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Bucharest Saturday Preview

Bucharest, Romania

Juan Monaco© Getty ImagesJuan Monaco is appearing in his third ATP World Tour final of the year.

The semi-finals of the BCR Open Romania on Saturday are led by No. 3 seed Juan Monaco of Argentina and No. 5 Albert Montanes of Spain. The others are qualifier Santiago Ventura of Spain and first-time ATP World Tour semi-finalist Simon Greul of Germany. Between the semi-finalists they have lost only one set this week. Three of the four players are looking to capture their first ATP World Tour title of the season and Greul the first in his career. Montanes won his second career ATP World Tour title in Estoril in May. In the first semi-final, countrymen Ventura and Montanes meet for the fourth time (Montanes leads 2-1). In their last meeting in Casablanca in April, Montanes won in three sets in the second round. Ventura’s lone ATP World Tour title came in Casablanca as a qualifier in 2004.  In the second semi-final, Greul and Monaco meet for the first time in an ATP World Tour main draw. Monaco won in three sets in the first round of qualifying in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome in May. While Greul is trying to reach his first ATP World Tour final, Monaco is attempting to advance to his third final of the year and ninth of his career. He has the most match wins on clay (28-12) this year on the ATP World Tour.
     
SATURDAY SEMI-FINAL HEAD-TO-HEADS – In Order of Play

(Q) Santiago Ventura (ESP) vs (5) Albert Montanes (ESP) Montanes Leads 2-1
04 Kitzbuhel (Austria) Clay R32 Santiago Ventura 6-2 6-1
06 Vina del Mar (Chile) Clay R16 Albert Montanes 4-6 6-4 6-3
09 Casablanca (Morocco) Clay R16 Albert Montanes 5-7 6-3 7-5
Other Meetings:
04 Szczecin CH (Poland) Clay R32 Santiago Ventura 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3
04 Barcelona CH (Spain) Clay SF Santiago Ventura 6-4 3-6 7-5
08 Monza CH (Italy) Clay SF Albert Montanes 6-2 6-3

Ventura FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 5-7
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: January 5, 1980
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 112

· Ventura, 29, is appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final of the season and the first since Vina del Mar in February 2008 when he lost to Juan Monaco, potential final opponent here
· This week has won six matches without dropping a set (three in qualifying and main draw)...He defeated No. 4 seed Igor Andreev 64 61 in the first round
· The last qualifier to win an ATP World Tour title was Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in Gstaad in July
· The Spaniard is trying to advance to his second ATP World Tour final...In 2004, he qualified in Casablanca and captured the title ranked No. 316 (d. Hrbaty) in his ATP World Tour debut...He was first player to win an ATP World Tour title in his first main draw tournament since Nicolas Lapentti in Bogota in 1995
· In Challenger level play, he's advanced to finals in Rabat (l. to Recouderc) and Barletta (l. to I. Minar) while compiling a 23-12 match record
· His best year-end finish was No. 89 in 2007 and his career-high ranking was No. 65 on Mar. 3, 2008
· He is trying to become the eighth different Spaniard to win an ATP World Tour title this season...Spain leads all countries with a 12-6 record in finals this year

Montanes FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Estoril (d Blake); SF: Casablanca (l Serra)
YTD W-L: 19-17
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 2
Date of Birth: November 26, 1980
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 53

· Montanes, 28, is making his third showing in an ATP World Tour semi-final this year...In May, he earned his second career ATP World Tour title in Estoril, saving two match points in the final against James Blake...The previous month, he was a semi-finalist in Casablanca (l. to Serra)
· He is 2-4 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals, all on clay...Last year he won his first ATP World Tour title in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, defeating Belgian Steve Darcis
· The Barcelona resident comes into the semi-finals with a 19-17 match record on the season (15-10 on clay) and ranked No. 53…He's looking to finish in the Top 50 for the third straight year after No. 46 rankings the past two years
· Countrymen Rafael Nadal (five titles) and Tommy Robredo (two titles) have won at least two ATP   World Tour titles this season and he's trying to become the third Spaniard with a pair of titles in 2009

Simon Greul (GER) vs (3) Juan Monaco (ARG) First ATP Meeting
Other Meetings
:
09 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Q (Italy) Clay R1    Juan Monaco 3-6 6-3 7-5

Greul FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
QF: Hamburg (l Ferrer)
YTD W-L: 12-9
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: April 13, 1981
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 68

· Greul, 28, is appearing in his first career ATP World Tour semi-final...His previous best result was the quarter-finals in Hamburg in July (l. to Ferrer)
· The Stuttgart native is compiling the best results of his career with a 12-9 match record, including 8-4 on clay
· In Challenger level play, he's put together a 23-10 match record with his best showings in Italy where he won the title in Todi, reached final in Rome and advanced to three semi-finals (Turin, Trani, Genova)
· He is trying to become the sixth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, the first since Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in Gstaad in July
· Benjamin Becker ('s-Hertogenbosch) and Tommy Haas (Halle) are the lone German winners on the ATP World Tour this year...Andreas Beck was runner-up in Gstaad, the last German to reach a final

Monaco FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
F: Buenos Aires (l Robredo); Båstad (l Soderling); QF: Viña del Mar (l Gonzalez); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Gonzalez)
YTD W-L: 30-19
Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: March 29, 1984
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 37

· Monaco, 25, is making his third appearance in an ATP World Tour semi-final this season...In the previous two in Buenos Aires in February and Bastad in July, he reached the final, losing to Tommy Robredo and Robin Soderling, respectively
· He enters the semi-finals with a 30-19 match record on the season, including 28-12 on clay...He has the most match wins on clay on the ATP World Tour this season
· He is 3-5 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals (all on clay) and his last title came in Kitzbuehel on July 29, 2007 (d. Starace)
· The Tandil native comes from same hometown as US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro
· Argentines have a 4-4 record in finals this season with del Potro (three titles) and David Nalbandian (one) the lone winners

POSSIBLE FINAL HEAD-TO-HEADS
Simon Greul (GER) vs Santiago Ventura (ESP)   First Meeting

Simon Greul (GER) vs Albert Montanes (ESP)   Montanes Leads 1-0
09 Estoril (Portugal) Clay R16 Albert Montanes 6-2 6-2

Juan Monaco (ARG) vs Santiago Ventura (ESP)  Monaco Leads 1-0
08 Vina del Mar (Chile) Clay SF Juan Monaco 6-2 6-4

Juan Monaco (ARG) vs Albert Montanes (ESP)   Montanes Leads 1-0
06 Vina del Mar (Chile) Clay R32 Albert Montanes 6-4 6-2


DOUBLES FINAL – [2] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [3] J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO)
No. 2 seeds Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak take on No. 3 seeds Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer on Saturday in the final of the BCR Open Romania.

Cermak and Mertinak are 3-1 in ATP World Tour finals this year, capturing titles in Acapulco, Stuttgart and Umag while reaching the final in Vina del Mar, all on clay. Cermak is attempting to earn his 20th career ATP World Tour title (19-13) and Mertinak his 10th ATP World Tour title (9-2).
         
Brunstrom, who is 0-5 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals, is appearing in his fourth title match of the season. He was runner-up in Belgrade, 's-Hertogenbosch and Umag. Rojer is also trying to collect his first ATP World Tour title. He is 0-4 in his career in finals (all w/Brunstrom).

Brunstrom and Rojer have won all three matches this week in a Match Tie-break while Cermak and Mertinak have lost one set en route to the final.

 

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