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Sunday Briefing - Montpellier, Zagreb, Vina del Mar

Berdych© Open Sud de FranceTomas Berdych has only dropped serve once en route to the final.

MONTPELLIER SUNDAY PREVIEW - BERDYCH & MONFILS TO CLASH FOR MONTPELLIER CROWN
• A current Top 10 player will square off against a former Top 10 player in an all-star final at the Open Sud de France, an ATP World Tour 250 stop held on the indoor courts of Montpellier.

• Top seed and World No. 7 Tomas Berdych has cruised through to this week’s final without losing a set, in fact losing his serve only once (to Nicolas Mahut in the q uarter-finals). He also put on his best serve performance in the semi-finals, winning 100% of the points on his first serve during a 63 64 win over No. 7 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber (he won 34 of 34 points on his first serve points). Berdych is through to his 13th ATP World Tour final now, going 6-6 in title matches (he won his only career indoor final, at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Paris back in 2005, his other title match on French soil).

• No. 3 seed Gael Monfils cruised through his first few matches of the week but won a thriller in the semi-finals, saving match point down 64 65 against No. 2 seed Gilles Simon and eventually making it past his countryman, 46 76(4) 64. Monfils is through to his 17th ATP World Tour final but has a 4-12 record in title matches (though three of his four titles have come indoors). The Frenchman is appearing in his second final of the season after opening the year with a runner-up in Doha (l. to Tsonga).

• Berdych beat Monfils handily in their only previous meeting, in the first round of Dubai four years ago (the Czech never faced a break point en route to a 53-minute, 63 62 victory).

• Berdych is currently ranked No. 7 and in his 109th career week in the Top 10; Monfils is No. 13 right now but has been as high as No. 7 (he has spent 46 career weeks in the elite but dipped out last fall after not defending his finals points from the ATP Masters 1000 stop in Paris from 2010).

WHAT’S AT STAKE
Winner:        €91,900 and 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
Runner-up:   €37,860 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY
Berdych:   Appearing in his 13th career ATP World Tour level final..He is 6-6 lifetime in finals (0-0 in ‘12)
Monfils:    Appearing in his 17th career ATP World Tour final………He is 4-12 lifetime in finals (0-1 in ‘12)

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FedEx ATP Head 2 Head –

Court Central

(1)Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs (3) Gael Monfils (FRA) Berdych Leads 1-0
08 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R32 Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2

Berdych FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Australian Open (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 7-1
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 7

• Berdych, 26, has not dropped a set en route to his 13th career ATP World Tour level final (6-6)…
The top player from the Czech Republic, only dropped two games in his opening round win over Frenchman Florent Serra and followed with a pair of 63 64 wins over Nicolas Mahut and No. 7 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber
• His previous final/title on French soil came at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris in 2005 (d. Ljubicic in five sets)
• He is 7-1 on the season and his last title came in Beijing last October (d. Cilic)
• In lone previous tournament of the season, reached the quarter-finals for the second straight year at the Australian Open, falling in four sets to Rafael Nadal…Went 7- 1 in tie-breaks during tournament

Monfils FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
F: Doha (l Tsonga)
YTD W-L: 9-2
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 4
Date of Birth: September 1, 1986
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 13

• Monfils, 25, the No. 3 Frenchman (behind No. 6 Tsonga, No. 12 Simon), enters his second ATP World Tour final of the season and 17th of his career (4-12) after defeating countryman/No. 2 seed Gilles Simon 46 76 64 in the semi-finals…Two of his previous titles have come on French soil (’09 Metz, ’10 Montpellier)
• He enters with a 9-2 mark on the season and opened by defeating Nadal in the semi-finals in Doha en route to the final (l. to Tsonga)…His last title came in Stockholm in October last year (d. Nieminen)
• After Doha, lost in the third round at the Australian Open in five sets to No. 92 Mikhail Kukushkin
• Last season finished in Top 20 for fourth straight year and reached a career-high No. 7 on July 4… Ranked in Top 10 for most of season (32 weeks), from Apr. 4 to Nov. 7
• Has played well at this tournament, reaching the final (l. to No. 3 Roddick) in 2005 when it was held in Lyon, and capturing the title here two years ago (d. Ljubicic)

DOUBLES FINAL - (3) Hanley/Murray (AUS/GBR) vs. Mahut/Roger-Vasselin (FRA/FRA)
Paul Hanley and Jamie Murray, the No. 3 seeds, haven’t faced a seeded team this week; they are playing their first ATP World Tour doubles final together
Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, unseeded, beat one seeded team en route to the final (No. 1 seeds Fleming/Hutchins in the QFs); they are playing their first ATP World Tour doubles final together - Roger-Vasselin is playing his first ATP World Tour final of any kind
• ATP World Tour doubles final W-L: Hanley (25-20), Murray (7-4), Mahut (3-4), Roger-V (0-0)

ZAGREB SUNDAY PREVIEW - YOUZHNY TO FACE FIRST-TIME FINALIST LACKO FOR TITLE
• An ATP World Tour veteran and one of its brightest young rising stars will square off on Sunday in the final of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors, an ATP World Tour 250 tournament held in the Croatian capital.

