Tue, May 03, 2016 - Page 18 News List

Almagro ends title drought at Estoril

PANTS A LOT:Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany won the Munich Open for the third time and was given prizes of 82,450 euros, a new sports car and a pair of lederhosen

AFP, ESTORIL, Portugal

Nicolas Almagro of Spain celebrates with the winner’s trophy after defeating compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in the Estoril Open final in Portugal on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Nicolas Almagro ended a title drought lasting four years on Sunday when the experienced Spanish clay-court player defeated younger compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to win the Estoril Open.

The victory in nearly three hours of struggle, marked the first title for the 30-year-old Almagro since winning in Nice, France, on clay in May, 2012.

The world No. 71 has spent much of the past few seasons coming back from injury, but he boosted his growing confidence with the approach of Roland Garros by lifting the 13th trophy of his career.

“Every event is tough, with Roland Garros coming up, things are really tight. Everyone wants to be ready for the French Open,” Almagro said.

“It is great to win a title after so long. It was a battle today with Pablo, who was playing really well,” he added. “I have improved during the week. I have been losing a lot of matches that I should have won. I am looking for my tennis again, but I am gaining more confidence with my game.”

Almagro made life difficult for himself throughout each of the first two sets, lasting a total of two hours.

However, he finally took command with a break early in the final set and escaped for victory on a third match point with the 13th trophy of his career.

Earlier, Almagro was unable to serve out the opening set and also lost a 6-2 lead in the ensuing tiebreaker.

Carreno Busta, ranked 50th and twice a finalist this season, saved four Almagro set points before seizing the opening set on his own first opportunity.

However, Almagro rallied in the second as he battled back, earning and losing a break to enter a second tiebreaker, which he won to square the match at a set each.

Almagro broke in the third game of the final set and rode the margin out to the narrow win on his third match point.

The champion had lost the Buenos Aires final this season, with Estoril the 23rd final of his career.

MUNICH OPEN

AFP, BERLIN

Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber won the Munich Open for the third time after downing Austria’s Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s final and was presented with a pair of Bavarian lederhosen as part of his prize.

Having won the 2007 and 2012 titles, Kohlschreiber, who hails from the neighboring Bavarian city of Augsburg, ran out the 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4) winner after a huge tussle in the final, which lasted nearly 2 hours, 30 minutes.

“This is a great tournament and has been something of a lucky charm for me,” said Kohlschreiber, who collected 82,450 euros [US$94,605] in prize money, a new sports car and a luxury pair of leather lederhosen, the traditional Bavarian dress.

“Dominic made life very difficult for me today. My time here is coming to an end and he will win the tournament sometime,” Kohlschreiber added.

Having lost the first set on a tiebreaker, the 22-year-old Thiem rallied to take the second, breaking Kohlschreiber to go 4-3 up as the set then followed serve.

Kohlschreiber, 32, was not to be denied and squandered two match points at 5-4 up in the third before Thiem broke back to take the game to a second tiebreaker.

Having lost to Britain’s Andy Murray in last year’s final, Sunday’s victory gave Kohlschreiber his seventh career ATP title.

Thiem, ranked 15th in the world, has a bright future and has already picked up 26 wins and two titles this season.

Kohlschreiber, ranked 27th in the world, steam-rolled his way to his fifth Munich final after seeing off compatriot Florian Mayer, Juan Martin del Potro and Fabio Fognini en route.

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