GRAND PRIX HASSAN II
Robredo, Anderson To Play For Casablanca Title
by ATP Staff|
World No. 72 Tommy Robredo will aim to lift his first trophy in more than two years when he faces off against first-time clay-court finalist Kevin Anderson in Sunday’s title match at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca. Both players overcame slow starts to win their semi-final matches in three sets on Saturday.
“Tommy's been around for so long. I was watching him on TV growing up,” said Anderson. “He's obviously a very experienced clay-court player and has had some terrific wins. I'm going to have to play very well. It's going to be a very tough match tomorrow.”
Robredo rallied past top seed Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 35 minutes. While Wawrinka won the first five games, Robredo went on to break the Swiss wild card five times, including three times in the final set. The 30 year old moved through to the Casablanca final for the first time since 2001, when he finished runner-up in his first ATP World Tour final (l. to Canas).
“Stan was playing very well and fast during the first set,” said Robredo. “I continued fighting and it went better during the second set as well as in the third. I'm very happy to be in the final again here 12 years after my first appearance in Casablanca. I'm back on tour, in a final again and hopefully I can go one step further tomorrow.”
The Spaniard improved to 5-1 against Wawrinka and handed the 2010 champion his first loss at the ATP World Tour 250 event. Robredo is seeking his 10th clay-court crown and 11th title overall. His last triumph came in 2011 at Santiago. The former World No. 5 was sidelined for five months with a leg injury last season and fell as far as No. 471 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Robredo will meet Anderson for the first time. Contesting his first tour-level semi-final on clay, the South African defeated No. 3 seed Martin Klizan 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, winning 70 per cent of his first serve points to claim victory in just over two hours.
Anderson reached his second final of the season, following a title match appearance at the Apia International Sydney (l. to Tomic). The 26 year old has a 17-5 record in 2013, having advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam event for the first time at the Australian Open (l. to Berdych).