Chengdu

Carreno Busta Beats Alexander Bublik To Win Chengdu Open

Former world No.10 Pablo Carreno Busta ended his two-year title drought with a commanding performance against Kazakhstan’s rising star Alexander Bublik here at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre to pick up his fourth career title in the Chengdu Open.

Having struggled with a shoulder injury that inhibited his performances during the early season, the 28-year-old looked back to his best in a thrilling 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) comeback victory in two hours and eight minutes.

The Spaniard did not drop a single game during the final, facing and saving a solitary break point that came in the very first game of the match.

At 5-4 on serve in the first set, the current world No.63 had two break opportunities to close out the set, but could not convert and subsequently lost the opener when, at 5-6 down in the tiebreak, an astute Bublik correctly read his cross-court return and rushed the net to execute a superb cross court slice.

In the second set, Carreno Busta missed two break chances in the first game but converted the third that came in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held on to force a decider.

After Bublik once again saved two breaks in his first service game of the third set, neither player dropped serve and set the stage for a tie-break in which Carreno Busta raced to a 4-0 lead. The Spaniard completed the win on his second match point at 6-3 up with a sublime cross court backhand that perfectly encapsulated his stunning performances throughout this week.

“It was an incredible week here in Chengdu. It was a pleasure for me to back here. During the week, I felt really comfortable on court. The surface was fast but I was very good with my serve during all my matches and I think that was the key to me being the winner of the tournament. This year has been quite tough for me because of injuries at the beginning of the year. It’s really tough when you cannot play and cannot enjoy this sport. But I just tried to continue working hard because I know when you work and you do as much as possible, normally you will get the prize. Look, now we are here with the trophy and winning my fourth ATP title, for me this is the reason to continue fighting and continue playing this sport,” said the Gijon native, who was a doubles runner-up in his last Chengdu Open outing in 2016.

The 22-year-old Bublik was despondent after his defeat but paid tribute to his opponent and took heart in his strong performances during the week, highlighted by a comeback win over fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals.

“It’s been a great week. I got to the final by a breaker and I went down by a breaker in the final match. I’m happy to have made my second final and I’m happy for Pablo, he played an unbelievable match. The match with Grigor (was probably my most memorable). I came back from losing a set and saved a couple of match points. That was a good match,” said the world No.71, who can expect to surpass his career high of No. 69 next week.

In doubles, the dream run of Serbian best friends Dusan Lajovic and Nikola Cacic came to a victorious conclusion here at the Chengdu Open as they romped to a well-deserved 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-3 win in one hour and 41 minutes over former world No.5 Jonathan Erlich and this year’s Roland Garros finalist Fabrice Martin.

In a tense and exciting end to the first set, both pairs saved set point twice during the tiebreak before the Serbian duo got a crucial mini-break at 9-9 when Erlich sliced a net shot wide and Cacic got the winning point when Martin hit his return into the net.

Lajovic and Cacic started strong with an opening break in the second set but they then failed to hold serve in their first two service games and conceded the set.

The Serbians started the super tiebreaker with intent and aggression and raced to a 7-0 lead, partly due to a string of unforced errors and uncharacteristically sloppy play from their opponents. The Israeli-French combo of Erlich and Martin eventually got off the mark and won three of the next four points to make it 3-8, but Cacic would not be denied his maiden doubles title.

The 28-year-old’s second serve was returned directly to a waiting Lajovic at the net, who sliced it down towards Erlich’s feet. The Israeli’s attempted return did not make it over the net and the Serbians embraced in celebration.

“I think today we played a very good match, except that we lost some focus in the beginning of the second set. In the super tiebreaker we were really aggressive and focused from the first point, I don’t think we made one unforced error. Overall, it has been a really great week. We’ve known each other for 20 years and we’re best friends, so sharing the court is a special thing,” said 29-year-old Lajovic, who is picking up his second career doubles title in his first final since his maiden title at Istanbul in 2015.

Cacic is ranked at a career high of No. 127, which enabled him to make the draw in Chengdu together with his close friend and compatriot, who is more focused on singles. The win here is likely to push Cacic into the Top 100 and raise Lajovic’s ranking from his current No. 135 as well, enabling the duo to qualify for more Tour level tournaments.

“This week is the best week so far for me in my career. I am really happy that I won my very first ATP title with Dusan. This is a special moment for me and I am really grateful and thankful for what he does for me. He tries to help me as a friend to push me up the rankings and be able to play the big tournaments. Luckily this week we made it here and now I can break the Top 100 with these points,” said Cacic.

