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Sunday Briefing - St. Petersburg, Vienna

Tsonga© e|motion/zolles.comJo-Wilfried Tsonga is bidding for his second ATP World Tour title of the season.

VIENNA SUNDAY PREVIEW – TOP TWO SEEDS MEET IN FINAL FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2003
The top two seeds are in Sunday’s final of the Erste Bank Open for the first time since 2003 when Roger Federer defeated Carlos Moya in the title match. It’s the 12th No. 1-2 final on the ATP World Tour this year (No. 2 leads 7-4). In addition, the No. 1-2 seeds are in the doubles final. The last time this happened in Vienna was in 1977.
  
Top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looks to become the first Frenchman to win the singles title in tournament history as he takes on Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who has won the previous three meetings. Gael Monfils was runner-up three years ago (l. to Petzschner). No Argentine has won the title here. Guillermo Canas was runner-up in 2001 (l. to Haas) and ‘04 (l. to Lopez). Tsonga is appearing in his fourth final of the season (1-2) and 10th in his career (6-3). Last month he won the title on home soil in Metz. Tsonga, who is playing here for the first time, holds the eighth and final spot for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. If he wins, he will move to No. 7 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings.

The 23-year-old del Potro is trying to capture his third ATP World Tour title of the season (2-0) in his 13th career final (9-3). He’s also looking to earn his first indoor title. His previous indoor final came at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London two years ago (l. to Davydenko). The Tandil native is getting near his Top 10 form of two years ago after coming back from a wrist injury last year. The Argentine has climbed back from No. 484 in February to No. 15 this week and has won a pair of ATP World Tour titles. He will move to No. 11 in South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings on Monday (regardless of the result).

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WHAT’S AT STAKE
      Winner:                  €104,850 and 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
      Runner-up:             €55,200 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
 
FINALS HISTORY
      Tsonga:                   Appearing in his10th ATP World Tour final……..He is 6-3 in finals (1-2 in 2011)
      del Potro:                 Appearing in his 13th ATP World Tour final…….He is 9-3 in finals (2-0 in 2011)
 
BATTLE FOR LONDON -- There are three spots remaining for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.  Tsonga will move to No. 7 if he wins the title. Here are the updated 2011 ranking points leaders going into action on Sunday:       Bold indicates qualified

              2011 Points
1 Novak Djokovic      13,295   9 Nicolas Almagro           2,370   
2 Rafael Nadal          9,500    10 Janko Tipsarevic          2,305 (add 100 pts. with Final win)
3 Andy Murray          7,200    11 Juan Martin del Potro    2,180 (add 100 pts. with Vienna title)
4 Roger Federer       5,185    12 Gilles Simon                 2,155
5 David Ferrer          4,300    13 Robin Soderling            2,080
6 Tomas Berdych        2,940     14 Gael Monfils                 1,925
7 Mardy Fish               2,875     15 Alexandr Dolgopolov    1,835
8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga   2,790 +  16 Andy Roddick              1,680   
+ Add 100 pts. with Vienna title 

2011 ATP WORLD TOUR TITLE LEADERS – Del Potro is trying to become the sixth or seventh player to capture his third ATP World Tour title this season:   

                              No.
1) Novak Djokovic   10   6) Juan Martin del Potro 2
2) Andy Murray        5        David Ferrer             2
Robin Soderling        4        John Isner               2
4) Nicolas Almagro   3        Gilles Simon             2
Rafael Nadal             3        Janko Tipsarevic       2 (in St. Petersburg final)

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX HEAD 2 HEADS –

Centre Court

(1)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs (2) Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)  Del Potro Leads 3-0
07 New Haven (U.S.A.) Hard R64 Juan Martin Del Potro  3-6 6-3 6-4
08 Tennis Masters Cup (China) Hard (I) RR Juan Martin Del Potro  7-6(4) 7-6(5)
09 Roland Garros (France) Clay R16 Juan Martin Del Potro  6-1 6-7(5)  6-1 6-4

Tsonga FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: Metz (d Ljubicic); F: Rotterdam (l Soderling); London / Queen's Club (l Murray); SF: Doha (l Federer); Wimbledon (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal (l Djokovic); Beijing (l Berdych); QF: Marseille (l Youzhny); US Open (l Federer)
YTD W-L: 47-20 (30-11 on hard)
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: April 17, 1985
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 9

