WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2012
Lindstedt/Tecau Qualify For London With First Masters 1000 Title
by ATP Staff|
Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau clinched their berth at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after winning their team’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title on Sunday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The fourth seeds defeated No. 6 seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna 6-4, 6-4.
Lindstedt and Tecau are the third team to qualify for the prestigious circuit finale, to be held from 5-12 November at The O2 in London, joining Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan and Max Mirnyi/Daniel Nestor. The third-year duo made their Barclays ATP World Tour Finals debut last year.
"To be qualified this early in the season is new for both of us," said Lindstedt. "It’s an amazing feeling. It’s a testament to how great our season’s been and we’re over the moon right now. The good thing is it gives us time to prepare and relax for that tournament. It’s a great feeling."
Tecau added: "Last year we only qualified two weeks before. This year has been a lot more consistent for us, so we were really looking forward to being there. Our schedule will be focussed towards that week so that’s the benefit for knowing this early in the year that you’ve qualified, so it’s an amazing feeling."
In Sunday’s final, the Swedish-Romanian pairing capitalised on thee of their nine break points before closing out the 67-minute win on serve. They had advanced to their second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final with victory over the top-ranked Bryans in the semi-finals.
"I don't think the monkey can be any bigger that just got off my back, of our backs," said Lindstedt. "We finally get the big one that we been fighting for for so long. To get that and fight through and beat such good teams on the way and you come out on top, it's an indescribable feeling."
Lindstedt and Tecau were contesting their fourth final from their past five tournaments. They won titles on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and on clay in Bastad, were finalists at Wimbledon (l. to Marray/Nielsen) and reached the semi-finals last week in Toronto. They have compiled a 19-2 mark during that stretch, taking their season record to 41-15.
"It's been a successful summer, very consistent on the clay courts, on the grass, and now here hard courts in Toronto and Cincinnati, so we're really confident, but we have to keep our feet on the ground and really work to get adjusted to the courts in New York," said Tecau. "There will be some tough matches there, too. Everyone wants to beat us. You go out there and you're a target. But we have to keep doing the things that worked well for us. That's the only way we can keep winning."
The No. 3 duo also won the Bucharest title in April and were runners-up in Rotterdam and at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Fyrstenberg/Matkowski). Since joining forces in early 2010, they have won 10 titles together.
Bhupathi and Bopanna were bidding to lift their second trophy of the season. Bhupathi, a two-time Cincinnati titlist, fell to a 50-42 mark in tour-level finals and Bopanna to 8-13.