The close-knit duo plan to play at more ATP 250 events in the coming weeks to raise up their rankings with the goal of playing in Masters and Grand Slam events together in future.

The tournament is owned by IMG and is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Municipal Government, is co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Shuangliu District Government and Chengdu Culture Tourism Group and is promoted by Sichuan Investment International Tennis Centre Development Co., Ltd., CCTV IMG (Beijing) Sports Management Co. Ltd. and WME IMG China Culture Development Co. Ltd.

The Chengdu Open is also very proud to have the distinguished support from ATP Tour’s Premier Partner Emirates, the official player hotel St. Regis Chengdu, which fast became a favourite of the players, Dunlop tennis balls, the official water VOSS, the official car BMW / Reach Now, the Sichuan Tennis International Hotel, which is conveniently located adjacent to the courts and provides efficient services to the tournament, the exclusive official digital media partner Iqiyi Sports, the official stringer Yonex, the official public transportation platform Tian Fu Tong, the official gym equipment Impulse and the official tea Sichuan Mengding Tea Co. Ltd.

The official tournament website www.ChengduOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.

Bernie Tomic Incredibly Wins Chengdu Open

In a thrilling final match on the Centre Court of the Sichuan International Tennis Centre this evening, Australian world No. 123 Bernard Tomic saved four match points en route to a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7) victory over Italian world No. 13 Fabio Fognini to lift his fourth career title and first title in three years at the Chengdu Open.

The former world No. 17 Tomic started the match on the back foot, having to save two break points in the very first game, but after he broke Fognini’s serve in the next game and saved another four break points in the third game, his Italian opponent cut a frustrated figure on court and hit too many shots into the net or long.

In an intensely fought second set, 31-year-old Fognini saved break point by a hair’s breadth in the third game, with electronic review confirming the line judges ‘in’ call that was challenged by Tomic, and finally got past the Aussie’s powerful serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead.

Even though Tomic immediately leveled matters with a break of his own in the next game, Fognini once again took the lead in the eighth game, when he rallied from 15-40 down to take four points on the trot before closing out the set on serve.

Both players struggled to hold serve in the first five games of the third set, with Tomic converting two out of five break points and Fognini also breaking his opponent twice, albeit in three opportunities. The players then held serve strongly to carry the match into a tense tiebreak finale.

Fognini scored three mini-breaks in the first nine points to Tomic’s one to go 6-3 up and have three match points on serve. Tomic saved all three match points with a combination of Fognini making mistakes (double faulting on the first match point), luck (his return hit the net and went over during the second match point) and an excellent forehand down the line on the third match point.

As light rain began to all, the drama continued when Fognini had another match point at 7-6 but hit his shot wide. Backed by a thrilled crowd, the momentum shifted to the Aussie who took the next three points on the trot and completed the victory with a powerful cross court forehand.

Tomic’s long path to victory in the Chengdu Open started in the qualifying rounds and included hard fought comeback victories Belarus’s Igor Gerasimov, American Bradley Klahn and South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. He also ousted seventh seed Joao Sousa in yesterday’s semifinal.

“I could have lost like five times this tournament. I was down in so many matches and faced match points against Harris in the second round as well. It’s been a rollercoaster week. Today I don’t know I saved how many match points. It was crazy. It was truly a really good match. For me to win here is huge. I’m so happy. He is a really talented player. I wish him the best to make the London masters,” said Tomic.

Fognini was despondent to have missed a chance to capture a record-breaking fourth title this season and become the first Italian to do so, but acknowledged that it wasn’t his day.

“This is sport. Sometimes you like it, sometimes not. It has been a great week, a great year for me. Now I am sad because I have lost a final with four match points but that’s the sport. Sometimes you win sometimes you don’t,” said the Italian.

Top seeded Croatian doubles pair Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic saved their best for last here as they swept past the American-Indian duo of Austin Krajicek and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-2, 6-4 in 52 minutes to lift their second doubles title as a pair.

Former world No. 1 Pavic (achieved in May this year) and world No. 24 Dodig (career high of No. 4) saved all six break points they faced during the match, four of which came in a memorable rally from 0-40 down in the fourth game of the second set, while converting three of seven break opportunities and winning 78% of their 46 service points.

The duo, who are playing in their eighth Tour-level event together, recorded three super tiebreaker victories en route to the final and ousted tournament fourth seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi on Friday to make their fourth final appearance as a tandem.

The Chengdu Open doubles crown is Pavic’s 13th career title and fifth of this year, which includes picking up his first career Grand Slam at the Australian Open with regular world tour partner Oliver Marach. Dodig takes home his eleventh career doubles trophy and second of the year.