• Tsonga, 26, the top Frenchman on the ATP World Tour, enters his fourth ATP World Tour final of the season with a 47-20 match record, 30-11 on hard…Last month he won his sixth title in Metz (d. Ljubicic)…Has a 6-3 career mark in finals
• He made his Vienna debut on Thursday, coming back to defeat Jarkko Nieminen 36 61 3-1 ret. and on Friday rallied to beat Xavier Malisse 46 76(4) 64 in the quarter-finals and followed with a 62 76 win over German qualifier Daniel Brands…He is trying to become the first Frenchman to win the singles title here
• He is No. 2 in aces this week with 47 and has held serve 34 of 36 games (94%)
• He’s looking to secure one of the remaining three spots in the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London…He holds the No. 8 and final spot and will move to No. 7 if wins
• He moved back into the Top 10 on Sept. 12 after reaching the quarter-finals at the US Open (l. to Federer)
• In his last tournament two weeks ago at ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai, he lost in his opening round (after a bye) to Kei Nishikori in three sets…The previous week, he reached his seventh semi-final of the season in Beijing where he lost to eventual champion Tomas Berdych
• His other season-best results are a pair of runner-up showings in Rotterdam on Feb. 13 (l. No. 4 Soderling) and at the Queen’s Club in London (l. to Murray) in June
• In July at Wimbledon he advanced to the semi-finals (d. No. 6 Ferrer, No. 3 Federer in SF from 0-2 sets down, l. to Djokovic)…In next outing at ATP Masters 1000 Montreal, reached semi-finals (l. to Djokovic)
• Played in Davis Cup semi-final Sept. 16-18 vs. Spain and lost to Nadal in fourth rubber (won doubles)
• He began the year with a semi-final in Doha (l. to No. 2 Federer) and followed with a third round at the Australian Open (l. to Dolgopolov in five sets)
• Then in Rotterdam, he defeated Dimitrov, Llodra, walkover vs. No. 7 Berdych, and No. 15 Ljubicic before falling to Soderling…Followed with quarter-final in Marseille (l. to Youzhny)

Del Potro FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: Delray Beach (d Tipsarevic); Estoril (d Verdasco); SF: San Jose (l Verdasco); Memphis (l Roddick); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Nadal); QF: Los Angeles (l Gulbis)
YTD W-L: 45-14 (30-11 on hard)
YTD Titles: 2
Career Titles: 9
Date of Birth: September 23, 1988
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 15

• del Potro, 23, enters his third ATP World Tour final of the season with a 45-14 match record (30-11 on hard) and he’s appearing in his 13th career final (9-3 mark), second indoors (0-1)…His last final/title came on May 1 in Estoril (d. Verdasco)…In February, he captured title in Delray Beach (d. Tipsarevic)
• Has a 20-34 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents (3-6 this year) and 3-2 in finals in his career
• This week won his opening round match Wednesday over ’08 Vienna champion Philipp Petzschner 63 64, then defeated 2001 winner Tommy Haas 62 64 and followed with 64 36 64 win over No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson…Has held serve 31 of 33 games (94%)…This is the Argentine’s first  showing in Vienna  since 2008 when he reached the 2nd Rd. (withdrew due to left foot injury)
• He is trying to earn one of the three remaining spots for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London next month…Will stand No. 11 in ATP year-to-date rankings on Monday
• Last week he lost in the opening round (after bye) to James Blake in Stockholm…It’s his only  opening round loss in 18 tournaments this year
• Last month he led his native country to the Davis Cup final (vs. Spain) with a pair of wins in SF tie in Serbia, defeating Tipsarevic and No. 1 Djokovic, who retired in the second set with a back injury…Prior to that, he reached the third round at the US Open (l. to Simon)
• The Argentine is rapidly improving and getting back to his Top 10 form after being sidelined for more than eight months last year with a right wrist injury… He ranked a season-low No. 484 on Feb. 7  before making his climb back into the Top 20 at No. 19 on July 4 after reaching the 4th Rd. at Wimbledon (l. to Nadal)
• In February, he reached back-to-back semi-finals in San Jose  (l. to No. 9 Verdasco)  and Memphis (l. to No. 8 Roddick) before winning his eighth career title in Delray Beach (d. Tipsarevic)…It was his first final since the ’09 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London (l. to Davydenko) and first title since the ’09 US Open (d. Federer in five sets)

