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Final Briefing - Tokyo, Beijing

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal looks to defend a hard-court title for the first time Sunday in Tokyo.

TOKYO FINAL PREVIEW - BLOCKBUSTER ONE-TWO SEEDED FINAL BETWEEN NADAL-MURRAY  
A dream final between two of the so-called ‘Big Four’ is set for Sunday, as the World No. 2 and the World No. 4 battle it out for the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title. This is the first 1-2 seeded final in Tokyo since 2003 (No. 1 Rainer Schuettler d. No. 2 Sebastien Grosjean) and 10th on the ATP World Tour this season.

Top seed Rafael Nadal of Spain is looking to defend his first hard court title of his career and earn his first ATP World Tour hard court title since here a year ago, when he beat Gael Monfils to win in the Japanese capital. He hasn’t lost a set this week and he’s held serve 38 of 39 games. Since losing his serve a career-high 12 times in the US Open final (vs. Djokovic), the Spaniard has been broken once in his past six matches (61 of 62 games held). In last month’s Davis Cup semi-final he didn’t face a break point in his two wins over Gasquet, Tsonga.
Nadal now has an ATP World Tour-leading 65 match wins on the season, just taking the lead with that win over Fish (Novak Djokovic has 64). He is 3-6 in finals this season with all six losses coming to Djokovic. His last title came at Roland Garros in June (d. Federer). He is 46-19 in career finals (11-12 on hard courts).

No. 2 seed Andy Murray of Great Britain has said it is his goal this fall to take Roger Federer’s No. 3 ranking, and he’s doing a very good job of it. He kicked off the fall season with a title in Bangkok last Sunday, and now he has reached the final at this ATP World Tour 500 event in Tokyo. He put on a commanding performance against No. 3 seed David Ferrer in the semi-finals with a 62 63 victory. Since mid-August, Murray has won 20 of
his past 21 matches, with the lone loss to the man he’s playing today,  Nadal, in the US Open semi-finals. Murray is 3-1 in finals this season and 19-9 in his career.
 
Nadal leads the overall series, 13-4 and he is  6-4 on hard courts  (7-0 on all other surfaces).  Nadal has beaten Murray five times in a row (four this year), Murray’s last win against Nadal came more than a year ago at Toronto in August 2010. This is their third final meeting. In Rotterdam in 2009, Murray won in three sets and one month later Nadal avenged the loss with a 61 62 victory in Indian Wells.

“I think it will be a very difficult match,” Nadal said. “He is doing very well, winning last week in Bangkok and now into another final. I will have to play my best tennis to have any chance.”

“He has played some very good tennis the last couple of matches,” Murray said about Nadal. “He’s always tough to play against. And he won here last year, so he likes the conditions.”

Murray is also appearing in the doubles final with older brother Jamie. It’s the first time in Murray’s career he’s reached the singles and doubles final at the same ATP World Tour event. He’s trying to become the first double winner this year

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ATP World Tour Title Leaders – Murray and Nadal both have three titles this season. Here are the 2011 ATP World Tour title leaders

Djokovic, Novak                 10
Soderling, Robin                  4
Almagro, Nicolas                 3
Murray, Andy                      3
Nadal, Rafael                       3  

BATTLE FOR LONDON -- There are four positions remaining for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London and  Nadal and Murray already have qualified. Here are the updated 2011 ranking points going into the final: (Bold indicates qualified)

2011 Points
1 Novak Djokovic 12,250  
2 Rafael Nadal  9,410 (+200 with title) 
3 Andy Murray  6,000 (+200 with title) 
4 Roger Federer 5,185 

5 David Ferrer 3,700 (in SF)
6 Mardy Fish 2,865 (in SF)
7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2,780 (Beij. SF)
8 Tomas Berdych 2,650 (+200 with Beijing title)
9 Nicolas Almagro 2,280
10 Robin Soderling 2,080
11 Gilles Simon 2,065
12 Juan Martin del Potro 2,050
13 Janko Tipsarevic 2,030
14 Gael Monfils 1,765
15 Richard Gasquet 1,675
16 Alexandr Dolgopolov 1,655 

