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Lindstedt-Tecau Retain Bastad Title; Aspelin Retires From Pro Tennis

ATP World Tour 2011 Season: Week 28

Lindstedt, Tecau© SkiStar Swedish OpenRobert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau are 2-3 in tour-level finals this year.

Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau did not bow to sentiment in Simon Aspelin's last match as a professional player on Sunday in rain-soaked Bastad.

The top seeds and two-time Wimbledon finalists defeated 37-year-old Aspelin and his fellow Swede Andreas Siljestrom 6-3, 6-3 to retain their SkiStar Swedish Open title in a rain-interrupted final over 69 minutes. 

It marks their second title of the year, having won the Grand Prix Hassan II at Casablanca (d. Fleming-Zelenay) in April. Lindstedt and Tecau earned 250 points towards their 2011 ATP Doubles Team Ranking and a cheque for €22,000.

DEUCE Magazine: Lindstedt & Tecau - Opposites Attract (Jan. 2011)

Aspelin Retires From Professional Tennis

Lindstedt is now 12-11 in tour-level finals, while Tecau improves to a 9-6 lifetime record. Together, they have a 55-29 career record and are 6-4 in title matches.

"It is amazing," said Lindstedt. "You don't get to defend your title every year, so to defend my title in my hometown it is amazing. It is a title that I thought I would never win, but now I have gone the last three years: in the final, then win, win. I am on cloud nine right now.

"The thing that amazes me is more or less we have copied last summer's results, with the exception of losing in the final of 's-Hertogenbosch [last month]. I thought that was a one-time deal. Now we have won almost the exact same. It doesn't make sense to me. I am not that good!"

Tecau added, "Last year we had a great year with 's-Hertogenbosch, Wimbledon and here. A lot of points to defend. So this summer we tried to take one tournament, one match at a time. We are really happy to do that. It is not easy to come back and defend a title. Everyone wants to win. It is confirmation for us that we are a stronger team.

"London [the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] was a goal at the start of the year. We had a great run last year, but we got nervous towards the end. This time around we are taking it one match at a time. There are lots of big tournaments to come and when it gets close we'll start doing the maths."

At the start of the clay-court final, both teams were unable to convert break point opportunities in the first three games. But it was Lindstedt and Tecau who broke first-time finalist Siljestrom to 30 for a 4-2 lead when the 29-year-old Swede hit a double fault.

Tecau went onto close out the opener 6-3 with a hold to 15 after 37 minutes of play. The Swedish-Romanian team dropped 11 points on their serves, saving all three break points they faced.

The final, which was scheduled to started at 12 noon local time, was delayed due to a rain shower by more than 45 minutes. Play was suspended after the third game of the second set at 1:38 p.m.

The four players resumed play on Court One at 4:13 p.m., with Aspelin and Siljestrom leading 2-1 in the second set. The duo broke Lindstedt to 30 for a 3-1 lead, but they went onto lose the next five games.

Aspelin and Siljestrom, who saved two match points in the decisive match tie-break to beat Michail Elgin and Mikhail Kukushkin 3-6, 6-3, 13-11 in Saturday's semi-finals, won 54 per cent of their service points and hit four double faults.

Aspelin had been looking to capture his 13th tour-level title and third trophy in Bastad, following victories in 2003 (w/Bertolini) and 2007 (w/Knowle).

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