• No. 3 seed and World No. 39 Mikhail Youzhny, has made his 18th ATP World Tour final losing just one set, surviving 22 aces to hold off No. 8 seed Ivo Karlovic in a near-three hour quarter-final marathon, 76(10) 36 76(6). He has a 7-10 career record in ATP World Tour finals and is playing his first final since the 2010 season (when he actually made a career-high five finals, going 2-3). “When you’re on the tour you’re not thinking about when you last played in a final or when you last won a tournament,” the 29-year-old Russian said after his semi-final win. “I’ve just tried to improve and move forward. Last year did not go well for me, so we’ll see what happens this year.”

• Unseeded and World No. 97 Lukas Lacko of the Slovak Republic, has been the breakthrough story of the tournament - having never been beyond the quarter-finals of an ATP World Tour event, he not only made his first semi-final here, but on Saturday he upset No. 6 seed Marcos Baghdatis to make his first final (Baghdatis had been a perfect 8-0 in Zagreb going into their semi-final match). Lacko had already beaten No. 2 seed Alex Bogomolov Jr. and No. 7 seed Robin Haase this week. “When you play in a tournament you don’t think about losing,” the 24-year-old Slovakian said. “You think about winning, so I’ve gone through every match just trying to play my best.” He is trying to become the first Slovakian to win an ATP World Tour title since Dominik Hrbaty in Marseille in February 2004.

• Youzhny has beaten Lacko in all three of their previous meetings, although Lacko did take a set in all of them. Those meetings were all in 2010, as well. “It was my first season on the ATP World Tour, so I wasn’t as experienced, but every time I played a good, close match,” Lacko said. “He’s a smart player but it’s good I’ve played against him as I know what to expect. I need to try and change what happened in those three matches and play the match my way.”

WHAT’S AT STAKE
Winner:        €68,220 and 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
Runner-up:   €35,920 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY
Youzhny:   Appearing in his 18th career ATP World Tour final…….He is 7-10 lifetime in finals (0-0 in 2012)
Lacko:       Appearing in his 1st career ATP World Tour final

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FedEx ATP Head 2 Head –

Centre Court

(3) Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs Lukas Lacko (SVK) Youzhny Leads 3-0
10 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R32 Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(3) 7-6(5) 6-1
10 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Clay R64 Mikhail Youzhny 2-6 6-3 6-1
10 Roland Garros (France) Clay R64 Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(8) 6-3 6-3 6-2

Youzhny FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Doha (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 6-2
YTD Titles: 0:
Career Titles: 7
Date of Birth: June 25, 1982
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 39

• Youzhny, 29, is appearing in his first final in Zagreb and 18th ATP World Tour title match in his career (7-10 mark)…He has a 9-3 career mark in Zagreb…He edged out big-serving Ivo Karlovic 76(10) 36 76(6) on Friday in the quarter-finals and ousted two-time finalist Michael Berrer in the semi-finals…He is also in the doubles final (w/Baghdatis)…He is trying to become the first double winner this season
• The No. 2 Russian is appearing in his first ATP World Tour final since Oct. 31, 2010 on home soil in St. Petersburg (l. to Kukushkin)…His last came in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 3, 2010 (d. Golubev)
•  Last season was first year since 2006 he didn’t win a title
 
Lacko FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 6-1
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: November 3, 1987
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 97

• Lacko, 24, has posted back-to-back three-set wins this week over Potito Starace 76 67 63 and No. 2 seed Alex Bogomolov Jr. 60 67 61, No. 7 Robin Haase 64 64 and No. 6 Marcos Baghdatis 75 76  to reach his first career ATP World Tour final…Two years ago he reached five quarter-finals, his previous best ATP World Tour result 
• He opened the season by qualifying at the Australian Open and reaching the third round with wins over No. 30 Ivan Ljubicic in five sets and No. 42 Donald Young (l. to Nadal)…Afterwards, jumped from  No. 119 to No. 97…Will move to around No. 66 by reaching the final and No. 56 if he wins the title
• He enters the final with a 6-1 match record and he’s trying to become the first Slovakian winner on the ATP World Tour since Dominik Hrbaty in Marseille in February 2004

DOUBLES FINAL - Baghdatis/Youzhny (CYP/RUS) vs. (WC) Dodig/Pavic (CRO/CRO)
• Unseeded Marcos Baghdatis and Mikhail Youzhny, beat one seeded team en route to the final (No. 2 seeds Erlich/Ram in the SFs); it is their first ATP World Tour doubles final together
•  Baghdatis is looking for his first ATP World Tour doubles title, Youzhny his ninth
•  Wild cards Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic, also beat one seeded team en route to the final (No. 1 seeds Melzer/Peya in the QFs); it is their first ATP World Tour doubles final together
•  Dodig and Pavic are playing their first ATP World Tour doubles finals (Pavic his first of any kind)
•  ATP World Tour doubles final W-L: Baghdatis (0-1), Youzhny (8-3), Dodig (0-0), Pavic (0-0)

