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Saturday Briefing - Brisbane, Chennai

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray will face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Brisbane final.

BRISBANE SUNDAY PREVIEW – MURRAY, DOLGOPOLOV MEET WITH FIRST AUSSIE TITLE ON THE LINE
The championship at the Brisbane International on Sunday between the No. 1 and 3 seeds is also a showcase between two of the young stars on the ATP World Tour.

Top seed and World No. 4 Andy Murray takes a 2-0 career mark against No. 3 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine. Both players are attempting to earn their first ATP World Tour title Down Under. In their last meeting just under a year ago in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, Murray prevailed in a tight four-set battle. In their first meeting in a Davis Cup tie in 2006, Murray won in straight sets.

After a slow start in his first two wins in three sets (broken five times), Murray has rolled in his last two matches, never dropping serve. He’s held 24 straight games going back to the fourth game of the second set of his second round win over Gilles Muller. Murray is playing in his third career final on Aussie soil, having reached the Australian Open final the past two years. He is playing his first tournament with new coach Ivan Lendl, who won five of his 94 career titles in Oz, including the Australian Open in 1989-90. Murray is 21-9 lifetime in career finals.

The 23-year-old Dolgopolov is one of the young up-and-coming stars on the ATP World Tour. The Ukrainian finished a year-end best No. 15 last season, captured his maiden ATP World Tour title and advanced to his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open. He was one of 10 ATP World Tour first-time winners last season. Dolgopolov is 1-1 in ATP World Tour finals, capturing his first title in Umag (d. Cilic) and reaching the final (l. to Almagro), both on clay.

WHAT’S AT STAKE
 Winner:    $74,370 and 250 South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking points
 Runner-up:   $39,165 and 150 South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY
 Murray:   Appearing in his 31st career ATP World Tour level final....He is 21-9 lifetime in finals (5-1 in ’11)
  Dolgopolov:Appearing in his 3rd career ATP World Tour level final…..He is 1-1 lifetime in finals (1-1 in’11)

SUNDAY FINAL FEDEX ATP Head 2 Head – In Order of Play

Pat Rafter Arena

(1)Andy Murray (GBR) vs (3) Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) Murray Leads 2-0
06 UKR v. GBR EAGI 2nd Rd. PO (Ukraine)Clay RR Andy Murray 6-3 6-4 6-2
11 Australian Open (Australia) Hard QF Andy Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7(3)  6-3
 
Murray FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W(5): London / Queen's Club (d Tsonga); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d Djokovic); Bangkok (d Young); Tokyo (d Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (d Ferrer); F: Australian Open (l Djokovic); SF(5): 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); QF: ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l Berdych)
YTD W-L: 3-0
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 21
Date of Birth: May 15, 1987
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 4

• Murray, 24, is coming off his best match of the week on Thursday as he defeated Marcos Baghdatis 62 62 to reach his first semi-final in Brisbane…In his first two wins, he came back from a set down to defeat Mikhail Kukushkin 57 63 62 and Gilles Muller 46 76(4) 60…It was the first time since 2007 San Jose he’s come back twice from a set down in a tournament
• This week leads the tournament in return games won (13 of 36, 36%), No. 2 in first serve pts. won (81%), No. 3 in aces (22) and has held serve 32 of 37 games (86%)
• The Scotsman is coming off his fourth consecutive No. 4 finish last season and five ATP World Tour titles, which was second to Novak Djokovic (10)
• Prior to this week, his last singles match was Nov. 21 (l. to Ferrer) at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London (afterwards withdrew due to groin strain)
• Has an impressive 21-9 career mark in finals on ATP World Tour (14-4 since 2009)
• New coach Ivan Lendl arrived in Australia on Friday and is here this weekend…Lendl had a 5-5 career record in Australian finals, capturing two Australian Open and three Sydney-indoor titles

Dolgopolov FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: Umag (d Cilic); F: Costa Do Sauipe (l Almagro); SF(3): Acapulco (l Ferrer); Nice (l Hanescu); Metz (l Tsonga); QF(4): Sydney (l Simon); Australian Open (l Murray); Winston-Salem (l Haase); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (l Nishikori)
YTD W-L: 3-0
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: November 7, 1988
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 15

