Top Ten Players Murray, Berdych and Cilic Claim ATP Titles
Andy Murray continued his strong run of play to finish out the 2014 season, as the Scotsman toppled fellow top 10 player David Ferrer 5-7 6-2 7-5 in a Murray-coaster final in the Austrian capital. The title is the second for Murray this season, and both of his ATP titles this year have come at the 250 level after the US Open, the other of course in Shenzen last month.
Ferrer served for the match in the third set, but could not finish the job, and Murray had a late push to win.
Murray bolstered his claim to one of the 8 World Tour Final spots with wins over Vasek Pospisil, JL Struff and Viktor Troicki to reach the final this week. He appeared comfortable throughout as he didn’t drop a set before the final.
Ferrer continues to befuddle fans and pundits alike with his topsy-turvy form. He actually played quite well this week, scoring wins over Tobias Kamke and Ivo Karlovic without dropping a set, and then winning a third set tiebreak against Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach the final.
The Austrian fans were able to celebrate one of their own lifting a trophy this week, as Jurgen Melzer, and his veteran pal Philipp Petzschner defeated Andre Begemann and Julian Knowles in the doubles final. Both pairings were made up of an Austrian and a German.
Tomas Berdych also claimed a 250 title as expected this week. The in-form Czech won a hard fought match with Grigor Dimitrov, prevailing 5-7 6-4 6-4, and in the process preventing Dimitrov from repeating as the Stockholm champion. The match could have perhaps ended in two sets, but Berdych couldn’t finish off the first set and Dimitrov had a late charge to take it. Berdy was much better late in the second and third sets and that was enough to get him through.
The path to a second career Stockholm title for Berdych ran through Dustin Brown, Marius Copil and Matthias Bachinger this week, all without dropping a set as the Czech number one is serving lights out at the moment.
Dimitrov beat Teymuraz Gabashvili, Jack Sock in a 3 set comeback, and Bernard Tomic to reach the final this week.
Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen defeated Treat Huey and Jack Sock in the doubles final.
Marin Cilic laid claim to his twelfth career ATP 250 level title in Moscow, and he completed the trio of top 10 winners on the ATP tour this week. The Croat #1 defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4 in the final and in the process qualified for the World Tour Finals.
Cilic did not have smooth sailing to the final, as he needed 3 sets against Evgeny Donskoy in his first match, and against an in form Mikhail Kukushkin in the semifinals, but along with dispatching Tommy Robredo in the quarters, he did reach the final and gave RBA few opportunities to win the match.
Bautista Agut, who has had a tremendous season in his own right, was a well-deserved finalist, and this year he has cemented himself as one of the top 5 Spanish players on tour. The Spaniard with the powerful forehand defeated Andrey Kuznetsov, Sam Groth, Ricardas Berankis and his bad blood rival Ernests Gulbis without dropping a set to reach the final.
Frantisek Cermak and Jiri Vesely combined to win the doubles title over the Aussies Sam Groth and Chris Guccione.
—Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast