Bautista Agut Defeats Benjamin Becker to Claim First Ever ATP Title

It’s a hard-fought first ATP title for Roberto Bautista Agut

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis player mounted an impressive rally to claim his maiden World Tour crown on Saturday, beating Benjamin Becker in the Topshelf Open final.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut captured his first title with a 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory, overcoming 13 aces and a 32-minute first set in favor of his German counterpart.

One of the ATP World Tour’s rising stars in 2014, the Spaniard has soared from World No. 73 in the ATP rankings at the beginning of the year to a new career-high of No. 23 with his title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Bautista Agut, the tournament’s third-seed becomes the second first-time champion this year after Federico Delbonis won in Sao Paulo. He was competing in just his second final, having previously fallen in the 2013 Aircel Chennai Open title match to Janko Tipsarevic.

Becker raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set behind a pair of early breaks. Bautista Agut was unable to counter Becker’s pace and guile in the baseline rallies as the German veteran needed just 32 minutes to take the opener.

Bautista Agut’s game would gain traction as the match progressed, however, and he would snatch the second set in a tiebreaker and surge to an early lead in the third set behind a break in the fifth game. As Becker pressed for a break back, Bautista Agut held steady, and he would hold on for the title in exactly two hours.

He’s the fifth different Spanish winner this year, withRafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Guillermo Garcia-Lopezand Fernando Verdasco also bringing home trophies to the Iberian nation. He’s also the second different Spaniard to triumph in Den Bosch after Ferrer prevailed in 2008 and 2012.

“It took me a while to recover from a very long match yesterday and I was getting better and better after the first set,” said Bautista Agut, who earns $77,350 and 250 ATP rankings points with the win.

“I was more focused and started to feel better physically. I was trying to not think too much and play my game point by point. It was the same nervousness as every match. I played calm and aggressive in the last game. I had to celebrate hard (after match point) and enjoy the moment.”

Bautista Agut Defeats No. 3 Seed Janko Tipsarevic at St. Petersburg Open

Roberto Bautista Agut has exacted revenge on the man who ended his Cinderella run in the first ATP final.

The 25-year-old Spanish tenista, currently ranked No. 58 in the world, defeated third-seeded Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the first round of the St. Petersburg Open on Wednesday.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Earlier this year, Bautista Agut had reached his first-ever ATP final at the 2013 Aircel Chennai Open in Chennai, India, where he faced the tournament’s No. 1 seed Tipsarevic. Bautista Agut took the first set 6-3, only to lose the last two sets 1-6, 3-6.

This time around though Tipsarevic squandered seven break points in the second set against Bautista Agut, who broke the Serb twice and closed the match with a backhand down the line on his first match point.

Bautista Agut now faces Evgeny Donskoy in the second round.

Falla Reaches the Final at the Claro Open Colombia

Alejandro Falla is one step closer to winning his first-ever ATP Tour title… And, he could earn it at home.

The 29-year-old Colombian tennis player, a Bogota resident, beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the Claro Open Colombia final.

Alejandro Falla

To reach the semifinals, Falla defeated the tournament’s top seed, Croatia’s Janko Tipsarevic.

The hometown favorite will face Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic on Sunday in the hard-court tournament at Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Bogota.

Karlovic beat second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

Falla Defeats Top Seed to Reach Claro Open Colombia Semifinals

Alejandro Falla is living up to his “hometown hero” designation…

The 29-year-old Colombian tennis pro defeated top-seated Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Friday night to advance to the Claro Open Colombia semifinals in his native country.

Alejandro Falla

Falla, a Bogota resident, is seeking his first ATP Tour title

Falla will next face Canada’s Vasek Pospisil on Saturday in the hard-court tournament at Centro de Alto Rendimiento. Pospisil beat Italy’s Matteo Viola 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Falla, currently ranked No. 122 in the world, has yet to reach the finals in a tournament. He’s now just one win away from doing so, and on his home turf no less.

In the afternoon quarterfinals, second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa beat sixth-seeded Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-3, 6-3, and Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic topped fifth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).

del Potro Claims Erste Bank Open Title…

It’s a perfect dozen for Juan Martin del Potro

The 24-year-old Argentine professional tenista , currently ranked No. 8 in the world, won his 12th career title on Sunday, beating qualifier Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3 at the Erste Bank Open.

Juan Martin del Potro

It’s only the second indoor title for “Delpo,” who earned the bronze medal in men’s singles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

del Potro, the top-seed at the Austrian event, was playing his first tournament since returning from a right wrist injury that sidelined him for more than a month.

“It’s been a fantastic week,” said del Potro. “Coming back to the tour and being seeded No. 1 put me under pressure. I am so happy now. Winning a tournament means a lot. It’s important to have a good end to the year.”

del Potro improved to 12-5 in finals and is a strong favorite to pick up one of the remaining berths at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.

Juan Martin del Potro

“That was on my mind coming here,” he said. “I am looking even better now … but I still have two big tournaments and must do well in Basel and Paris.”

A losing finalist last year, del Potro survived a shaky start against the 70th-ranked Zemlja, who was the first player from Slovenia to reach a final after upsetting Janko Tipsarevic in the semifinals.

At 2-2 in the opening set, del Potro lost serve for the first time in the tournament. But from 2-4 down, he won 11 of the next 15 games to close out the victory.

“It wasn’t a good start, I was nervous because it was a final,” said del Potro. “In the second set, I broke him early and that gave me confidence to play the final like everyone expected me to do.”

Mónaco Claims Title at the German Tennis Championships

Juan Mónaco’s inching his way to the top of the ATP rankings…

The 28-year-old Argentine tenista edged out German veteran Tommy Haas 7-5, 6-4 Sunday in the final of the German Tennis Championships to claim his third clay-court title of the year.

Juan Monaco

With the victory, Mónaco will reach a career-high ranking of world No. 10 when the rankings are released on Monday.

This was Mónaco’s second final in two weeks. He lost to Janko Tipsarevic in Stuttgart a week ago.

In all, he has six career titles, all on clay.

Bellucci Earns Third Career Title at the Swiss Open…

Thomaz Bellucci is proving that he’s no underdog…

The 24-year-old Brazilian tennis player upset top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in the Swiss Open final on Sunday.

Thomaz Bellucci

Unseeded in the tournament, Bellucci came back after dropping the first set in a heartbreaking tiebreak to win 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2.

Bellucci was leading 6-1 in the first-set tiebreaker, before Tipsarevic reeled off seven points for the set. At 5-4 in the second, Bellucci broke the eighth-ranked Serbian’s serve to love to even the match.

In the final set, Tipsarevic saved two match points but double-faulted to present a third, which Bellucci won.

The victory earned Bellucci, currently ranked No. 60 in the world, his third career title and second at Gstaad. He won the clay-court event as a qualifier in 2009.

Meanwhile, Tipsarevic was denied a second straight title after winning on clay last week at Stuttgart, Germany, where he beat Bellucci in the semifinals.

Bellucci and Tipsarevic will compete in the London Olympics at Wimbledon.