MEDIA NOTES 2012
Sunday Briefing - Delray Beach
by Greg Sharko|
DELRAY BEACH SUNDAY PREVIEW – NO. 7 SEED ANDERSON TO MEET QUALIFIER MATOSEVIC IN TITLE MATCH
• The championship on Sunday at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships features No. 7 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa against Aussie qualifier and first-time ATP World Tour finalist Marinko Matosevic. It’s the first meeting between the two on the ATP World Tour although they met in a Challenger two years ago. Anderson is the first South African to reach the final in the tournament’s 20-year history.
• Anderson is appearing in his third career ATP World Tour final (1-1), the first since capturing his maiden title on home soil in Johannesburg in February last year. The 26-year-old Matosevic, ranked No. 173, is trying to become the first qualifier to win the title here since Kei Nishikori in 2008. He’s also looking to become the first first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year. Players trying to win their first ATP World Tour title are 0-4 this season.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Winner $75,780 and 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
Runner-up $39,000 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
Anderson Appearing in his 3rd career ATP World Tour final……He is 1-1 in finals (first in 2012)
Matosevic Appearing in his 1st career ATP World Tour final
Qualifiers Success -- Matosevic is the fifth qualifier to reach the final in the tournament’s history and he’s trying to become the third winner to capture the title:
2012 – No. 173 Marinko Matosevic (vs. Kevin Anderson)
2009 – No. 105 Evgeny Korloev (lost to Mardy Fish)
2008 – No. 244 Kei Nishikori (def James Blake)
2000 – No. 178 Alex Calatrava (lost to Stefan Koubek)
1998 – No. 169 Andrew Ilie (def. Davide Sanguinetti)
Aussie Title Winners – Matosevic is attempting to become the fifth Aussie to capture the tournament title, the first since Lleyton Hewitt in 1999. All the winners below won titles on clay:
1999 – Lleyton Hewitt
1998 – Andrew Ilie (in Coral Springs)
1996-97 Jason Stoltenberg (in Coral Springs)
1995 – Todd Woodbridge (in Coral Springs)
First-Time Winners – Matosevic is trying to become the eighth player to earn his first career ATP World Tour title in the tournament:
2010 – Ernests Gulbis (Latvia)
2008 – Kei Nishikori (Japan)
2005 – Xavier Malisse (Belgium)
2004 – Ricardo Mello (Brazil)
1998 – Andrew Ilie (Australia)
1995 – Todd Woodbridge (Australia)
1993 – Todd Martin (U.S.)
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ATP FED-EX HEAD 2 HEADS –
QF: San Jose (l Raonic)
YTD W-L: 9-4
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: May 18, 1986
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 36
• Anderson is appearing in his third career ATP World Tour final (1-1), the first since capturing the title on home soil in Johannesburg in February 2011 (d. Devvarman)
• Has a 6-2 mark in Delray Beach and this week has beaten qualifier Austin Krajicek 61 64, two-time Delray Beach champion Xavier Malisse 63 36 63, No. 4 seed Andy Roddick 26 76(9), 64 (saving three match points) and top seed John Isner 75 76(4)…He is the first South African to reach the final in the tournament’s 20-year history
• Stands No. 2 in aces (45), behind Isner (48) and has won 44 of 50 service games (88%)
• Two weeks ago in San Jose, the top South African reached his first quarter-final of the season, losing to eventual champion Milos Raonic 75 76…Last week lost in the second round in Memphis (l. to Querrey)
• He comes in with a 9-4 match record on the season and in January he lost in the first round in Auckland (l. to Mannarino) and followed with third round at the Australian Open (l. to No. 7 Berdych)
YTD W-L: 4-2
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: August 8, 1985
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 173
• Matosevic is appearing in his first career ATP World Tour final after qualifying into the main draw with three straight-set wins and posting victories over Ivo Karlovic 63 64, No. 6 Alex Bogomolov Jr. 46 61 63 2010 champion Ernests Gulbis 36 61 61 and Dudi Sela 57 64 76(7) in longest match of week (2:54)
• He is the lowest-ranked finalist at No. 173 on the ATP World Tour this season and he’s trying to become the second qualifier to win a title in 2012…In January, Jarkko Niemien won the Sydney title as a qualifier…Will move to around a career-high No. 127 and around No. 104 if he wins the title…His previous best ranking was No. 131 on Mar. 7, 2011
• Prior to this week had a 3-15 record on the ATP World Tour and never won back-to-back main draw matches…Has won his last 12 matches…The Melbourne resident won the Caloundra Challenger on home soil on Feb. 12, defeating countryman Greg Jones…Then qualified with three wins
• Opened the season losing in the first round in Brisbane (l. to Haas) and the Australian Open (l. to Monfils), both as wild cards
• The last qualifier to reach the final here was Evgeny Korolev in 2009 (l. to Fish) and the last Q winner was Kei Nishikori in 2008 (d. No. 12 Blake)
• No. 3 this week in aces (26) and has won 44 of 51 service games (86%) and broken opp. 16 times
DOUBLES FINAL – MERTINAK-SA TO MEET NO. 3 SEEDS FLEMING –HUTCHINS IN TITLE MATCH
• The unseeded duo of Michal Mertinak of Slovaia and Andre Sa of Brazil take on No. 3 seeds Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins of Great Britain in Sunday’s doubles final.
• Mertinak and Sa are playing in their fourth tournament together (10-3 record) and after their debut at the Australian Open where they reached the second round (l. to Lipsky- Ram), they have reached three straight finals in as many weeks. They were finalists in Sao Paulo (l. to Butorac-Soares) and last week were runners-up in Buenos Aires (l. to Marrero-Verdasco), both on clay.
• This week they have lost only one set en route to the final, that coming in the first round against Norman-Siljestrom and they defeated No. 4 seeds Knowles-Malisse in the quarter-finals.
• Mertinak is 12-7 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals and his last title came in Kuala Lumpur in October 2010. Sa is 7-13 in doubles finals and his last title came in Metz last September.
• Fleming and Hutchins first partnered together full-time at the beginning of last year after debuting in a Davis Cup tie in March 2009 and playing in one Challenger in 2010. They have a 30-20 career mark on the ATP World Tour, including 11-5 this season.
• Last season they compiled a 19-14 record as a duo and finished No. 15 in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings.They won their first ATP World Tour title together in St. Petersburg in October and were quarter-finalists at Wimbledon and the US Open.
• This season their previous best results were semi-final appearances in Sydney (l. to Bryans) and last week in Memphis (l. to Dodig-Melo).
• In last month’s Davis Cup tie vs. Slovakia, posted a four-set win over Mertinak-Polasek to help their home country to a 3-2 victory. Great Britain will host Belgium next month.
• Last year they lost in the first round here to countrymen Jamie Murray and Ken Skupski, 7-6, 7-5.
• Fleming is 3-2 lifetime in ATP World Tour doubles finals while Hutchins is 3-6. Their last ATP doubles title as a team and individually was in St. Petersburg last October.