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Los Angeles Sunday Briefing

MEDIA NOTES 2012

Querrey© Getty ImagesSam Querrey will meet Ricardas Berankis for the first time on Sunday in the Farmers Classic final.

LOS ANGELES SUNDAY PREVIEW – FIRST-TIME FINALIST BERANKIS TO MEET TWO-TIME CHAMP QUERREY

• The championship of the Farmers Classic on Sunday features a qualifier appearing in his first career ATP World Tour final against the 2009-10 champion and No. 2 seed in a first-time meeting. No qualifier has won the Los Angeles title in the Open Era (since 1968). Two players have won three-more titles.

• This is the third straight ATP World Tour tournament an American is in the final:
Los Angeles: Sam Querrey vs. Ricardas Berankis
Atlanta  Andy Roddick d. Gilles Muller
Newport John Isner d. Lleyton Hewitt

• This is the second ATP World Tour hard court tournament of the North American summer hard court circuit and of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. This is the first of six tourneys leading into the US Open. Last week Andy Roddick won the Atlanta title and he is the Emirates Airline US Open Series leader. The winner on Sunday will tie Roddick with 70 points as the series leader.

• Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis, ranked No. 141, is the first player from his country to reach an ATP World Tour final and he’s trying to become the first player this season to win his maiden ATP World Tour title. Players trying to win their first title are 0-10 in finals. The 22-year-old Berankis has lost one set in seven matches, none in the four main draw. His previous best ATP results were a pair of quarter-finals in San Jose in 2010-11. Berankis is also attempting to become the second qualifier to win an ATP World Tour title in 2012. Jarkko Nieminen accomplished the feat in Sydney in January. This yr. qualifiers are 1-3 in finals. The only qualifier to reach the LA final was Carsten Ball in ‘09 (l. to Querrey).

• No. 2 seed and 2009-10 Farmers Classic champion Sam Querrey enters with a 12-match Farmers Classic winning streak, having captured the 2009-10 titles. He is trying to become the third player to win at least three LA titles in the Open Era. This is the Californian’s first ATP World Tour final since winning the title here two years ago. He is 6-5 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals. He has a 13-2 career mark here. Last year at this time he was sidelined with a right elbow injury after undergoing surgery on June 16. Prior to Los Angeles, the 24-year-old’s best result was the semi-finals at the Queen’s Club in London (l. to Cilic) last month. Two years ago, Querrey won a career-high four ATP World Tour titles, only behind Nadal (7) and Federer (5) while finishing a year-end best No. 18.

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WHAT’S AT STAKE –
      Winner:                 $100,650 and 250 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
      Runner-up:            $53,000 and 150 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
FINALS HISTORY –
      Berankis:             Appearing in his first ATP World Tour final
           Querrey:              Appearing in his 12th ATP World Tour final……...He is 6-5 in finals (0-0 in 2012)

Three-time Winners – Querrey is trying to become the third player in the Open Era to win at least three Farmers Classic titles: No. Years
Andre Agassi  4 2005, 2002, 2001, 1998 
Jimmy Connors  4 1984, 1982, 1974, 1973
Note: Pancho Gonzalez won two in Open Era (1971, 1969) and one pre-Open Era (1949)

Qualifiers in Finals – Berankis is the fifth qualifier to reach an ATP World Tour final this year (1-3 in finals):
* Jarkko Nieminen (winner), Sydney (d. Julien Benneteau)
* Marinko Matosevic (runner-up, Delray Beach (l. to Kevin Anderson)
* Brian Baker (runner-up), Nice (l. to Nicolas Almagro)
* Philipp Petzschner (runner-up), ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to David Ferrer)
* Ricardas Berankis (in final), Los Angeles (vs. Sam Querrey OR Rajeev Ram)

Low-Ranked Finalists – Berankis is the fifth player ranked outside the Top 100 to reach a final:
* No. 233 Lleyton Hewitt (WC)  Newport (L)
* No. 216 Brian Baker (Q)  Nice (L)
* No. 173 Marinko Matosevic (Q) Delray Beach (L)
* No. 145 Philipp Petzschner (Q) ‘s-Hertogenbosch (L)
* No. 141 Ricardas Berankis (Q) Los Angeles (in Final)

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS –
 
Straus Stadium

(Q) Ricardas Berankis (LTU) vs (2) Sam Querrey (USA)  First Meeting

Berankis FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 5-1 (5-1 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: June 21, 1990
 South African Airways  ATP Ranking: 141

