The 37th edition of the Swiss Indoors was featured by change of color of the court, from maroon to blue, and one of the biggest surprises of the season as Kei Nishikori stunned Novak Djokovic 2-6, 7-6, 6-0 in the semi-final. Djokovic leading 5:4* (30-0) in the 2nd set, played very good drop-shot but Nishikori responded smartly and the match turned completely around (Djokovic was hampered by a shoulder injury and didn’t push himself to the limit in the decider). “The second set, he was playing great and was fighting… I have to give credit to my opponent, he was better,” said Djokovic, for whom it’s just the 4th defeat in 2011. Nishikori has been playing “Top 20” tennis since the US Open and has won 13 out of the last 17 meetings. The Japanese couldn’t do anything in the final though, against the Basel legend – Roger Federer, who clinched his 68th title (five in Basel #).
Marcel Granollers  impressed me much this week in Valencia. The 25-year-old last year’s finalist, produced an entertaining tennis throughout the week mixing successfully great defensive skills with attacking game (astonishing cross-court backhand drop-volleys!) and showed great mental resistance: he was serving to stay in the second round match against Cilic, then won one of the longest tie-breaks of the season against Monfils (saving four set points), saved a set point on return against Del Potro in the semis, and finally came back from a scare of a double break deficit in the 3rd set of the 3-hour final with Monaco, saving at 1:3 a break point at the net. He stayed cool also at *5:3 in the deciding tie-break when lost the sole of his right shoe (!) which forced him to change the trainers 🙂 It’s the biggest achievement in his career, 3rd title, second one this year (after Gstaad). The defeated finalist Monaco became the eighth “wild card” player to participate in an ATP final this year ##. “To win a title in Spain is very nice and special, as my family was with me today. The crowd helped me a lot during the week so thanks to them,” assessed Granollers, who had a 0-4 record in deciding 3rd set tie-breaks prior to the final.
S: (3)Roger Federer d. (WC)Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-3
D: (1)M.Llodra/N.Zimonjic d. (2)M.Mirnyi/D.Nestor 6-4, 7-5
S: Marcel Granollers d. (WC)Juan Monaco 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3)
D: (1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan d. E.Butorac/J.Rojer 6-4, 7-6(9)
Choker of the week:
Tobias Kamke, who held a triple match point against Lukasz Kubot at 5:4* in the 2nd set in Basel. Kamke wasted 21 out of 26 break points in the entire match! Kubot won 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 after 2 hours 58 minutes.
# Federer’s most successful events:
6 titles – Wimbledon
5 titles – US Open, Halle, Basel
4 titles – Australian Open, Dubai, Hamburg, Cincinnati
## ‘Wild card’ winners & finalist (italic) in 2011:
Stanislas Wawrinka (Chennai), Milos Raonic (Memphis), Ryan Sweeting (Houston), John Isner (Newport), Gael Monfils (Washington), Marcos Baghdatis (Kuala Lumpur), Kei Nishikori (Basel), Juan Monaco (Valencia)
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