14th WEEK

It is the first week of the clay-court season which is going to the end in June (after the Roland Garros final). In the meantime, there won’t be any tournament on a different surface than clay. In Casablanca unexpectedly triumphed a 25-year-old Spaniard Pablo Andujar [69], who was playing his 38th ATP tournament # (his previous best result came last year in Bucharest where he reached the final). Andujar had the easiest match en route to the title in the final, against tired Potito Starace [47]. The Italian played 2:19 in the quarterfinal (trailed *2:4, 0-40 in the 3rd set to Gilles Simon) and 2:29 in the semifinal (lost the 2nd set to Victor Hanescu despite holding a match point on serve). Starace has slipped to ‘0-4’ in ATP finals. “I was very confident before the match,” said Andujar, “I thought about winning and yesterday’s win gave me a lot of confidence. I played in a way that made him tired, being very aggressive and making him run a lot.
In Houston occurred similar thing like in Casablanca, the tournament has been won by a player who was associated mainly with first or second round defeats – Ryan Sweeting [93]. The 23-year-old American, who entered the main draw of the tournament thanks to “wild card”, during the week came back twice from a set down and won his last two matches in straight sets, saving three set points in the 2nd set on serve at 4:5 in the final. “That game was very crucial,” Sweeting said of that game, “It was definitely an important hold for me. I think it was a 20-minute long game. It definitely wore me out a little bit. I knew that I wanted to try and win the second set, obviously, to win the match, but it was a good hold and I felt that it gave me a little bit of momentum going into the rest of the set“. A round earlier he eliminated Ivo Karlovic – unbeaten in Houston in 10 consecutive matches (champion in 2007, played qualifying tournament in 2011). The Croat barely won last match of his streak against John Isner. The two giants had played matches on hard outdoors and indoors before, this time met on clay for the first time and 3 cm taller Karlovic prevailed in three tie-breaks (3 hours 16 minutes), saving two match points with the help of backhand volleys in the deciding tie-break. No other player has played (and won) so many matches after at least 14-point final set tie-break like Karlovic ##


Casablanca (250)
S: Pablo Andujar d. (5)Potito Starace 6-1, 6-2
D: (1)R.Lindstedt/H.Tecau d. C.Fleming/I.Zelenay 6-2, 6-1

Houston (250)
S: (WC)Ryan Sweeting d. (6)Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6(3)
D: (1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan d. J.Isner/S.Querrey 6-7(4), 6-2, [10-5]

Choker of the week:
Blaz Kavcic led 6-1 *5:2 (30-15) against Fabio Fognini in the second round in Casablanca. The Slovenian had a triple match point in the following game – 5:3 (40-0) & ad-out-m.p. also led 5:3* (deuce) in the 3rd set!! Fognini won 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 after 2 hours 34 minutes.
# List of “first time title winners” in 2011:
8 – Milos Raonic (San Jose)
13 – Ivan Dodig (Zagreb)
32 – Ryan Sweeting (Houston)
38 – Kevin Anderson (Johannesburg)
38 – Pablo Andujar (Casablanca)
## Karlovic’s final set tie-breaks with at least 14 points played:
Cincinnati 2004: Moodie 6-7(2) 7-6(7) 7-6(9)
St. Petersburg 2004: Corretja 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 7-6(8)
Munich 2006: Phau 4-6 6-3 7-6(8)
Indianapolis 2007: Querrey 7-5 5-7 6-7(6)
Tokyo 2007: Hyung-Taik 7-6(6) 6-7(8) 7-6(8)
Stockholm 2007: Clement 7-6(1) 3-6 7-6(7)
Basel 2007: Berdych 6-7(5) 7-6(2) 7-6(13)
Nottingham 2008: Verdasco 7-5 6-7(4) 7-6(8)
Gstaad 2008: Hanescu 7-6(4) 6-7(3) 6-7(11)
Dubai 2009: Chiudinelli 6-7(4) 6-4 6-7(7)
Indian Wells 2011: Nadal 7-5 1-6 6-7(7)
Houston 2011: Isner 7-6(2) 6-7(2) 7-6(9)
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