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX HEAD 2 HEADS –

Centre Court

(1)Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs (2) Andy Murray (GBR) Nadal Leads 13-4
07 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R16 Rafael Nadal 6-7(3) 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-1
07 ATP Masters Series Madrid (Spain) Hard R16 Rafael Nadal 7-6(5) 6-4
08 ATP Masters Series Hamburg  Clay R16 Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2
08 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass QF Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 6-4
08 ATP Masters 1000 Toronto Hard SF Rafael Nadal 7-6(2) 6-3
08 US Open (USA) Hard SF Andy Murray 6-2 7-6(5) 4-6 6-4
09 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Hard Final Andy Murray 6-3 4-6 6-0
09 ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells  Hard Final Rafael Nadal 6-1 6-2
09 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Clay SF Rafael Nadal 6-2 7-6(4)
10 Australian Open (Australia) Hard QF Andy Murray 6-3 7-6(2) 3-0 ret
10 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass SF Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-6(6) 6-4
10 ATP Masters 1000 Toronto (Canada) Hard SF Andy Murray 6-3 6-4
10 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Hard SF Rafael Nadal 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(6)
11 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay SF Rafael Nadal 6-4 2-6 6-1
11 Roland Garros (France) Clay SF Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-5 6-4
11 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass SF Rafael Nadal 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4
11 US Open (USA) Hard SF Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2

Rafael Nadal Andy Murray
Sets Won: 34 16
Tiebreak Sets Won: 6 3

Match Wins By Surface:
Clay: 4 0
Hard: 6 4
Grass: 3 0
 
Nadal FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (d Ferrer); Barcelona (d Ferrer); Roland Garros (d Federer); F: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Djokovic); Wimbledon (l Djokovic); US Open (l Djokovic); SF: Doha (l Davydenko); QF: Australian Open (l Ferrer); London / Queen's Club (l Tsonga); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Fish)
YTD W-L: 65-11 (31-7 on hard)
YTD Titles: 3/Career Titles: 46 
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 2

• Nadal, 25, the World No. 2 and reigning champion, has a 65-11 match record  on the season  (31-7 on hard, 26-2 on clay, 8-2 on grass) and he’s appearing in his 10th final this season….He is 3-6 with all six losses coming to Djokovic
• Has an 87-46 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents, 15-8 overall this year (0-6 vs. Djokovic)
• He’s trying to defend a hard court title for first time in his career and his last hard court title was here last year (d. Monfils)…This week has held serve 38 of 39 games (97%), saving six of seven break pts, and leads in second serve points won (78%)
• This is the left-hander’s first tournament since his runner-up at the US Open (l. to Djokovic)…He did win both Davis Cup SF matches vs. France the weekend of Sept. 16-18 to lead Spain to the final (vs. ARG)
• He has the most match wins (65) on ATP World Tour this season…All three titles have come on clay – ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo (d. Ferrer), Barcelona (d. Ferrer) and his sixth Roland Garros crown (d. Federer)…He was runner-up at Wimbledon to Djokovic  on July 3
• His 37-match clay court winning streak ended with a 75 64 final loss to Djokovic)…It was his third streak of 30 or more clay wins (81, 33)
• He was runner-up in Indian Wells and Miami, falling in three sets to Djokovic both times, and then captured back-to-back titles on clay with his seventh straight crown at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo and sixth career title in Barcelona (d. Ferrer in both)
• Has ranked No. 1 for 102 weeks (first took over top spot on Aug. 18, 2008 and held it for 46 weeks), then regained No. 1 on June 7, 2010 and held it for 56 weeks…At 24 years, 10 months, he is the second-youngest to win 500 matches, only behind Bjorn Borg (23 years, 7 months)
• He opened year with a semi-final in Doha (l. to Davydneko) and followed with a quarter-final at the Australian Open where he injured his left adductor early in match against Ferrer (lost 64 62 63)

Murray FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: London / Queen's Club (d Tsonga); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d Djokovic); Bangkok (d Young); F: Australian Open (l Djokovic); SF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Djokovic); Roland Garros (l Nadal); Wimbledon (l Nadal); US Open (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 49-11 (28-6 on hard)
YTD Titles: 3/Career Titles: 19
Date of Birth: May 15, 1987
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 4

• Murray, 24, comes in with a 49-11 match record on the year (28-6 on hard), winning 20 of his past 21 matches since mid-August…During that span, won his second title of the year at ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d. Djokovic), reached the semi-finals at the US Open (l. to Nadal), won a pair of Davis Cup matches vs. Hungary and picked up title in Bangkok…Has an 19-9 career record in finals (3-1 this year)
• Has a 47-37 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents (5-6 this year)
•  This is the Scot’s first Japan Open appearance since 2006 and he’s coming off his third ATP World Tour title of the season last Sunday in Bangkok where he defeated Donald Young 62 60 in 47 minutes…He was only broken twice in four matches, holding serve 36 of 38 games
• This week leads tournament in aces (32), first serve pts. won (82%) and return pts on first serve (39%)…Has held serve 35 of 41 games (85%) and has broken opponents 16 of 43 games (37%)
• Has already qualified for season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London along with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer…Stands No. 3 in ATP year-to-date Rankings (815 pts ahead of Federer)
• In June, won his second Queen’s Club title in London (d. Roddick in SF, Tsonga in F) and followed with semi-final at Wimbledon (l. to Nadal)
• Went into the clay court circuit with a 6-4 match record before reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal in three sets)…He then made 3rd Rd. in Madrid (d. Simon, l. to Bellucci) and semi-finals at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l. to Djokovic) and Roland Garros (l. to Nadal)
• He began the season with a second straight runner-up at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) and then lost three straight opening round matches before turning things around on clay in April, going 12-4
• He posted a career-best 21-4 mark in Grand Slam play, reaching SFs or better for first time in a season

