Atlanta Tennis Championships (6)
Coverage of the inaugural ATP World Tour 250 Atlanta Tennis Championships in Georgia, USA - July 19-25, 2010
First Time Lucky
Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram took on Rohan Bopanna and Kristof Vliegen in the Doubles Final. This was the first tournament together for both teams of finalists. Lipsky’s serve, which was a slight liability in the pair’s semifinal match, was more consistent today neither American was broken. In the second set tiebreak, Lipsky and Ram were up 4-2 and close to winning the match when they started to play more tentatively; they did not win another point in the tiebreak. This was the first set that Lipsky and Ram lost all week. Both teams saved a match point in the super tiebreak before Lipsky and Ram won, 6-3, 6-7(4), 12-10. This was the first title of the year for both players. Ram said that he and Lipsky compliment each other’s game well, and that they hope to play again together soon. All the players were very appreciative of the large crowd that came out to watch the Doubles Final and remarked on how that is not always the case at other tournaments.
Simply the Best
Mardy Fish won, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in 2 hours and 45 minutes over John Isner in the fourth all-American ATP World Tour Final of the year. Fish, who was 4-11 in tour finals coming into this match, started off with many unforced errors and two double faults to drop serve at 3-4 in the first set. In the second and third sets Isner’s level started to decline in the oppressive heat and Fish was able to take control of the match. He appeared to be on his way to the win when he was broken at love serving at 3-1 in the third set. In the third set tiebreak, Fish took an insurmountable 4-0 lead. Isner won the next three points, but was not able to come back. Fish was definitely the best player of the week, having not lost a set heading into the Final, and it was no surprise that he won. Following up on a title in Newport two weeks ago, Fish extended his match streak to ten, a career best for him. This is his fifth title win.
John Isner and Kevin Anderson played the first semifinal during yet another scorchingly hot afternoon. Isner faced two break points in his opening service game but held after serving three straight aces. Not surprisingly, the match did not have many rallies. Both players have thunderous serves and tried to conserve energy in the hot weather. Isner was very listless in the heat and made four double faults late in the second set. And Anderson said after the match that he was sweating through his shoes and slipping on the court.
After winning the first set 6-3, Isner was able to save two set points at 4-5 and at 5-6 in the second set. Anderson saved one match point at 6-7 in the tiebreak and won the next two points to send the match to a third set. Anderson was 0-7 on break point chances while Isner went two for two. Isner broke at 4-3 in the third set when Anderson hit only his second double fault of the match. The American said he was happy when the clouds blocked the sun and cooled the temperatures considerably at the beginning of the third set. Isner won just in time. The lightning siren went off just as he reached match point.
Kevin Anderson only needed one break of serve in each set to defeat Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-4, in the Quarterfinals on Friday. Anderson was two for two on break point chances while Lacko was not able to reach a break point on Anderson’s serve. Lacko did not play a poor match, but he was not as sharp with his groundstrokes as he was in his upset of Lleyton Hewitt in the previous round. Anderson will play in his first semifinal since he made the Final in Las Vegas in 2008 as a qualifier.
Jonathan Erlich and Janko Tipsarevic were up a set and a break in their doubles quarterfinal match against Rohan Bopanna and Kristof Vliegen before losing 3-6, 7-6(9), 10-8. In the second set tiebreak, Erlich and Tipsarevic had two match points and Erlich double-faulted on one of them. They also had a 4-1 lead in the supertiebreak but Bopanna and Vliegen went on to win eight of the next nine points. Down 5-9, Erlich and Tipsarevic almost made a comeback, saving three match points. However, the opponents were able to take the match on their own serve, converting on the fourth match point.
Today was the hottest day of the week so far. Xavier Malisse and Illya Marchenko were especially affected by the heat. Both players were listless and mainly worried about keeping the ball in play. After every point they would hide in the shade at the back of the court. The match was close for a straight sets victory, but Malisse was a little more aggressive and Marchenko played an error-filled game at 2-1 in the second set to get broken after taking a medical timeout for the heat. The Belgian won, 6-3. 6-3.
Andy Roddick started off his match against Rajeev Ram with aggressive groundstrokes and Ram was unable to make a dent in Roddick’s service games. In the second set, Roddick played more passively, and his opponent took advantage of that by winning the set in a tiebreak. Roddick was able to save all four break points against his serve, including two in the first game of the third set. Roddick said that the heat caused his left foot to swell a little, but added that it had happened before and is manageable. It was not the cleanest match Roddick ever played, but he played well enough to win and reach the quarterfinals.