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Final Briefing - Stockholm, Moscow

Tipsarevic© Kremlin CupJanko Tipsarevic faces Viktor Troicki in the first All-Serbian final in ATP World Tour history.

STOCKHOLM FINAL PREVIEW – MONFILS, NIEMINEN BATTLE FOR FIRST ATP WORLD TOUR TITLE OF YEAR
The World No. 10 is the only Top 15 player without an ATP World Tour title this year - he will try to change that as he faces one of Scandinavia’s best in the final of the If Stockholm Open on Sunday.

Top seed Gael Monfils has come-from-behind wins over two of the game’s most promising young talents, Bernard Tomic and Milos Raonic, as he tries to capture his long-awaited first ATP World Tour title of the season. Coming into this week, he had withdrawn from tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai the last two weeks due to a knee injury. Monfils is appearing in his second ATP World Tour final of the season (Washington in August) and he’s trying to become the first Frenchman to win this title since Henri Leconte in 1982. The last French to reach the final here was Arnaud Boetsch in 1995 (l. to Enqvist).

Though he is unseeded, Jarkko Nieminen has lifted his game in Stockholm like always. The 30-year-old Finn - currently ranked No. 73, but a former World No. 13 - is an impressive 22-11 at this tournament, this being his third final here (he was a runner-up to Sjeng Schalken in 2001 and to James Blake in 2006). He has had several good wins this week too, including over No. 3 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round and Blake in the semi-finals (he was 1-6 against Blake).

Nieminen does have 10 career wins over Top 10 opponents in his career, including one earlier this year in Rotterdam (over No. 6 David Ferrer). However, he has lost five in a row since that win over Ferrer. Also, Monfils beat Nieminen in their only previous meeting, three weeks ago in Bangkok. Both players are looking to improve on their career finals records: Monfils is 3-11, Nieminen is 1-9.

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WHAT’S AT STAKE –
Winner: €€96,800 and 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points         
Runner-up: €50,900 and 150 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY –
Monfils: Appearing in his 15th ATP World Tour final……………..He is 3-11 in finals (0-1 in 2011)
Nieminen: Appearing in his 11th ATP World Tour final………………He is 1-9 in finals (first final in 2011)

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX HEAD 2 HEADS –

Centre Court

(1)Gael Monfils (FRA) vs Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) Monfils Leads 1-0
11 Bangkok (Thailand) Hard QF Gael Monfils 7-5 7-6(4)

Monfils FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
F: Washington (l Stepanek); SF: San Jose (W/O vs Raonic); Halle (l Kohlschreiber); Bangkok (l Young); QF: Barcelona (l Nadal); Roland Garros (l Federer); Hamburg (l Simon); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 35-14 (19-6 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: September 1, 1986
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 10

• Monfils, 25, the No. 2 Frenchman (behind No. 9 Tsonga), is appearing in his second final of the season and 15th of his career (3-11) with a 35-14 match record (19-5 on hard)…In August he was runner-up in Washington, D.C. (l. to Stepanek) in his first U.S. final…His last title came on Oct. 31, 2010 in Montpellier (d. Ljubicic)…Frenchmen are 3-4 in finals this year (Simon has two titles, Tsonga one)
• He’s held serve 39 of 44 games this week (89%) while saving 15 of 20 break points (75%)
• He’s the only player in the current Top 15 without an ATP World Tour title this season
• This is his first Stockholm appearance and the last Frenchman to reach the final here was Arnaud Boetsch in 1995 (l. to Enqvist) and last French winner was Henri Leconte in 1982 (d. Wilander)
• The Frenchman reached the semi-finals in Bangkok three weeks ago (l. to Young in third set TB) but then withdrew from Beijing and Shanghai due to a knee injury
• During the North American summer circuit, he reached the final in Washington (l. to Stepanek), his first in U.S., and back-to-back quarter-finals at ATP Masters 1000 tourn. in Montreal and Cincinnati (l. to Djokovic both times)…Then lost in 2nd Rd. at US Open (l. to Ferrero in five sets)
• His previous best results were the semi-finals in San Jose in February when he withdrew (vs. Raonic) due to a left wrist injury (sidelined for two months) and in Halle on grass in June (l. to eventual champ Kohlschreiber)
• Parted ways with Aussie coach Roger Rasheed after Wimbledon 3rd Rd. loss (here with Patrick Chamagne)
 
Nieminen FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
QF: Bangkok (l Monfils)
YTD W-L: 21-22 (12-13 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: July 23, 1981
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 73

