15 break points that he faced. The Argentine began well and easily took the first set but Almagro fought back in the second set, denied double match points to Monaco and forced a decider. In the final set too, Monaco went down 0-40 while serving for the match at 5-4. Then he drew on his reserves to finish the match 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in 2 hours 28 minutes. Monaco thus earned the right of playing against Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final. The men’s doubles final at Buenos Aires will be played between Jarrko Nieminen/Andre Sa and Pablo Andujar/Oliver Marach. Playing as a team for the first time, the Finnish/Brazilian pair of Nieminen/Sa defeated Argentina’s Federico Delbonis/Andres Molteni 2-6, 6-2, 10-6 while Andujar/Marach scored an easy 6-3, 6-2 victory over Carlos Berlocq/Diego Schwartzman.
At Acapulco, David Ferrer was relentless in winning his fourth Abierto Mexicano Telcel title. In the final on Saturday, Ferrer brushed aside no.1 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 7-5. It was Ferrer’s third title of the 2015 season that has been superb so far with an 18-1 record. Ferrer took an early 3-1 lead in the first set and the exchanged breaks with the Japanese before taking the set. In the second, Ferrer opened another 3-0 lead but the Japanese came back strongly to level at 4-4. Soon, Ferrer broke Nishikori once again, and at 5-4 had a chance to serve for the match but yet again the Japanese mounted pressure to force a break of his own to level the score at 5-5. Not to be outdone, Ferrer found another break and served out the set to win in 1 hour and 49 minutes.
Men’s singles final at Dubai was preceded by the men’s doubles final at Dubai, where fourth seeded indo-Canadian pair of Rohan Bopanna/Daniel Nestor had an easy 6-4, 6-1 victory over Pakistan’s Aisham-Ul-Haq-Quereshi and Serbian Zimonjic. The champions had a good start and they capitalized by keeping the momentum all through. This was the second ATP title for Bopanna/Nestor after they won the Sydney Open in January by defeating Rojer/Tecau in the final.