• Dolgopolov, 23, is appearing in his first semi-final in Brisbane after defeating Colombian Alejandro Falla 76(3) 62 in the first round, Russian qualifier Igor Andreev 67(3) 76(9) 62 (after saving three match points) in two hours and 39 minutes on Wednesday and No. 6 seed Radek Stepanek 46 63 63…Has a 5-2 career mark and the past two years lost in the 2R– l. to Stepanek in 2010 and l. to Roddick last year
• This week is No. 2 in return games won (14 of 40, 35%) and has been broken eight times (most among semi-finalists), holding 32 of 40 games (80%)
• Last season ranked No. 15 and became the first player from Ukraine since Andrei Medvedev was No. 16 in 1995 to finish in Top 20
• Looking to reach his third career ATP World Tour final (1-1), the first on hard courts
• One of the most improved players on the ATP World Tour, jumping from No. 48 in 2010 to a year-end best No. 15…Among his achievements were a maiden ATP World Tour title in Umag (d. Cilic) on July 31, Grand Slam quarter-final at Australian Open (d. No. 4 Soderling, l. to Murray) and first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 doubles crown (w/Malisse) in Indian Wells, defeating Bryans and Federer-Wawrinka


DOUBLES FINAL – TOP TWO SEEDS BATTLE IT OUT IN CHAMPIONSHIP

• The top two seeds in the Brisbane International, Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada, and Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany, square off in the doubles championship on Sunday
• Mirnyi and Nestor went 4-4 in finals, finishing the season in strong fashion, with title at ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai in October and back-to-back runner-up results in  Vienna (l. to Bryans) and Basel (l. to Llodra-Zimonjic), and capturing the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London
• Last season they reunited full-time, after a brief partnership in 2000… Their biggest title came at Roland Garros (d. Cabal-Schwank) in June…In February, they won their first title together in Memphis (d. Butorac-Rojer)
• Of their four runner-up showings, two came in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, in Miami (l. to Bryans) in April, and Cincinnati (l. to Bhupathi-Paes) in August
• In Grand Slam play, compiled a 12-3 mark with SF at Australian Open (l. to Bhupathi-Paes), title at Roland Garros, second round at Wimbledon and US Open
• Prior to this year, they played twice in 2000, going 2-2
• The Canadian has 75 career doubles titles, which is tied for No. 5 on the Open Era career list
• Melzer and Petzschner have a career finals mark of 5-0 and they are playing in their first Brisbane final
• Last season they went 3-0 in finals, highlighted by their second Grand Slam crown at the US Open (d. Fyrstenberg-Matkowski)…Only dropped one set in six matches
• After opening season with QF at Australian Open (l. to Bryans), won title in Rotterdam (d. Llodra-Zimonjic) in February, reached SFs at ATP Masters 1000 Miami (l. to Mirnyi-Nestor) and QFs at Wimbledon (l. to Bryans)
• In July, won clay title in Stuttgart (d. Granollers-M. Lopez) and then lost in opening round in next two events before going into Flushing Meadows
• Melzer won a mixed doubles title at Wimbledon (w/Benesova)

CHENNAI SUNDAY PREVIEW - TIPSAREVIC & RAONIC CLASH IN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
One of the ATP World Tour’s Top 10 players will face someone touted as a future member of the elite on Sunday in the final of the Aircel Chennai Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tournament. This is a first-time meeting.

Janko Tipsarevic, ranked No. 9 and this week’s No. 1 seed, may not have had the toughest draw this week - the average rank of his opponents so far has been No. 213 - but he has made it through to the final in his first tournament of 2012, the eighth ATP World Tour final of his career. He is 2-5 in his first seven ATP World Tour finals but he has won two of his last three (he began 0-4). The 27-year-old Serb has always done well in Chennai, reaching the quarter-finals or better in three of his four previous appearances, but this is his first time into the final here.

Milos Raonic, ranked No. 31 and the No. 4 seed here, has had a much tougher road to the final than Tipsarevic, beating Top 100 players Victor Hanescu and Dudi Sela in his first two matches then taking out the No. 10-ranked, No. 2-seeded Nicolas Almagro in the semi-finals - all without losing a set, too. And while Tipsarevic leads the tournament in return games won (12 of 29), Raonic leads the tournament in the serving stats, including service games won (30 of 30) and aces (41 - the next-highest count is 24). He is 1-1 in ATP World Tour finals (both coming last February, winning San Jose but finishing runner-up to Andy Roddick in Memphis – barely,7-5 in third set).

Raonic is 4-8 against Top 10 players, his four wins all coming against No. 9s or No. 10s (one win over No. 10 Mikhail Youzhny, two wins over No. 9 Fernando Verdasco and his win this week over No. 10 Almagro). His win over Almagro snapped a five-match skid against Top 10 players.