DOUBLES FINAL – TOP TWO SEEDS, BRYANS BROTHERS, MIRNYI-NESTOR, MEET IN TITLE MATCH
• While the top two seeds battle it out in the singles final, the same two seeds will square off in Sunday’s doubles championship as World No. 1 Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan of the U.S. take on No. 2 Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada.
• Both teams already have qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, Nov. 20-27.
• The Bryans, who saved a match point in their first round win (d. Kas-Peya), are appearing in their 10th final of the season (6-3), the first since ATP Masters 1000 Montreal in August (l. to Llodra-Zimonjic).  Their last title came at Wimbledon in July. Their other titles were at the Australian Open, Houston, Monte-Carlo, Madrid, and Queen’s Club in London.
• The Bryans  have won a record 73 doubles titles together (73-41 in career finals). They are trying to earn their first title in Vienna. They lost in the first round in their previous appearance in 2002.
• Mirnyi-Nestor have lost one set in three matches en route to the final and they trying to collect their fourth title of the season (3-1) and in their career together. They won at ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai two weeks ago. In February, they won the title in Memphis (d. Butorac-Rojer) and at Roland Garros (d. Cabal-Schwank) in June. They were finalists in Miami (l. to Bhupathi-Paes) and semi-finalists at the Australian Open.
• They played twice in 2000, going 2-2, before reuniting this season. Mirnyi is 40-35 lifetime in finals while Nestor is 74-47. The Canadian is tied No. 5 in the Open Era doubles titles list (w/Frew McMillan).

ST. PETERSBURG SUNDAY PREVIEW - TIPSAREVIC GOES FOR THIRD FALL TITLE, CILIC LOOKS FOR FIRST IN 2011
One of the hottest players on the ATP World Tour tries to win his third title of the fall season as he takes on a former Top 10 star in the final of the St. Petersburg Open on Sunday.

Just a month ago, Janko Tipsarevic was the highest-ranked player never to win an ATP World Tour title, losing all four of his career in finals - but times have changed, as not only has he won his first two ATP World Tour titles since then at Kuala Lumpur and Moscow and improved to 2-4 in finals, but this week he has reached yet another final in St. Petersburg. Seeded No. 2, he has only lost one set in four matches this week, and even then he came back for a 67(6) 62 61 win over Potito Starace in the quarters. He has not only won his last two, but he is 2-2 in hard court finals and 2-1 in indoor finals.

An added incentive for Tipsarevic is he will move to No. 9 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings if he wins the title. The top eight qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London (there are still three spots up for grabs at the eight-man year-end finale).

No. 4 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia has had a much tougher road to the final, going to three sets twice (including a nail-biting 46 76(8) 64 victory over Andreas Seppi in the quarter-finals). This is his fourth ATP World Tour final of the season (0-3). He is also the underdog on paper, being ranked nine spots lower than Tipsarevic at No. 22. But he does have several things going for him: he is a former Top 10 player (he spent 11 career weeks in the Top 10, including eight weeks at a career-high No. 9); he has six Top 20 wins this year (including three indoors); and Cilic has a 5-1 head-to-head record against Tipsarevic (but the Serb did win their most recent meeting, at Miami in March of this year). The Croat is 5-6 in career ATP World Tour finals (including 5-4 in hard court finals and 2-2 in indoor finals).

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WHAT’S AT STAKE
      Winner:                 €$114,750 and 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
      Runner-up:             $60,400 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
 
FINALS HISTORY
      Cilic:                      Appearing in his 12th ATP World Tour final……….…....He is 5-6 in finals (0-3 in 2011)
      Tipsarevic:            Appearing in his  7th ATP World Tour final……………..He is 2-4 in finals (2-2 in 2011)
    
BATTLE FOR LONDON -- There are three spots remaining for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.  Tipsarevic will move to No. 9 if he wins the title on Sunday. Here are the updated 2011 ranking points leaders going into action on Sunday:       Bold indicates qualified
                                   2011 Points
1 Novak Djokovic      13,295   9   Nicolas Almagro          2,370   
2 Rafael Nadal          9,500     10 Janko Tipsarevic          2,305 (add 100 pts. with Final win)
3 Andy Murray          7,200      11 Juan Martin del Potro  2,180 (add 100 pts. with Vienna title)
4 Roger Federer        5,185     12 Gilles Simon               2,155
5 David Ferrer           4,300      13 Robin Soderling         2,080
6 Tomas Berdych          2,940      14 Gael Monfils               1,925
7 Mardy Fish                2,875       15 Alexandr Dolgopolov  1,835
8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga     2,790 +   16 Andy Roddick             1,680   
+ Add 100 pts. with Vienna title 

2011 ATP WORLD TOUR TITLE LEADERS – Tipsarevic is trying to become the sixth or seventh player to capture his third ATP World Tour title this season:   

                             No.
1) Novak Djokovic   10   6) Juan Martin del Potro 2 (in Vienna final)
2) Andy Murray        5     David Ferrer                 2
Robin Soderling        4     John Isner                   2
4) Nicolas Almagro   3     Gilles Simon                 2
Rafael Nadal             3     Janko Tipsarevic           2

