German Tennis Championships lost its prestige in 2009 when the tournament moved in the calendar from May to July with a changed status from ‘Masters 1000’ to ‘500 ATP World Tour’, also the draw was cut then from 56 to 48. This year the draw in Hamburg was diminished to 32 players – only two rounds for the first time since 1972! It was a perfect event for Juan Monaco  in terms of his mentality. The Argentine escaped from a *3:5 (deuce) deficit in the 3rd set of his opening match against C.M.Stebe, saved five set points in the 1st set of the following match, and came back from a 2:4* deficit of the 3rd set in the semifinal (N.Almagro); erased also 1:4 & 0:2 holes respectively in both sets of the final. He has improved his record in ATP finals to 6-9 and after the arguably biggest achievement of his career, advances for the first time to the Top 10. The runner-up Tommy Haas has been enjoying his second youth since May during home events – in the meantime he reached semifinal (Munich), won a title (Halle) and got a final (Hamburg) which has allowed him to jump around 100 places in the ATP ranking! “It’s amazing [to break the Top 10], it’s a dream come true,” declared Monaco. “I will always remember this great week because it’s very important for me and my team. It was a big goal we had pre-season when we were practicing very hard.”
Gstaad is a lucky city for Thomaz Bellucci . Three years ago he won there his first title as a qualifier, on Sunday captured in the picturesque village in the Alps his third title, avenging a semifinal loss to Janko Tipsarevic from a previous week in Stuttgart. The Serb saved five set points in first set tie-breaks of his last two matches. He was relatively close to get back-to-back titles because he was five points away from beating Bellucci at 4:4 (deuce) in the 2nd set, Bellucci didn’t face a break point in the last two sets of the final though, and celebrated his success kissing the court. “It was very tough losing the tie-break, having led 6-1,” reflected Bellucci. “I was playing very well, but on the set points I was too nervous. I miss-hit a lot of balls and I was very disappointed. I was very focused after this, which was the key of the match, because if I had lost serve at the start of the second set it would have been very difficult to win.” Grigor Dimitrov reached third semifinal in his last four tournaments.
With the BB&T Atlanta Open starts the American hardcourt season which lasts eight weeks and finishes in September with the US Open final. Andy Roddick  dealt the best with very tough, hot conditions to clinch his 32nd title. He finished the tournament with two consecutive aces (served 18 in the final). The runner-up Gilles Muller joins quite a long list of ten finalists who couldn’t get a maiden title in 2012 #. Muller was very lucky to move through the second round because his opponent, the double defending champion Mardy Fish sprained his ankle chasing a drop-shot and retired being ahead 6-4 3-2.
S: (3)Juan Monaco d. (WC)Tommy Haas 7-5, 6-4
D: D.Marrero/F.Verdasco d. (ALT)D.Silva/DM.De La Nava 6-4, 6-3
S: Thomaz Bellucci d. (1)Janko Tipsarevic 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2
D: (1)M.Granollers/M.Lopez d. R.Farah/S.Giraldo 6-4, 7-6(9)
S: (4)Andy Roddick d. Gilles Muller 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2
D: M.Ebden/R.Harrison d. X.Malisse/M.Russell 6-3, 3-6, [10-6]
Choker of the week:
Martin Fischer. The Austrian qualifier was on a verge of huge surprise as he led in the second round in Gstaad against Janko Tipsarevic 6-4 5:2*, afterwards 6:5 (30/0) – the Serb won 4-6 7-6(1) 6-3.
# Players to fail a final bid for a maiden title in 2012:
Julien Benneteau (6th lost final), Lukas Lacko (1st), Carlos Berlocq (1st), Denis Istomin (2nd), Marinko Matosevic (1st), Albert Ramos (1st), Fabio Fognini (1st), Benoi Paire (1st), Brian Baker (1st), Gilles Muller (3rd)
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