WHAT’S AT STAKE
 Winner:    $71,900 and 250 South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking points
 Runner-up:   $37,860 and 150 South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY
 Tipsarevic:   Appearing in his 8th career ATP World Tour final.............He is 2-5 lifetime in finals (2-3 in ’11)
  Raonic:         Appearing in his 3rd career ATP World Tour level final…He is 1-1 lifetime in finals (1-1 in’11)

Sunday Final FedEx ATP Head 2 Head – In Order of Play

Centre Court

(1)Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs (4) Milos Raonic (CAN)      First Meeting

Tipsarevic FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W(2): Kuala Lumpur (d Baghdatis); Moscow (d Troicki); F(3): Delray Beach (l Del Potro); Eastbourne (l Seppi); St. Petersburg (l Cilic); SF(3): Chennai (l Malisse); Belgrade (W/O vs Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada (l Fish); QF(2): Washington (l Monfils); US Open (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 3-0
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 2
Date of Birth: June 22, 1984
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 9

• Tipsarevic, 27, the No. 2 Serb (behind No. 1 Djokovic), is making his eighth career ATP World Tour final appearance (2-5 record)…Since October, he’s reached four finals in nine tournaments (2-1)
• The Belgrade native is 12-4 lifetime in Chennai and this is his first final in five visits…He was a semi-finalist the past two years and a quarter-finalist in 2009…The top seed opened with a 61 63 win over Indian teenager wild card Yuki Bhambri on Thursday and followed with a 62 36 62 quarter-final victory over Belgian wild card David Goffin on Friday and 61 64 over Japanese qualifier Go Soeda in SFs
• Last year made biggest jump into Top 10 from previous season, climbing from No. 49 to No. 9 to earn alternate spot at Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London…Came in for Andy Murray who withdrew and went 1-1 in round robin play, losing to Tomas Berdych in three sets and defeating Djokovic
• The Belgrade native reached a career-high five ATP World Tour finals, winning first two titles of his career (Kuala Lumpur, Moscow)…Also advanced to his first Grand Slam QF (US Open)and first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF in Montreal…Played the final seven weeks of regular season
• He came into 2011 with a 134-138 career match record and was 25-23 last year before putting together a career-best 54-26 mark
 
Raonic FastFacts:
2011 Highlights:
W: San Jose (d Verdasco); F: Memphis (l Roddick); SF(2): Estoril (l Verdasco); Stockholm (l Monfils); QF: Halle (l Petzschner)
YTD W-L: 3-0
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: December 27, 1990
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 31

• Raonic, 21, is appearing in his third career ATP World Tour final (1-1), the first outdoors on hard courts
• This week through three matches has not dropped serve in 30 games, hitting 41 aces and saving 10 break points
• In his main draw Chennai debut on Wednesday, defeated Romanian Victor Hanescu 61 64, then on Friday beat top Israeli Dudi Sela 76(4) 63, before ousting No. 2 seed/World No. 10 Nicolas Almagro 64 64 in the semi-finals (fired 17 aces)…Last year lost in the final round of qualifying to Edouard Roger-Vasselin
• Has a 4-8 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents and looking to post back-to-back wins in same tournament for first time
• The top Canadian earned ATP Newcomer of the Year honors for breakout season with first ATP World Tour title (San Jose) and 31 match wins, which is what his final ranking was last year…Only player born in 1990s to win an ATP World Tour singles title
• Also runner-up in Memphis (l. to Roddick) and semi-finalist in Estoril and Stockholm…Made Grand Slam debut at Australian Open (as qualifier) and advanced to 4R (d. No. 10 Youzhny), losing to No. 7 Ferrer in four sets
• Underwent right hip surgery on July 5 after suffering injury in 2R (June 22) at Wimbledon (vs. Muller) and returned two months later

DOUBLES FINAL - (3) Paes/Tipsarevic (IND/SRB) vs. (4) Erlich/Ram (ISR/ISR)
• No. 3 seeds Leander Paes and Janko Tipsarevic  beat No. 2 seeds Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram in the semi-finals;; they are playing their first doubles final together (Paes already has a whopping 47 ATP World Tour doubles titles, Tipsarevic has never won one)
• Paes has won this title five times with Bhupathi but has never won it with another partner
• No. 4 seeds Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, took out top seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in the semi-finals; they are playing their 27th doubles final together (14-12 career mark)
• ATP World Tour doubles final W-L: Paes (47-34), Tipsarevic (0-2), Erlich (16-13), Ram (18-17)

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