• Nieminen, 30, enters his first ATP World Tour final of the season, his third in Stockholm and 11th in his career (1-9)…He’s reached an ATP World Tour final for six straight years
• He’s broken opponents this week 15 times (most) in tourn. while losing serve nine times (42 of 51 held)
• This is the Finnish native’s first final since Bangkok last October (l. to Garcia-Lopez)…His lone title came in Auckland in January 2006 (d. Ancic)…Since then, he’s lost in five consecutive finals
•  He is trying to become the second left-hander to win a title on the ATP World Tour this season…Lefties are 3-13 in finals with the lone winner Rafael Nadal with three titles
• He enters with a 21-22 match record on the season (12-13 on hard)…His previous best result was the quarter-finals in Bangkok three weeks ago (l. to Monfils)
• Has a 10-55 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents (1-6 this year) and his last win came over No. 6 Ferrer in the first round of Rotterdam in February
• He has a 22-11 career match record in Stockholm and his previous finals came in 2001 (l. to Schalken) and in ’06 (l. to Blake)…Also a semi-finalist in ’08 (l. to Nalbandian) and last year (l. to Mayer)
• He lost in the first round in all four Grand Slam tournaments for the first time in his career, all to
Top 20 Spanish foes -- No. 7 Ferrer (AO, RG), No. 15 Almagro (Wimb.) and No. 19 Verdasco (USO)

DOUBLES FINAL -- (1) Bopanna/Qureshi (IND/PAK) vs. (4) Melo/Soares (BRA/BRA)
• Top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Al-Haq Qureshi,won their first two rounds in straight sets but went to a match tie-break to beat Baghdatis/del Potro in the SFs, 26 62 108
• Bopanna and Qureshi are in their 10th ATP World Tour doubles final together (2-7 career mark)
Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, the No. 4 seeds, haven’t lost a set en route to the final, including in their 76(4) 63 semi-final upset of No. 2 seeds Butorac/Rojer
• Melo and Soares are in their eighth ATP World Tour doubles final together (3-4 record)
• ATP World Tour doubles final W-L: Bopanna (3-12), Qureshi (3-7), Melo (9-9). Soares (5-7)

MOSCOW FINAL PREVIEW - TIPSAREVIC & TROICKI IN FIRST ALL-SERBIAN ATP WORLD TOUR FINAL
The first all-Serbian final in ATP World Tour history is set to go on Sunday afternoon in Moscow, as countrymen Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki, the top two seeds, square off for the Kremlin Cup crown.

There are a lot of parallels between Tipsarevic and Troicki this season: both have broken into the Top 20 for the first time (Troicki in February, Tipsarevic in August); both have recorded their best Grand Slam results this year (Troicki reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros, Tipsarevic the quarter-finals of the US Open); and they have both been knocking on the door of the Top 10 (Troicki going as high as No. 12 in June, Tipsarevic peaking at No. 13 in September).

Additionally, both came into Moscow as somewhat of an unknown quantity. Since winning his first ATP World Tour title in Kuala Lumpur three weeks ago, Tipsarevic had back-to-back first round losses the last two weeks (Tokyo and Shanghai). Troicki came into Moscow having lost seven of his last nine matches, also including first round losses the last two weeks in Tokyo and Shanghai.

The 27-year-old Tipsarevic is playing in his sixth career ATP World Tour final (1-4), the fourth this season (1-2). The 25-year-old Troicki is playing in his fifth ATP World Tour final (1-3), the second in 2011. Tipsarevic is the No. 1 seed here, and Troicki is No. 2. Troicki has several things going for him in terms of this head-to-head match-up - not only did he win the pair’s only previous meeting (in the second round here in 2008) but this is the 11th time this year the Top 2 seeds are playing for an ATP World Tour title. The No. 2 seed has compiled a 7-3 mark vs. No. 1 in finals

"Janko is the player I know best on the circuit. It won't be easy to play him," Troicki said after his semi-final match. "It's really special to play here. My father's family is Russian and Moscow is my favorite tournament. Belgrade is great or me too but I have had better results here!"

"Viktor is one of my closest friends. We know each other's games so well," Tipsarevic said. "I look forward to the final. We will be rivals in the final but then it will be back to normal between us."

Tipsarevic is in pursuit of one of the remaining three spots for next month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. He is currently at No. 11 in the race and he would move up to No. 10 in the race with a title.

