ATP WORLD TOUR 2012 - WEEK 7
Llodra-Zimonjic Save 5 M.P. To Win Rotterdam Trophy
by ATP Staff|
Second seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic captured the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament trophy on Sunday, saving five match points to edge out No. 3 seeds Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau 4-6, 7-5, 16-14 in Rotterdam.
After splitting sets, the two teams battled it out for the championship in a gripping Match Tie-break. Both teams had several opportunities to clinch the final, before Llodra and Zimonjic converted on their fourth match point to prevail in one hour and 41 minutes. "I have no idea how we did it," Zimonjic told ATPWorldTour.com.
"They were controlling the match for a set and a half, playing really good, not giving us any chances on their serves. After a really good game, when we broke Lindstedt, we got back in the match. Then it was a rollercoaster, saving a lot of match points, so I'm really happy."
The French-Serbian pair are now 4-0 against Lindstedt and Tecau, defeating the duo for the third time in an ATP World Tour final. In similar fashion, Llodra and Zimonjic saved four match points against the Swede and Romanian to lift their first team title at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in 2011. "When we beat them in the Washington final, we thought that was crazy, but today it's even better," Llodra said. "It's always good to win. It's only our second tournament this year and we've already won a title."
They have now won five titles together since joining forces last season. "We fought until the end," said Llodra. "It's a great tournament for us. It's always nice to win such a big event like this."
At the Brasil Open 2012, top seeds Eric Butorac and Bruno Soares rallied to defeat fourth-seeded Michal Mertinak and Andre Sa 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 to win their first team title in Sao Paulo. "I'm really happy to win our first title," Butorac said. "It's been a good start to the year for our partnership, and hopefully we can continue to improve and raise our level throughout the year."
Home favourite Soares successfully defended his crown after partnering countryman Marcelo Melo to victory last year when the ATP World Tour 250 event was held in Costa do Sauipe. "It's very nice. We had an amazing week," said Soares. "The atmosphere was great. Having a packed house, with my family watching, makes it a great feeling to win here. I think it comes in a good moment, in my home country. But now we're going to play bigger tournaments. I think we have the rhythm we need to play well at the larger events."
Butorac has now won an ATP World Tour title in each of the past six seasons, improving to a 13-5 final record. "It's been a dream week in Brazil," said the American.
"I didn't know what to expect playing on a clay court, in tough conditions with the altitude. Even when things were not great, we managed to find a way to win. A lot of credit goes to Bruno and his family and friends, who've shown me a good time and treated me like a member of their family. It's better than I could have ever expected."
The Bahamian-Belgian duo won six fewer points than Anderson and Moser, but pulled away early in the final set Match Tie-break to win their second team title in one hour and 16 minutes.
The 40-year-old Knowles, who also won this ATP World Tour 250 tournament in 2001 (w/MacPhie), became the first player aged 40 and over to win the San Jose title since a 47-year-old John McEnroe in 2006 (w/Bjorkman).
"To be in a sentence with John McEnroe is pretty cool," he said. "I’ll take that. I didn’t realize that. To win a title at 40 years old is far beyond anything I could have dreamed of. When you first turn pro, you never really dream of playing 20-plus years on tour. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay fairly healthy and have had some great partners who have helped me win a lot of titles over the years."
Knowles is now 55-44 in ATP World Tour doubles finals, and has won at least one title in 13 consecutive seasons, and 19 of the past 20 overall. The victory marked Malisse’s seventh doubles triumph in nine finals.
"It seems like I’m playing well here," said the Belgian. "It’s been nice to play with Knowlzee. I won with him in L.A. I like playing doubles. I didn’t have that much confidence in the beginning of the week but playing doubles helps. We played good in the final. It’s always nice to get a title."
Anderon and Moser were teaming up for the first time, each looking to win their first doubles title.