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Zeballos Clinches Victory For Argentina

Dusseldorf, Germany

Horacio Zeballos© Getty ImagesHoracio Zeballos made his debut representing Argentina in Dusseldorf this week.

World No. 49 Horacio Zeballos captured Argentina’s fourth title at the ARAG ATP World Team Championship as he beat American Robby Ginepri 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-5 Sunday in Dusseldorf to give the South Americans an unassailable 2-0 lead.

In the first singles rubber, Juan Monaco had got Argentina off to a winning start in its sixth final appearance at the Rochusclub by coming from behind to defeat American Sam Querrey 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 35 minutes.

Argentina is now tied with Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United States, all of whom have won a record four ARAG ATP World Team Championships.

“I think my match was difficult, but also his (Zeballos’) match was incredible," said Monaco. "He was fighting like an animal for, like, three hours. We are very happy because when we came here the goal was to win here for Argentina and we did it."

DEUCE: On The Rise...Zeballos

The 25-year-old Zeballos, named the ATP Newcomer of the Year last year, broke serve in the first game of the match, which ultimately made the difference in the first set as he faced no break points in closing out a one-set lead.

The Argentine, who has posted his best results this season on clay, could have closed out the match in two sets, but squandered a 3-1 lead and later missed a match point at 6-5 in the tie-break as the No. 98-ranked Ginepri kept American hopes alive by forcing a deciding set.

Neither player was able to break through, or indeed even conjure a break point opportunity, until the 12th game of the third set, when Zeballos made no mistake at the second time of asking. He opened up a 40/0 lead on Ginepri’s serve as the American served at 5-6 and converted his third match point after two hours and 19 minutes.  

“It was a tough match," reflected Zeballos. "The final is not like other matches, you have more pressure. But I think I was cool and played with confidence. It was important for me. It’s not just for us; it’s also for the country so we are really happy to be the champion of this tournament.”

"It was a tough fight," agreed Ginepri. "The first set, I got off to a shaky start. I was a little nervous when I realised that I had to get through the match for the U.S. to have a chance to win it. But hats off to him, he played well. I fought hard to win that second set after saving a match point and had some momentum going into the third set, but just wasn’t able to put as many balls into the court as I needed to.”

World No. 30 Monaco, overcame a slow start to defeat Querrey for the second time in three meetings. The American, who won his first ATP World Tour clay-court title recently at the Serbia Open 2010 (d. Isner), broke serve three times as he raced to a one-set lead.

MonacoMonaco responded quickly, though, breaking serve twice as he established a 4-0 lead in the second set. Querrey was able to recoup one of the breaks, but could not build on his comeback as Monaco broke serve again in the seventh game before levelling the match with a service hold to 15.

Breaks were exchanged in the early stages of the third set before Monaco opened up a 4-3 lead with a fifth break of 6’6’’ Querrey’s serve. The Tandil native then saved five break points to seal a 5-3 lead and secured victory by breaking serve once more in front of the Centre Court crowd at the Rochusclub.

The 26-year-old Monaco was also part of the Argentina team that won the team trophy in 2007. He has had a strong clay-court season, reaching the final at the Movistar Open in Santiago (l. to Bellucci) and advancing to the semi-finals in Buenos Aires and Acapulco (l. to Ferrero both times) during the Latin American swing in February.

Reigning ATP World Tour Doubles Champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan avoided a whitewash for the United States as they crushed Argentine duo Diego Veronelli and Eduardo Schwank 6-1, 6-2 for their third victory of the week. In a devastating display, the 32-year-old twins surrendered just three points on serve and capitalised on four of 10 break points to seal victory in 43 minutes.

DEUCE: Tweeting Twins Set Standard On & Off Court

 

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