Murray Wins 2nd Consecutive ATP Title in Valencia, Federer Owns Basel
Andy Murray beat Tommy Robredo in another incredible ATP final as he saved five match points to take the title in Valencia 3-6 7-6 7-6. Murray had saved match points to defeat Robredo in Shenzen last month, in what was his first title of the year, and now including the title he captured the week prior in Vienna, he has three on the season, all but securing his spot in the World Tour finals with an impeccable run of play this fall.
Murray played poorly in the first set, but recovered some momentum to force a second set tiebreak, even after surrendering a break lead in the second set, and he saved two match points in that second set tiebreak before capturing it 9-7. In the third set, Murray recovered from going a break down to force a tiebreak and he saved three match points before smacking a quality backhand passing shot to seal the victory. Yet again, Robredo was denied from a big win in an ATP final.
As expected, Murray cruised through Jurgen Melzer and Fabio Fognini, then beat Kevin Anderson in 3 sets and David Ferrer for the second week in a row, this time in straight sets, to reach the final.
Robredo upset John Isner, then rolled past Rendy Lu, Pablo Andujar and Jeremy Chardy, a much easier road, without dropping a set to reach the final. His second in two months and his third this season, he is 0-3 this year in ATP finals.
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau defeated Anderson and Chardy in the doubles final. Rojer and Tecau have won seven ATP titles this year together with at least one on every surface.
Federer crushed Gilles Muller in straights, got past Denis Istomin in 3 sets, beat Grigor Dimitrov in straights and Ivo Karlovic in 3 sets to reach the final. He had a few hiccups this week but nothing more, as things always seemed comfortable for the Swiss playing in his hometown tournament.
Goffin stretched his winning streak out against Dominic Thiem, Ivan Dodig, Milos Raonic, and teenager Borna Coric, who has now reached the top 100 before the age 18 by virtue of reaching the semifinals in Basel. Goffin beat Raonic and Coric in 3 sets and was likely fatigued before going up against Federer.
Coric shocked a clearly injured Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and also upset a likely injured Ernests Gulbis in round 1. He showed clutch play and mettle in those matches, even with his opponents paying well below 100%. 2015 should be a promising year for the young Croat, as he transitions to a more active role on the ATP tour and prepares to play more Grand Slam tennis.
Vasek Pospisil and Nenad Zimonjic beat Marin Draganja and Henri Kontinen in the doubles final. Pospisil has won 3 doubles titles this year, and reached two doubles finals in what has been a breakthrough year for him on the doubles circuit.
—Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast