Daniel Gimeno-Traver has reached his first ATP Tour final…
The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Jiri Vesely at the Grand Prix Hassan II to end his long wait for a place in an ATP final.
Gimeno-Traver produced an impressive display of resilience to fight back from a set down and overcome the third seed 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-4.
“It was a difficult match,” said Gimeno-Traver. “Maybe I was a bit too much on defense during the first set, but then I started to play more aggressively, and I felt well during all my service games. I’m very happy to reach my first final here in Casablanca.”
Gimeno-Traver will need to deliver a similar display if he is to claim a maiden tour title, with second seed Martin Klizan standing in his way.
The Slovakian also needed to come from behind to ensure his place in the showpiece, rallying brilliantly from a set and a break down in the second to progress 4-6 6-4 6-0 against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.
“Damir played very well today,” Klizan said. “It was a tough match. I think that I was mentally stronger in the third set, and I’m extremely happy to be in the final.”
Gimeno-Traver is currently ranked No. 95 in the world.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez is back to his old winning ways…
The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player claimed his first title in nearly four years after rallying to defeat his compatriot Marcel Granollers at the Grand Prix Hassan II on Sunday.
After losing the first set, Garcia-Lopez stormed back to take the next two sets in the all-Spanish final on the clay court in Casablanca, Morocco. The final score: 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Garcia-Lopez’s previous title was on indoor hard courts in Bangkok in 2010, and he’d lost his matched in the previous two finals in which he competed — last year on clay at Bucharest, Romania and on indoor hard courts at St. Petersburg, Russia.
Granollers, who was hoping to win his fifth career title, dropped his serve five times and was less consistent. He won only 60 percent of his first-serve points compared to 76 percent for Garcia-Lopez, who won their only previous meeting in the second round of the same tournament in 2010.
Garcia-Lopez continued the recent dominance of his countrymen at the tournament, becoming the fourth different Spaniard to win in the past six years after Tommy Robredo (2013), Pablo Andujar (2011 and 2012) and former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero (2009).
This is the third singles title of Garcia-Lopez’s career.
Make that No. 12 for Tommy Robredo…
The 31-year-old Spanish professional tennis player beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-0, 6-3 on Sunday to win the Croatia Open and win his 12th career title and second this year.
Robredo won the opening set in only 18 minutes, losing just six points with Fognini helpless to reverse the rout from the clay-court baseline.
Fognini broke Robredo twice in the second set but could only hold serve once himself.
“No money can buy this feeling,” Robredo said. “I played a perfect match, did a great job. But in matches like this it is always important to win.”
Robredo also won on clay at the Grand Prix Hassan II in April in Casablanca, Morocco. Eleven of his 12 titles have been on the surface.
The result halted an impressive run by Fognini. The Italian captured two titles in winning 13 straight matches en route to the Umag final. He won both tournaments in Germany, in Stuttgart two weeks ago and Hamburg last Sunday.
“Probably too many matches behind me — and no match tonight,” Fognini said. “I had no power, he deserved to win. I am disappointed but I played three incredible weeks. It will stay in my memory my whole life.”
In the 24-year history of the Croatia Open, a Spaniard has won 10 times. Former world No. 1 Carlos Moya holds the record with five victories.
It’s Lucky No. 11 for Tommy Robredo…
The 30-year-old Spanish tenista outlasted South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 to win the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco on Sunday. The win earned him the eleventh title of his career.
In his first-ever match against Anderson, Robredo saved four break points in the final set and broke his opponent for only the second time in the match to clinch his first title since February 2011, when he won on the outdoor clay courts in Santiago, Chile.
Ten of Robredo’s titles and 15 of his 18 career finals have been on clay.
Following his five-month absence last year due to a leg injury, Robredo currently ranks at No. 72 in the world. He’d peaked at No. 5 back in August 2006.