Dodig/Granollers Crowned Rotterdam Champions
(dim., 19 févr. 2017) Ivan Dodig and Marcel
Granollers have clinched their first ATP World Tour title as a pairing at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament with a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over Dutch wild card team Wesley Koolhof and Matwe
Dodig/Granollers, playing just their second event together, had dispatched top seeds Nicolas Mahut and
Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a place in the Rotterdam final, whilst Koolhof/Middelkoop were looking to add to
their Apia International Sydney trophy they won last month.
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With no breaks, a tie-break was required to separate these in-form pairings in the opening set and the third seeds managed to edge ahead. They struck instantly in set two to build a 2-0
lead, an advantage they maintained until closing out the title in 73 minutes.
“We have played some amazing tennis together. We played some great matches at the Australian Open,
played the quarter-finals and lost a tough match to the Bryans,” said Dodig after they claimed the title without dropping a set. “I am really happy the way we are playing and hopefully we can
continue this level.”
The Rotterdam champions secured 500 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings Points and €111,890 in prize money. Dodig landed his seventh tour-level doubles trophy, Spaniard Granollers took
his tally to 14.
“I am very happy," said Granollers. "We played great tennis all week in all of the matches. Without a doubt, it has been a great start with Ivan, reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and winning an [ATP World Tour] 500 title. We are very happy with our form."
Koolhof/Middelkoop were bidding to become the first Dutch duo to win on home soil in Rotterdam since Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis in 1998,
but still leave with 300 ranking points and €54,780 prize money.
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Harrison Records Memphis Breakthrough
(dim., 19 févr. 2017)
The eighth time was the charm for Ryan Harrison on Saturday at the Memphis Open. After going winless in his seven previous ATP World Tour singles semi-finals, he converted on his fifth match
point to reach his first final with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over fellow American Donald Young.
“It’s surreal right now. I’ve hit some obstacles in my career where I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do this,” said Harrison in his on-court interview. “Donald played unbelievable on all of those
match points and I didn’t do anything wrong, so I told myself not to panic, smile it off and keep doing what I can. I’m just glad I could get the win.”
Harrison has yet to drop a set en route to the championship match and has been stellar indoors as of late, having prevailed earlier this month at the $100,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Dallas.
Currently No. 62 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, he is projected to jump inside the Top 50 on Monday. marking his first appearance in that upper echelon since July 2012. Harrison also improves his
FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Young to 2-1.
A lone break of serve at 2-2 was all Harrison needed to capture the opening set. He appeared energised by holding the advantage and quickly secured two breaks to lead 4-1 in the second set. Young
fought valiantly, saving a match point on Harrison’s serve down 2-5 and three more on his own serve in the next game. But Harrison remained calm and fired an ace on his fifth match point to
advance in one hour and 30 minutes.
Awaiting him in the championship match is Nikoloz Basilashvili, who raced through the latter stages of his
semi-final to defeat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6(5), 6-1 and reach his second ATP World Tour final.
“The more matches you play, the more you get used to playing in these important moments,” said Basilashvili. “I have really good energy at the moment and am enjoying being on the court, so I hope
to keep this level going.”
The Georgian player also hasn’t lost a set this week and has been enjoying a hot streak on indoor hard courts, recording a semi-final finish last week in Sofia (l. Dimitrov). He’s now one win
from his first ATP World Tour title after finishing runner-up in his maiden final this past July in Kitzbuehel (l. Lorenzi). Currently at a career-high No. 67 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, a win
on Sunday would put Basilashvili inside the Top 50.
Basilashvili and Kukushkin battled through a 78-minute opening set, with several games featuring multiple deuces. Little separated the two players through the tie-break, but some impressive
scrambling from Basilashvili at 5/5 drew two errors from Kukushkin and gave the Georgian the early advantage. Losing the set appeared to flatten Kukushkin’s spirit, while Basilashvili raised his
level further and began pinning his opponent well behind the baseline. The Georgian broke his opponent twice in the second set en route to prevailing in one hour and 46 minutes.
Harrison is also in the doubles final with fellow American Steve Johnson after defeating second seeds Oliver Marach/Fabrice Martin 7-6(5),
6-2. They'll play American Brian Baker and Croatian Nikola Mektic, who reached their first final of the year by moving past Australians Matthew Ebden/Bernard Tomic 7-6(1),
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