DOUBLES FINAL - (4) Cermak/Polasek (CZE/SVK) vs. Murray/Murray (GBR/GBR)
• No. 4 seeds Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek, haven’t faced another seeded pair this week but have been pushed to match tie-breaks in two of their matches.
• Cermak and Polasek have a 2-2 record together in ATP World Tour doubles finals
• Unseeded Andy Murray and Jamie Murray, haven’t faced a seeded pair this week but have also been pushed to match tie-breaks in two of their matches
• The Murray brothers have a 1-1 record together in ATP World Tour doubles finals (reaching final in Bangkok in 2006 and winning Valencia last year)
• Doubles final W-L records: Cermak (25-18), Polasek (6-8), A.Murray (1-1), J.Murray (6-4)

BEIJING FINAL PREVIEW - BERDYCH HOPES TO END TITLE DROUGHT, CILIC AWAITS
One is looking for his first ATP World Tour title in almost two and a half years, one looks for the biggest ATP World Tour title of his career. It’s all on the line Sunday in the China Open final.

No. 3 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic gave himself a big boost by winning his semi-final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Saturday, not just reaching his first final since Wimbledon last year but also increasing his chances to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London next month. He is now hoping to win his first title in 29 months (his last title came at Munich in May 2009).

“This match could really change my season from a good season to a really good season,” the 26-year-old Berdych said. “That’s the one thing I’m looking forward to on Sunday. That’s it.”

Croatia’s Marin Cilic is unseeded this week and hasn’t faced a seeded player yet, but does have good memories from this tournament - this is his second final here, having gone this far in 2009 as well (losing to Novak Djokovic). After beating countryman Ivan Ljubicic for the first time in three meetings in the semi-finals, he hopes to be in top form as he faces No. 3 seed Berdych.

“To be in the Beijing final a second time is a great feeling after this summer,” the 23-year-old Cilic said after his semi-final. “I played some great tournaments and was in pretty good form. It is very pleasing to know when I play well I can beat those guys, and that my tennis is on a good level.”

Berdych leads Cilic in their head-to-head series, 2-1. Berdych won their first two meetings in very close encounters, a five-setter in Davis Cup in 2009 and a three-setter at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai in 2010. Cilic got revenge with a 63 64 win in Marseille in February this season.

The two finalists have comparable ATP World Tour finals records, Berdych going 5-6 (this is his first final of 2011) and Cilic going 5-5 (this is third final of 2011). Cilic is aiming for the biggest title of his young career at this ATP World Tour 500 tournament. Cilic has lost his last six matches against Top 10 players, and 12 of his last 13 (his only Top 10 win since the ‘10 Australian Open came vs. Berdych in Marseille in February).

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BATTLE FOR LONDON -- There are four positions remaining for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London and Berdych will move to No. 7 if he wins the title. Here are the updated 2011 ranking points leaders going into the final: (Bold indicates qualified)

2011 Points
1 Novak Djokovic 12,250  
2 Rafael Nadal  9,410 (+200 with Tokyo title) 
3 Andy Murray  6,000 (+200 with Tokyo title) 
4 Roger Federer 5,185 

5 David Ferrer 3,700 (in SF)
6 Mardy Fish 2,865 (in SF)
7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2,780 (Beij. SF)
8 Tomas Berdych 2,650 (+200 with title)
9 Nicolas Almagro 2,280
10 Robin Soderling 2,080
11 Gilles Simon 2,065
12 Juan Martin del Potro 2,050
13 Janko Tipsarevic 2,030
14 Gael Monfils 1,765
15 Richard Gasquet 1,675
16 Alexandr Dolgopolov 1,655 

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX HEAD 2 HEADS –

Stadium

(3) Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Marin Cilic (CRO) Berdych Leads 2-1
09 CRO vs. CZE WG SF (Croatia) Clay RR Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-3
09 ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai (China) Hard R64 Tomas Berdych 7-6(8) 3-6 6-4
11 Marseille (France) Hard QF Marin Cilic 6-3 6-4

Berdych FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
SF: Chennai (l Wawrinka); Dubai (l Djokovic); Nice (l Almagro); Halle (l Petzschner); Bastad (l Soderling); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Djokovic); QF: Australian Open (l Djokovic); Rotterdam (W/O vs Tsonga); Marseille (l Cilic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Bellucci); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Gasquet); ATP Masters 1000 Montreal (l Tipsarevic)
YTD W-L: 46-18 (30-10 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 10

• Berdych, 26, the top player from the Czech Republic, is making his first final showing of the season and first since Wimbledon last year (l. to Nadal)…His last title came in Munich in May 2009…Has a 5-6 career mark in finals…He and No. 9 Gael Monfils are the only players in Top 10 yet to win an ATP World Tour title this year
• He is playing in Beijing for the second year in a row and has dropped one set thus far in wins over Jurgen Melzer 75 75, Philipp Kohlschreiber 62 60, Fernando Verdasco 61 60 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 64 46 61…Lost in 1st Rd. last year… Leads in return games won (17 of 38, 45%) and No. 2 in service games won ( 37 of 40, 93%) and second serve points won (63%)
• Has a 46-18 match record (30-10 on hard) this season…Of his six previous semi-finals, three have come on hard courts – Chennai in January, Dubai in late February and ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati in August
• He opened the year with a semi-final in Chennai (l. to Wawrinka) and followed with quarter-final efforts at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic), Rotterdam (W/O vs. Tsonga) and Marseille in February (l. to Cilic)…Also a semi-finalist in Dubai (l. to Djokovic)
• At Roland Garros lost in 1st Rd. to Stephane Robert (9-7 in fifth set), his only early exit in 19 events this year…Also 4th Rd. at Wimbledon (l. to Fish) and 3rd Rd. at US Open (ret. vs. Tipsarevic)

Cilic FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
F: Marseille (l Soderling); Umag (l Dolgopolov); QF: Zagreb (l Mayer); Rotterdam (l Troicki); Munich (l Davydenko); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Nadal); London / Queen's Club (W/O vs Murray); Hamburg (l Youzhny)
YTD W-L: 38-18 (23-10 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: September 28, 1988
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 25

• Cilic, 23, is making his third ATP World Tour final showing of the season and 11th career final (5-5)… His last title came in Zagreb in February 2010…He’s won at least one title from 2008-10
• He has reached two ATP World Tour finals this season, in Marseille (l. to Soderling) in February and Umag (l. to Dolgopolov) in July in addition to six more quarter-finals (Zagreb, Rotterdam, Munich, Rome, Queen’s Club, Hamburg)
• He has an 11-3 career mark in Beijing and two years ago he reached the final (l. to Djokovic)…This is his fourth appearance at the China Open and in his first two appearances, made QFs in 2007 (d. No. 4 Davydenko en route; l. to Kiefer) and reaching final in 2009 (d. No. 8 Davydenko and No. 2 Nadal en route; l. to Djokovic); fell 2nd Rd. in 2010 (l. to Davydenko); In first round d. WC Wu
• Has held serve 38 of 45 games this week (84%) and No. 2 in return games won (20 of 46, 43%)
• The top Croat at No. 25 (one spot ahead of Ivan Ljubicic) enters with a 38-18 match record on the season (23-10 on hard courts)…He is 11-27 lifetime vs. Top 10 opponents and he’s trying to break a six-match losing streak since defeating No. 7 Berdych in Marseille QFs in February…He is 0-2 in finals vs. Top 10 foes (l. to No. 4 Djokovic, ’09 Beijing; l. to No. 4 Soderling, ’11 Marseille)
• He reached a career-high No. 9 (set February 22, 2010); has spent 11 career weeks in Top 10, all coming consecutively between February 1 and April 18, 2010 (peaked at No. 9 for eight weeks)

DOUBLES FINAL – (3) Llodra/Zimonjic (FRA/SRB) vs. Lindstedt/Tecau (SWE/ROU)
• No. 3 seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic won their first two rounds in straight sets before upsetting No. 1 seeds the Bryan brothers in the semi-finals, 36 76(4) 103.
• Llodra and Zimonjic are in their sixth ATP World Tour doubles final together (2-3 record, all this year). They won back to-back titles in Washington and ATP Masters 1000 Montreal while runner-up in Rotterdam, ATP Masters 1000 Madrid and ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati.
• Unseeded Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau have been pushed to three sets in their last two rounds, including in a 76(6) 26 106 upset of No. 2 seeds Mirnyi and Nestor in the quarter-finals
• Lindstedt and Tecau are in their 12th ATP World Tour doubles final together (6-5 mark, 2-4 this year). They won clay titles in Casablanca and Bastad and their last final was in Washington in August.
• Here are the career doubles final W-L records: Llodra (20-19), Zimonjic (41-28), Lindstedt (12-12), Tecau (9-7)

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