• Berankis, 22, is appearing in his first ATP World Tour final…He is the first Lithuania-born player to reach an ATP final…American Vitas Gerulaitis was of Lithuanian descent, reaching a career-high No. 3 and a winner of 27 titles, including the ’77 Aust. Open
• His previous best ATP results were a pair of quarter-finals in San Jose in 2010-11
• Last week in Atlanta won his opening round match (d. Tursunov, l. to Nishikori in three sets), his first ATP World Tour match win since March 2011 in Indian Wells
• Has served well this week: tied No. 1 in break pts. saved (11 of 13, 85%) and No. 2 in service games won (39 of 41 held, 95%) and No. 3 in second serve pts. (63%)
• The Bradenton, Fla. resident was sidelined for four months last year with a right pelvis stress fracture before coming back on Challenger circuit in late July
• In Challenger play, reached final at Winnetka (Illinois) on July 8 (l. to John-Patrick Smith) and was quarter-finalist in Dallas in February and Nottingham in June
• Came in ranked No. 141 and will crack the Top 100 to around No. 98 by reaching the final and around No. 74 if he wins the title…Career-high No. 73 on Jan. 31, 2011

Players Trying to Win First Title (0-10) –  Berankis is the 11th different  player this year trying to capture a first career ATP World Tour title (last year there were 10 first-time winners). Here are the finalists this year:

       Player (opponent)  Tournament
    * Julien Benneteau (l. to Jarkko Nieminen)  Sydney
    * Carlos Berlocq (l. to Juan Monaco)  Vina del Mar
    * Lukas Lacko (l. to Mikhail Youzhny)  Zagreb
    * Denis Istomin (l. to Milos Raonic)  San Jose
    * Marinko Matosevic (l. to Kevin Anderson) Delray Beach
    * Albert Ramos (l. to Pablo Andujar)  Casablanca
    * Fabio Fognini (l. to Gilles Simon)  Buchares
    * Benoit Paire (l. to Andreas Seppi)  Belgrade
    * Brian Baker (l. to Nicolas Almagro)    Nice
    * Gilles Muller (l. to Andy Roddick)  Atlanta

Querrey FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF: London / Queen's Club (l Cilic); QF: Memphis (l Stepanek)
YTD W-L: 17-15 (8-7 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: October 7, 1987
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 57

• Querrey, 24, the two-time Farmers Classic (2009-10) champion, enters with a 12-match winning streak on these UCLA courts (13-2 career mark)…His last loss here came to friend Mardy Fish in the  1st Rd. in 2007…Lost in doubles semi-finals on Saturday night (w/Steve Johnson)
• Missed last year’s tournament with a right elbow injury (surgery in June 2011) and came back to finish in Top 100 at No. 93
• Leads tournament in aces (25), first serve pts. won (87%), service games won (96%, 24 of 25) and No. 2 in return games won (38%, 9 of 24)
• This year has compiled a 17-15 match record (8-7 on hard) with his best result the semi-finals at Queen’s Club in London (l. to Cilic) and quarters in Memphis (l. to Stepanek)
• Also reached third round at Wimbledon (d. Raonic, l. to Cilic 17-15 in fifth set in 5:31, second-longest match at All England Club, only behind 11:05-Isner d. Mahut in 2010)
• Played one Challenger tournament in Sarasota in April (on clay) and won title, defeating Russell in semi-finals and Lorenzi in final
• Ranked a season-low No. 106 on April 2 and will move from 57 to around No. 45 and if he wins the title to around No. 37
• Has a 6-5 career mark in ATP World Tour finals and last final/title came here two years ago when he defeated No. 4 Andy Murray in a thrilling three-setter (saving one match point)…Beat Ball in ’09 final

DOUBLES FINAL – BRITISH DUO TO MEET  BELGIAN  SQUAD IN TITLE MATCH

• The No. 3 seeded British tandem of Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski will take on the Belgian duo of Ruben Bemelmans and Xavier Malisse in Sunday’s doubles final.

• The No. 35 ranked Brits, seeking their first ATP World Tour title, first teamed up in February. Since then they have won two of three Challenger finals in Bergamo and Rome-2 and were finalists in Eastbourne last month (l. to countrymen Fleming-Hutchins).

• The 35-year-old Delgado, who was born in Birmingham, is trying to capture his first career ATP World Tour title. His only previous final came in Eastbourne prior to Wimbledon. Skupski is 3-2 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals and all three of his titles have come indoors – 2009 Metz  and St. Petersburg (both w/Fleming) along with Marseille last year (w/Haase).

• Bemelmans and Malisse are playing together for the first time in an ATP World Tour event. They first teamed up in 2009, reaching the semi-finals in a pair of Challengers. Two years ago they lost in the first round at the Athens Challenger, the last time they played together.

• Bemelmans is making his debut in an ATP World Tour final while Malisse comes in with a 7-4 career mark. His last title came in San Jose in February (wKnowles). Last week Malisse was runner-up in Atlanta (w/Russell). Malisse won the Los Angeles title last year (w/Knowles), defeating Devvarman-Huey in two tie-breaks in the final. His biggest title is Roland Garros in 2004 (w/O. Rochus).

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