VINA DEL MAR SUNDAY PREVIEW – MONACO TO MEET FIRST-TIME FINALIST BERLOCQ IN ALL-ARGENTINE FINAL
• The championship of the VTR Open in Vina del Mar on Sunday is an all-Argentine final between the top seed and unseeded veteran making his ATP World Tour final debut. It is the first all-Argentine final on the ATP World Tour since February 2008 when David Nalbandian defeated Jose Acasuso in Buenos Aires. It is also the first all-Argentine final in Vina del Mar since 2001 when Guillermo Coria defeated Gaston Gaudio in the championship.

• Top seed Juan Monaco takes a 3-0 career mark against unseeded and No. 7 seed Carlos Berlocq, who is appearing in his first career ATP World Tour final. Monaco is appearing in his third final on Chilean soil, having finished runner-up in 2008 and ’10. Overall he is 3-8 in career ATP World Tour finals. His last title came in Kitzbuehel on July 29, 2007 when he won the third of three titles that year. Berlocq, who turned 29 on Friday, has not dropped a set en route to his first maiden final. He is also appearing in the doubles final (w/Andujar) and he didn’t finish his doubles semi-final until after midnight.

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

FINALS HISTORY
Monaco: Appearing in his 12th  career ATP World Tour final………..He is 3-8 in finals…(0-0 in 2012)   
Berlocq: Appearing in his 1st career ATP World Tour final  

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FedEx ATP Head 2 Head –

Central Court

(1)Juan Monaco (ARG) vs (7) Carlos Berlocq (ARG) Monaco Leads 3-0
08 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R128 Juan Monaco 7-6(5) 7-5 6-1
08 Poertschach (Austria) Clay R32 Juan Monaco 4-1 ret
11 Bastad (Sweden) Clay R32 Juan Monaco 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 6-2
Other Meetings:
03 Bolivia F1 (La Paz) Clay F Juan Monaco 6-4 6-3
03 Argentina F6 (Buenos Aires) Clay SF Juan Monaco 6-3 7-6(1)

Monaco FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 3-1
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: March 29, 1984
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 29

• Monaco,  27, is appearing in his first ATP World Tour final of the season in his second tournament…
Overall he is making his 12th appearance in an ATP World Tour final (3-8) and he’s trying to capture his first title since July 29, 2007 in Kitzbuehel (d. Starace) 
• The Tandil native is appearing in his third final on Chilean soil, in 2008 (W/O vs. Gonzalez) and 2010 (l. to Bellucci)…Has a 13-5 career mark in the tournament 
• His last final showing was in Valencia last November (l. to Granollers)…It was also his first career ATP hard court final
• In his previous tournament at the Australian Open, lost in five sets in first round to Philipp Kohlschreiber
• Has finished in the Top 30 the past three years and in four of past five (except ’08)…It was four years ago on this day (Feb. 4) he reached a career-high ranking of No. 14

Berlocq FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 6-2
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: February 3, 1983
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 55

• Berlocq,  29, has dropped only one set en route to his first career ATP World Tour final, that coming in his 63 46 60 win over No. 2 seed and countryman Juan Ignacio Chela in the semi-finals…He celebrated his 29th birthday with a 63 64 win over countryman Federico Delbonis on Friday
• Has an 8-4 career mark in Vina del Mar and lost in quarter-finals in 2007-08, his previous best result
• He is off to a 6-2 start this season and he’s won at least one round in all three tournaments played this year, reaching the second round in Auckland (l. to Verdasco) and the Australian Open (l. to Karlovic)
• The No. 4 Argentine (behind No. 10 del Potro, No. 25 Chela, No. 29 Monaco) last year finished a personal-best No. 60 and comes in a career-high No. 55 this week…Will move to around No. 43 by reaching the final and around No. 37 if he wins the title

DOUBLES FINAL – BERLOCQ LOOKS TO CAPTURE PAIR OF TITLES ON CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY

• Frederico Gil of Portugal and Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain takes on No. 4 seeds Pablo Andujar of Spain and Carlos Berlocq of Argentina in Sunday’s doubles final. Berlocq is trying to win a pair of titles and become the first or second player to win doubles titles this season. Mikhail Youzhny is in both finals in Zagreb on Sunday.
• Prior to this week, Gil and Gimeno-Traver had a 1-2 match record together while Andujar and Berlocq were 0-2.
• Gil is appearing in his first career ATP World Tour doubles final while Gimeno-Traver was 0-1. He reached the final in Costa do Sauipe last year (w/Andujar).
• Andujar’s previous doubles final was in Costa do Sauipe last year (w/Gimeno-Traver) and Berlocq is   1-2 in doubles finals. He won his lone title in Stuttgart in July 2010 (w/Schwank)

 

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