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Zagreb Sunday Preview

Zagreb, Croatia

Ivan Dodig© Sime SokotaIvan Dodig is chasing his first ATP World Tour title.

Michael Berrer, the No. 8 seed, made his ATP World Tour final here one year ago before being stopped by Marin Cilic. Now he has made his second career final at the very same venue, not dropping a set en route. He has beaten two seeds on his road to the final, No. 4 seed Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals (by retirement) and No. 5 seed Florian Mayer in the semi-finals (in 59 minutes, 61 64).

This is the sixth straight year a Croat has reached the final on home soil in Zagreb.
 
"I will be fresh for the final," Berrer said after his semi-final. "It will be my second final here in two years... I'm really looking forward to it."

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Berrer will take on unseeded Croat Ivan Dodig, who has turned in a dream week in front of his home crowd. He had never been to the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour event before this week, and now he has gone even further, to his first final. Dodig has been an upset artist this week, taking out three seeds - No. 6 Marcel Granollers, No. 2 Ivan Ljubicic and No. 3 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (he had a tough battle against the Spaniard, rallying from 64 42 down to win their semi-final match, 46 76(5) 64).
 
"Ivan is a good player," Berrer said about Dodig. "He's playing at home and it will be challenging. If I play my game, hopefully the result will come."
 
Dodig is Croatia's No. 3 player, following Ljubicic and Cilic. He was also the only player to take a set off of World No. 3 and eventual champion Novak Djokovic at this year's Australian Open, pushing him to four sets in the second round.
 
 
Sunday Championship FedEx ATP Head 2 Head –
 
Centre Court

(8) Michael Berrer (GER) vs. Ivan Dodig (CRO) First ATP Meeting
Other Meeting:
09 Halle Q (Germany) Grass Q1 Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-4

Berrer FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 5-2
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: July 1, 1980
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 66

• Berrer, 30, has yet to drop a set this week in his four wins en route to his second ATP World Tour final
• In his first two tournaments, lost in the 2nd Rd. in Brisbane (l. to eventual champ Soderling) and in first round at Australian Open (l. to Garcia-Lopez, possible final opponent here)
• Last season finished a year-end best No. 55 after reaching a career-high No. 42 on May 24…Won a personal-best 20 matches (20-28 mark)
• Began year with quarter-final in Chennai  (l. to Wawrinka) and clinched Challenger  title at Heilbronn (d. Golubev) a week before reaching his first ATP World Tour final in Zagreb (l. to Cilic) in February
• The last German winner on the ATP World Tour was Benjamin Becker in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in June 2009…Germans were 0-3 in 2010 finals

Dodig FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 6-2
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: January 2, 1985
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 84

• Dodig, 26, is playing in his first career ATP World Tour final and has dropped one set in posting wins over No. 6 seed Marcel Granollers 63 62, Illya Marchenko 62 63, No. 2 Ivan Ljubicic 64 64 and No. 3 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 46 76(5) 64
• At the Australian Open, he was the only player to take a set off of eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the second round, winning a tie-break
• He opened the first week of the season, falling to No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the 2nd Rd. in Chennai
• Last year he compiled his first Top 100 season, finishing No. 88…His best result on the ATP World Tour was QF in Stockholm (l. to Ljubicic)…He also reached 2nd Rd. at three Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open) and won one Challenger title


DOUBLES FINAL – TOP TWO SEEDS, GRANOLLERS-M. LOPEZ, NORMAN-TECAU MEET IN FINAL

The top seeded Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez take on No. 2 seeds Dick Norman of Belgium and Horia Tecau of Romania in Sunday’s doubles championship.
 
Granollers and Lopez, playing in their third tournament together, are playing a first-time squad of Norman and Tecau.

Granollers is trying to capture his second ATP World Tour title of the season. In January he won the Auckland title (w/Robredo). He is 6-5 lifetime in finals. Lopez is also attempting to win his second title in 2011. He opened the season with a title in Doha (w/Nadal). Lopez is 5-2 in career finals.

Norman is 3-2 lifetime in finals and he is trying to win his first title since June 2009. Tecau, who was runner-up in the first week of the season in Brisbane (w/Lindstedt), is appearing in his 10th career doubles final (5-4).


 

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