“Yeah, I’m feeling great. This is my first time here in Chengdu and I really enjoyed the tournament. To finish the week with this trophy is a great feeling. The win is important for us. We played good matches here. We felt great at this tournament and in general in this city. We are leaving very happy,” said 33-year-old Dodig.

“We don’t play too many matches together and it’s our second title after four finals together, so I’m happy with the title. We were playing better and better, raising the level match by match. I would say we saved the best for the last. Coming back for my second time here, I would say this tournament is great, the hotel is one of the best on tour, with great facilities and great conditions for the players. They improve year after year and hopefully I am coming back next year,” added 25-year-old Pavic.

The tournament is owned by IMG and is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Municipal Government, is co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Shuangliu District Government and Chengdu Culture Tourism Group and is promoted by Sichuan Investment International Tennis Centre Development Co., Ltd., CCTV IMG (Beijing) Sports Management Co. Ltd. And WME IMG China Culture Development Co. Ltd.

The Chengdu Open is also very proud to have the distinguished support from ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Emirates, the official player hotel St. Regis, Chengdu, which fast became a favourite of the players, the official car Audi, Dunlop tennis balls, the Sichuan Tennis International Hotel which is conveniently located adjacent to the courts and providing efficient services to the tournament, the official digital media partner iQiyi, the official apparel Erke, the official stringer Yonex, the official gym equipment Life Fitness, the official tea Sichuan Mengding Tea Co. Ltd. and the official water Ice Age.

The official tournament website www.ChengduOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.

Jewish-Muslim Combo Erlich-Qureshi Win In Chengdu, Istomin Wins Singles Title

Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan captured his first singles title of the year and the second of his career when his opponent Marcos Baghdatis retired with a back injury at 2-3 down on serve after just 24 minutes in today’s singles final of the Chengdu Open 2017.

Istomin was the first to rush over to Baghdatis as the 32-year-old Cypriot sank to the court floor in agony and frustration.

“I knew the situation because I also have a lot of injuries and have had to retire from matches before. Marcos and I are good friends so I wasn’t thinking about winning at all when he went down. First of all, I wanted to help him and see if he was okay. Of course I am happy to win the tournament, but not in this way. I hope Marcos gets better and can continue playing this season. I think it was very respectful for him to come on court and try even though he had started to feel the pain yesterday. He is a nice person and great player,” said the 31-year-old, whose maiden title came in Nottingham ’15.

Despite winning the final via his opponent’s retirement, Istomin has had a tremendous tournament, defeating two seeded players this week – third seeded defending champ Karen Khachanov in the second round and fifth seed Yuichi Sugita yesterday – and admits he is in the kind of form that saw him complete the biggest win of his career over Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open.

“I feel great on court right now. Today I was feeling even better than past days. I think I’m in the same condition I was in Australia in the beginning of the year. Next tournament is in Tashkent, my home city Challenger, and then the European swing. I’m feeling fine now and I want to finish the year as best as I can,” said Istomin.

Despite a year filled with niggling injuries, Baghdatis had been in fine form throughout the tournament, rallying from a set down to defeat three of his four opponents en route to the final – Pospisil in the first round, Gojowczyk in the second and Pella in yesterday’s semifinal – but had begun to experience discomfort in his back last night and underwent treatment this morning.

“There was some slight pain throughout the week, but yesterday night after my match against Pella I felt some spasms and this morning it was the same. It got worse after my warm up and so the ATP Physio did an hour and half work on me. I was ok for the three or four games but then the spasms came back and there was really nothing I could do to continue fighting for the match,” said a disappointed Baghdatis, who admitted it felt like a new injury and not a recurrence of his previous back issues.

In the doubles finals played earlier in the afternoon, Israeli-Pakistani duo Jonathan Erlich and Aisam-Ul-haq Qureshi have picked up their first title as a combo with a dominant 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Kiwi-Brazilian pair Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner in the doubles finals of the Chengdu Open 2017.

Erlich and Qureshi did not face a single break point in their first nine service games, and although they committed three unforced errors in a row to allow their opponents their first and only break in the tenth game of the second set, 40-year-old Erlich turned back the years with a dazzling display at the net in the tie-break to complete the straight sets victory.

The victory marks Erlich’s 19th doubles title and first since Shenzhen ’15, while it is Qureshi’s 16th doubles trophy and his fifth title of the year – tied for most of the season with Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.

