Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Spain comes second - 3 times

As players from both the ATP and WTA tours prepare for the big Indian Wells tournament in California, five are celebrating significant victories over the weekend.

Andy Murray, extended his lead at the top of the world rankings after claiming the Dubai title, his first of 2017.  A scrappy start to the final, where Fernando Verdasco broke the first two Scottish serves, was fast forgotten as Murray swept through the final five games of set one taking it 6-3.
Verdasco had no hope in set two, winning only a single point on the Murray serve, and only half of those on his own.

Rafa Nadal is zero for two in finals this year, losing the Acapulco title to a dominant serving Sam Querrey.  The unseeded American threw down 19 aces in a display not unlike that reserved for Djokovic at Wimbledon last year.

The efforts of Verdasco and Querrey have been reflected in the rankings, where both have jumped back into the top 30 - staying there guarantees a seeding for Roland Garros in a few months.

Also in Acapulco, Lesia Tsurenko, the Ukrainian seventh seed, won her third career title, and in doing so, defeated each of the top three seeds.  Her final victim was second seed Kristina Mladenovic, the St Petersburg champion from January.

Australian Ash Barty has won her first singles title, capturing the ALYA WTA Malaysian Open.  Barty took a 17 month break from tennis at age 18, but now only 12 months into her comeback, she appears happier on tour, and is beginning to realise the potential shown as the 2011 Junior Wimbledon Champion.
Her straight sets defeat of Nao Hibino lifts Ash to a career high ranking of 92.

Meanwhile rain delayed the finish of the Brasil Open in São Paulo by a day, with Pablo Cuevas eventually coming from a set down against Albert Ramos-Vinolas to win for the third consecutive year. 
Albert joined Fernando and Rafa as defeated Spanish finalists.

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