The third edition (since the event lost its prestige) of the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg, won Gilles Simon  capturing his 9th career title, but the first one “ATP 500”. The Frenchman for whom it’s the biggest triumph in career said: “I feel very, very good. I had to win so many tough matches this week. Today, the final was really hard to win. I had to play my best tennis to win and I’m proud to win this tournament.” Simon tries to come back to the Top 10 after two years of drifting between the Top 20 & Top 50. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe just like a week ago in Stuttgart won two rounds, beating for the second time in two weeks the former Hamburg champion – Nikolay Davydenko (also last week’s champion JC.Ferrero). It allows to predict he will be one of the most prominent German players in this decade. Mardy Fish  miraculously avoided a straight sets defeat to John Isner in a repeat of the 2010 final in Atlanta. In the second set tie-break, the taller American led 5:1 and 6:4 – he made an error on the first match point, Fish fought off the second one with a service winner. In similar circumstances, Isner lost also two finals to Sam Querrey last year (Memphis & Belgrade). It’s the 6th career title for Fish, the first one in the last twelve months. If Isner had converted the match point, he would have notched a personal longest winning streak – nine. Fish and Isner met for the 4th time and each of their encounters was tight #. “I didn’t necessarily change anything tactically,” Fish said. “I took care of my serve games a little bit better once I lost serve in the first game of the second.”
S: (5)Gilles Simon d. (3)Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
D: (3)O.Marach/A.Peya d. (4)F.Cermak/F.Polasek 6-4, 6-1
S: (1)Mardy Fish d. (3)John Isner 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 – 2 m.p.
D: A.Bogomolov Jr./M.Ebden d. M.Bachinger/F.Moser 3-6, 7-5, [10-8]
Choker of the week:
Ernests Gulbis – he was serving to win the match at 5:4 (30/0) in the first round in Atlanta against James Blake, afterwards he led 4:0 in the TB on Blake’s second serve. In the third set squandered all 9 break points, four leading 1:0, another five in the last game of the match. Blake won 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-2.
Fish vs. Isner, H2H:
2009 San Jose, 2R: Fish 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-5 2010 Atlanta, F: Fish 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) 2011 Madrid, 1R: Isner 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(3) 2011 Atlanta, F: Fish 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2