“I think we executed this week really well. This is one of the best matches I’ve ever seen Aisam play. Really high level and he really stepped up and helped me a lot, in the beginning especially. I’m really proud of him and we enjoyed 100% on the court. Once you trust your partner, you’re ready to step forward to win the match and happily we did four matches of that,” said Erlich.

Qureshi, who is incredibly at 5-0 in finals appearances this season, paid tribute to his partner’s performance in what was their only second outing as a duo (lost in first round at Houston ’15).

“He showed why he won Wimbledon before and why he was Top 10 before and why he has won 19 titles on the tour.  He finished like a top five player today. If you see the highlights of the tie-breaker, every ball he touched was golden and was a winner,” said the 37-year-old Qureshi.

Read Qureshi’s inspiring ebook “Stop War, Start Tennis! Lessons of Life and Understanding from a Pakistani Tennis Player here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009XE3LLO/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_iaq0zbEV4S4CJ

The tournament is owned by IMG and is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Municipal Government, is co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Shuangliu District Government and Chengdu Culture Tourism Group and is promoted by Sichuan Investment International Tennis Centre Development Co., Ltd., CCTV IMG (Beijing) Sports Management Co. Ltd. and IMG Sports Development (Shanghai) Limited.

The Chengdu Open is also very proud to have the distinguished support from ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Emirates, the official player hotel St. Regis, Chengdu which fast became a favourite of the players, Srixon tennis balls, the Sichuan Tennis International Hotel which is conveniently located adjacent to the courts and providing efficient services to the tournament, the official sponsor Chengdu Better City, the official car Unicorn,  the official apparel Erke, the official gym equipment Life Fitness, the official Chinese tea Sichuan Mengding Tea Co. Ltd., the official stringer Yonex and the official water Ice Age.  The Official media partners are Iqiyi Sports, West China Metropolis, Chengdu Radio and TV Station, Chengdu Daily, CTA APP, Shenzhen Hundred-Meter Life Shares Co., Ltd., and Tennis World.

The official tournament website www.ChengduOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.

Jared Donaldson, Mikael Ymer Gain Chinese Culture In Chengdu

Two young ATP stars from the Chengdu Open main draw – American Jared Donaldson and wild card Swede Mikael Ymer – visited ‘Wangjian Lou’, one of Chengdu’s cultural attractions that roughly translates as ‘river view pavilion,’ as part of the event.

The duo took part in a game of mini-tennis in the park before learning the ancient local art of Calligraphy from a ‘sifu’ (master).

“There are not a lot of similarities between American and Chinese culture – we don’t have bamboo and cultural places like this. It’s a really beautiful setting. I remember learning calligraphy in the 4th grade but I haven’t practiced it since – I think it did a good job though! I’m lucky to have this opportunity to visit places like these as a profession tennis player, my friends would be jealous! I love playing tennis in Asia and in China. The atmosphere is great and it’s very cool to experience all these different cultures,” said the 20-year-old ATP Next Gen star Donaldson.

It’s my first time in China and Asia, so it’s really amazing. This place is very special and I’ve never seen anything like this. The bamboo is beautiful and the master was very nice to show us how to paint the calligraphy. I’m quite amazed we managed to do it quite well. Everyone is so nice here in China, the people and the tournament staff are all amazing. It’s very well organised. To explore places like this at eighteen or nineteen is really a privilege,” said the 19-year-old Swede.

There will be free admission to qualifying round matches and court 1 and 2 matches. Tickets for the Chengdu Open main draw center court matches through to the finals will range in price from RMB 30 to RMB 400 and are available through www.damai.cn and www.piao.com.cn.

The tournament is owned by IMG and is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Municipal Government, is co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Shuangliu District Government and Chengdu Culture Tourism Group and is promoted by Sichuan Investment International Tennis Centre Development Co., Ltd., CCTV IMG (Beijing) Sports Management Co. Ltd. and IMG Sports Development (Shanghai) Limited.

The Chengdu Open is also very proud to have the distinguished support from ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Emirates, the official player hotel St. Regis, Chengdu which fast became a favourite of the players, Srixon tennis balls, the Sichuan Tennis International Hotel which is conveniently located adjacent to the courts and providing efficient services to the tournament, the official sponsor Chengdu Better City, the official car Unicorn,  the official apparel Erke, the official gym equipment Life Fitness, the official Chinese tea Sichuan Mengding Tea Co. Ltd., the official stringer Yonex and the official water Ice Age.  The Official media partners are Iqiyi Sports, West China Metropolis, Chengdu Radio and TV Station, Chengdu Daily, CTA APP, Shenzhen Hundred-Meter Life Shares Co., Ltd., and Tennis World.