>> Sunday, May 6, 2012
World no. 10 Argentine Juan Martin del Potro successfully defended his Estoril Open title leading two other higher seeded players in winning ATP titles this Sunday. Del Potro beat 2007 runner-up Richard Gasquet to lift up the 2012 Estoril Open trophy in a straight set victory 6-4 6-2. It was the first final between the top two seeded players in four years - the last being the Federer - Davydenko final in 2009. Del Potro became the third player in the 23-year-old history of the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament to win back-to-back titles. He joined Spaniard Albert Montanes (2009-10), who he beat in this year's quarter-finals, and former world no. 1 Thomas Muster (1995-96).
Del Potro earned €71,900 in prize money and 250 ranking points, while Gasquet went home with €37,860 and 150 points. It was del Potro's 11th tour-level title in sixteen finals. The win is his fourth clay court title and he improves to a perfect 4-0 in clay court finals. As for Gasquet, he has now lost 9 finals matches and he failed to add to his six ATP titles. He has beaten Del Potro only once in five career meetings. He now has a 14-9 record after his first ATP final for the year.
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In Munich, Germany, fourth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber captured his second title at the 2012 BMW Open defeating no. 3 seed Marin Cilic 7-6(8), 6-3. Kohlschreiber delighted the hometown crowd with the win and improved to 17-6 in this tennis tournament. He also beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny in 2007. In addition to winning €71,900 in prize money, Kohlschreiber takes home a brand new white BMW Z4 sDrive28i and two business class tickets to South Africa courtesy of South African Airways.
Kohlschreiber and Cilic were both playing in their first ATP World Tour final of the season and their second career final in Munich. The German has now beaten the Croat in five of eight meetings and improved to 2-1 in their clay head-to-head record. As runner-up, Cilic earned €37,860 in prize money and 150 ranking points. Kohlschreiber has now four 4 ATP titles while preventing Cilic his seventh ATP title.
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In Belgrade, Serbia, second seed Andreas Seppi dismissed first-time ATP World Tour finalist Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2 to capture the Serbia Open 2012 trophy and win his first title of the year. "I think my play was really solid this week," Seppi assessed. "Maybe yesterday, the first set was under my expectations, but the rest was very good, so I can be very happy about this victory." The Italian won 67 per cent of his second serve return points to break Paire five times, wrapping up the final victory in 71 minutes.
Italy’s no. 1 player did not drop a single set for his second ATP tour title, and it was his first clay court title. As winner, he earned €66,250 in prize money and 250 ranking points. Paire has had a breakthrough week already, reaching his maiden ATP World Tour final, but it hasn’t been easy by any means. The unseeded Frenchman has defeated three seeded players (No. 6 seed Fabio Fognini, No. 3 seed Jarkko Nieminen and No. 1 seed Pablo Andujar) and he has had to go to three sets in three of his four wins this week (winning two of those 7-5 in the third set). As runner-up, he earned €34,890 and 150 ranking points.