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WHAT’S AT STAKE –
Winner: $132,160 and 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points
Runner-up: $69,525 and 150 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points
 
FINALS HISTORY –
Tipsarevic: Appearing in his 6th ATP World Tour final……………..He is 1-4 in finals (1-2 in 2011)
Troicki: Appearing in his 5th ATP World Tour final……………...He is 1-3 in finals (0-1 in 2011)

BATTLE FOR LONDON -- There are three spots remaining for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. Tipsarevic has moved from No. 13 to No. 11 and he could move to No. 10 with a title. Here are the updated 2011 ranking points leaders going into Sunday: Bold indicates qualified
                              2011 Points
1 Novak Djokovic 13,295      9 Nicolas Almagro 2,370 
2 Rafael Nadal 9,500          10 Gilles Simon 2,155 
3 Andy Murray 7,200          11 Janko Tipsarevic 2,145 (add 100 pts. with F win)
4 Roger Federer 5,185       12 Robin Soderling 2,080
5 David Ferrer 4,300          13 Juan Martin del Potro 2,050
6 Tomas Berdych 2,940          14 Alexandr Dolgopolov 1,835
7 Mardy Fish 2,875                15 Gael Monfils 1,825 (add 100 pts. with F win in Stockholm)
8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2,790     16 Andy Roddick 1,680

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX HEAD 2 HEADS –

(1)Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs (2) Viktor Troicki (SRB) Troicki Leads 1-0
08 Moscow (Russia) Hard R16 Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-4

Tipsarevic FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: Kuala Lumpur (d Baghdatis); F: Delray Beach (l Del Potro); Eastbourne (l Seppi); SF: Chennai (l Malisse); Belgrade (W/O vs Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal (l Fish); QF: Washington (l Monfils); US Open (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 46-22 (34-15 on hard)
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: June 22, 1984
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 14

• Tipsarevic, 27, the No. 2 Serb (behind No. 1 Djokovic), comes in with a career-best 46-22 match record (34-15 on hard) on the season and in his fourth ATP World Tour final (1-2)
• He is one of three Serbians in the Top 20 (No. 16 Troicki) at No. 14 after reaching a career-high No. 13, first achieved on Sept. 12 after US Open quarter-final…In the ATP year-to-date rankings, he has moved from No. 13 to No. 11…Will move to No. 10 with a title…There are three spots left for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
• He is making his sixth straight appearance in Moscow (12-5 mark) and he reached the final two years ago (l. to Youzhny)…Also semi-finalist in 2007 and quarter-finalist in his debut in ‘06
• On Oct. 2, he captured his first career ATP World Tour title in Kuala Lumpur (d. Baghdatis) in his 148th career tournament (in fifth final)…He improved his ranking from No. 17 to No. 13
• He is 1-2 in ATP World Tour finals this season, finishing runner-up in Delray Beach (l. to del Potro) in February and Eastbourne (l. to Seppi) in June…Also a semi-finalist three times, at Chennai (l. to Malisse), Belgrade (w/o vs Djokovic) and Montreal (l. to Fish) and first Grand Slam QF at US Open
• He helped his country to Davis Cup semi-finals (l. to Argentina) after winning last year’s Cup (d. France)

Troicki FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
F: Sydney (l Simon); SF: Rotterdam (l Soderling); Kuala Lumpur (l Baghdatis); QF: Doha (l Federer); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Ferrer); Halle (l Berdych); Washington (l Isner)
YTD W-L: 39-23 (27-15 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: February 10, 1986
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 16

• Troicki, 25, the reigning Kremlin Cup champion, has a 10-2 career mark in Moscow and this week defeated Spaniard Pere Riba 64 64, fired 23 aces en route to 76(6) 67(1) 76(1) win over No. 5 seed Alex Bogomolov Jr. in three hours, 38 minutes (tying longest best-of-three match of year, Nadal d. Verdasco in Cincinnati) and 64 64 victory over French qualifier Jeremy Chardy
• The last repeat champion in Moscow was Nikolay Davydenko in 2006-07
• The No. 3 Serb (behind No. 1 Djokovic, No. 14 Tipsarevic) enters his second final of the season with a 39-23 match record (27-15 on hard)…His best result was a runner-up in Sydney (l. to Simon) in January…He also was a semi-finalist in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) in February and Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 1 (l. to Baghdatis)…He was quarter-finalist in four other tournaments
• He reached a career-high No. 12 on June 6 after a Grand Slam-best 4th Rd. showing at Roland Garros (l. to No. 4 Murray in five sets)
• He is appearing in his fifth career ATP World Tour final (1-3 mark)

DOUBLES FINAL - (1) Cermak/Polasek (CZE/SVK) vs. Berlocq/Marrero (ARG/ESP)
• Top seeds Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek, went to match tie-breaks in their first two matches but won their semi-final against Donskoy/Gabashvili in just 44 minutes, 61 61
• Cermak and Polasek are 2-3 in ATP World Tour doubles finals (all five have come this year, winning Belgrade and Gstaad and finishing runners-up at Hamburg, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo)
• Unseeded Carlos Berlocq and David Marrero, haven’t lost a set en route to the final
• Berlocq and Marrero are playing their first ATP World Tour doubles final together
• ATP World Tour doubles final W-L: Cermak (25-19), Polasek (6-9), Berlocq (1-1), Marrero (2-3)

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