17th WEEK

Two former Top 10 players made their comebacks after long injury breaks. Tommy Haas (former No. 2) played in Munich (only in doubles) his first tournament for 14 months. It’s his second such a long break (did not play a tournament in 2003). Fernando Gonzalez (former No. 5) notched in Belgrade his first tournament since the last year’s US Open.
Juan Martin del Potro [46] played in Estoril his first clay-court tournament since Roland Garros ’09 and surprisingly lost a set in the first round against a player without an ATP win, ranked No. 488 in the world (Pedro Sousa), but after that, the Argentinian showed a brilliant form in the next four matches, overcoming inter alia Robin Soderling for the second time this year in a rain-interrupted battle. “It was my best match of the week. Finals are difficult to play, you never know if you will play your best tennis or not. Today, I won and I played really nice tennis. Everything was perfect” admitted Del Potro after the final, collecting his 9th title.
Nikolay Davydenko [40] has finally found a way to win tie-breaks and gets his first title since Doha 2010. The Russian had an abysmal tie-break record between Wimbledon ’10 and Barcelona ’11: 3-18, but improved himself to 4-1 in the last two tournaments. In Munich he won a crucial tie-break in the second round against Julian Reister (3-6, 7-6, 6-1). It’s Davydenko’s 21st career title, for the beaten finalist Florian Mayer it’s the fourth failed attempt to win an ATP final (second against Davydenko, the previous one occurred five years ago in Sopot).
The hottest player on the tour – Novak Djokovic [2] has extended his amazing streak of winning matches in a row to ’29’. The Serb without any troubles (as expected) won his hometown tournament in Belgrade. He had to win only three matches to get the title (first round ‘bye” and walkover from his friend Janko Tipsarevic in the semifinals). Jurgen Melzer was the last man to win just three matches en route to the title (Vienna ’10). “I’m definitely happy to win another title and to move on. Now in front of me there is a period of two months, which are really important,” said Djokovic, “I need to stay healthy and I need to stay fit in order to play well. The [winning] streak is something I don’t really think about. I am flattered that people compare me to the greats, like Lendl, [John] McEnroe, Federer, Nadal – guys who have made history on the tennis court. But I have some other goals to achieve this year“. Who can stop him? Next week most likely could do this only Rafael Nadal in the final at the Mutua Madrid Open, but in a hypothetical quarter-final clash, Djokovic is anticipated to play against David Ferrer, who could make an upset…


Estoril (250)
S: (8)Juan Martin del Potro d. (2)Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2
D: (3)E.Butorac/J.Rojer d. (4)M.Lopez/D.Marrero 6-3, 6-4

Munich (250)
S: (7)Nikolay Davydenko d. (5)Florian Mayer 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
D: S.Bolelli/H.Zeballos d. A.Beck/C.Kas 7-6(3), 6-4

Belgrade (250)
S: (1)Novak Djokovic d. Feliciano Lopez 7-6(4), 6-2
D: (3)F.Cermak/F.Polasek d. (4)O.Marach/A.Peya 7-5, 6-2

Choker of the week:
Guillermo Garcia Lopez, who lost two tight sets to Somdev Devvarman in Belgrade (second round). The Spaniard had a set point on serve at 6:5 in the 1st set; had a game point to lead 5:2 in the 3rd set and 4:1* advantage in the deciding tie-break. Devvarman won the match 7-6(6), 2-6, 7-6(8) not being forced to save a set point in tie-breaks.
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