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX HEAD 2 HEADS –

Centre Court

(4) Marin Cilic (CRO) vs (2) Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) Cilic Leads 5-1
09 Chennai (India) Hard QF Marin Cilic 6-4 0-6 6-4
09 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R64 Marin Cilic 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-3
09 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R32 Marin Cilic 2-6 7-6(3)6-4
10 Chennai (India) Hard SF Marin Cilic 6-1 6-3
10 Washington (USA) Hard QF Marin Cilic 7-6(4) 6-4
11 ATP Masters 1000 Miami (U.S.A.) Hard R64 Janko Tipsarevic 6-3 7-6(4)

Cilic FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
F: Marseille (l Soderling); Umag (l Dolgopolov); Beijing (l Berdych); 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: 42-20 (27-12 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: September 28, 1988
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 22

• Cilic, 23, is making his fourth ATP World Tour final showing of the season and the 12th of his career   (5-6)… His last title came in Zagreb in February 2010…He’s won at least one title from 2008-10
• He was runner-up in Beijing (l. to Berdych) on Oct. 9 and in Marseille (l. to Soderling) in February and Umag (l. to Dolgopolov) in July in addition to six other quarter-finals (Zagreb, Rotterdam, Munich, Rome, Queen’s Club, Hamburg)
• This week leads the tournament in aces (37) and first serve points won (79%) and No. 2 in service games won (45 of 51, 88%)
• Has a 7-3 career mark in St. Petersburg and his previous best result was a semi-finalist  in 2007 (l. to Verdasco)…The last Croat to win the title here was Mario Ancic five years ago (d. T. Johansson)
• The top Croat at No. 22 enters with a 42-20 match record on the season (27-12 on hard courts)… 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)
• He is trying to become the second Croat to win an ATP World Tour title this season…Ivan Dodig won in Zagreb in February…Croats are 1-5 in finals

Tipsarevic FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: Kuala Lumpur (d Baghdatis); Moscow (d Troicki); 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: 52-22 (40-15 on hard)
YTD Titles: 2
Career Titles: 2
Date of Birth: June 22, 1984
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 13 (Career-high)

• Tipsarevic, 27, the No. 2 Serb (behind No. 1 Djokovic), comes into his career-best fifth ATP World Tour final of the season with a career-best 52-22 match record (40-15 on hard)…He is trying to win his third ATP World Tour title in the past five tournaments...He has won his last eight matches
• Last week he captured his second ATP World Tour title in four weeks in Moscow (d. Troicki) and afterwards moved from No. 13 to No. 10 in the ATP year-to-date rankings...Will go to No. 9 if he wins the title on Sunday… There are three spots left for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London
• 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
• This week leads the tournament in service games won (34 of 38, 89%), return games won (17 of 35, 49%), second serve pts. won (66%), pts. won returning 2nd serve (62%) and No. 2 in aces (28)
• He is one of three Serbians in the Top 20 (No. 17 Troicki) at No. 13 after reaching a  career-high No. 13, first achieved on Sept. 12  after US Open quarter-final
• He is making his fourth appearance in St. Petersburg (8-3 mark) and his previous best results were the quarter-finals in 2008 and last year
• He finished 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)

2011 HARD COURT WINS LEADERS – Tipsarevic is tied with countryman and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic with the most hard court match wins (40) this season. Here are the leaders:

                             W-L     No.
1) Novak Djokovic  40-2      6
Janko Tipsarevic    40-15     2
2) Andy Murray      33-6      4
3) Rafael Nadal       32-9      0
Tomas Berdych       32-11    1
Mardy Fish              32-14    1

DOUBLES FINAL - (3) Fleming/Hutchins (GBR/GBR) vs. (WC) Elgin/Kudryavtsev (RUS/RUS)
• The No. 3 seeds of British duo Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins upset top seeds Cermak/Polasek in the semi-finals (they were pushed to a match tie-break in one of their other two matches)
• Fleming and Hutchins are playing their first ATP World Tour doubles final together
• The Russian wild card team of Mikhail Elgin and Alexander Kudryavtsev upset No. 2 seeds Bracciali/Starace in the quarter-finals and were pushed to match tie-breaks against the two unseeded teams they beat in the first round and semi-finals
• Elgin and Kudryavtseva are playing in their first ATP World Tour final
• ATP World Tour doubles final W-L: Fleming (2-2), Hutchins (2-6), Elgin (0-0), Kudryavtsev (0-0)

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