Tag Archive | "Medibank International"

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Nalbandian Holds Off Nieminen To Capture Australian Warm-Up Tournament

In the finals of the Medibank International in Sydney, Argentine David Nalbandian fought off Finn Jarkko Nieminen to claim his tenth career title 6-3, 6-7, 6-2.

After dismissing two break points in his opening service game, Nalbandian used his trademark backhand to set up the points and effortlessly win his next service games. With Nieminen on deck at 2-3, Nalbandian made a forehand down the line winner and caused his opponent to overshoot for triple break point. Later, with a forehand winner, Nalbandian jumped ahead 4-2. With a high percentage of first serve and by perpetually changing the ball’s direction, David took the set in 35 minutes.

To start the second set, with a backhand error, Jarkko went down break point. Subsequently, Nieminen netted a forehand to trail 0-1. The Argentine consolidated the break with a backhand volley winner. Although Nalbandian outplayed his rival in every department, for example using the combination of a lob volley and dropshot to win a point, with the minor adjustment of hugging the baseline as the set progressed, Nieminen stayed within striking distance. As Nalbandian served for the match at 5-4, he committed two forehand errors on deep returns by Nieminen to face triple break point. The Finn capitalized when the Argentine’s money stroke, the backhand down the line, went long. Thereafter, Nalbandian erased three break points to send the set to a tiebreak. Initially, neither player could hold serve. After Nieminen took a 2-1 mini-break advantage with a backhand down the line winner, he flirted too closely to the line and gave it back. With a forehand crosscourt winner, Nalbandian went ahead 3-2. But, he also forfeited his lead on the following point. At 9 all, Nalbandian elected not to play a ball he assumed would go long; the ball curled in for a winner giving Jarkko a mini-break. With a good serve, Jarkko wrestled an error and the set from David.

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Dementieva Stops Safina In Sydney

All Russian finals have become commonplace on the WTA tour. This time, the setting was Sydney at the Medibank International where world number 3 Dinara Safina battled world number 4 Elena Dementieva. Elena beat Dinara 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 to remain undefeated and take her second title in 2009.

The first set was played predominately from the baseline with interminable rallies decided by unforced errors usually in Dementieva’s favor. For instance, with Dementieva serving at 2-3 and facing her first break point, Safina overplayed a forehand on the second serve return leading to deuce. Elena won that game with a backhand down the line winner. In the past, Dementieva’s serve has been infamous, however, Elena has improved that area of her game. Instead, it was Safina, who with consecutive double faults handed her rival a break point which she converted for a 4-3 lead. Then, Dementieva sealed the set with another break when Safina committed a multitude of unforced errors in a game where she led 40-15.

However, quickly changing gear, with a forehand crosscourt winner Safina got a break point in the opening game of the second set. Dinara capitalized when Elena’s backhand sailed long. After consolidating the break for 3-1, Safina made a backhand down the line winner for another break point and with a forehand error by Dementieva extended her lead to 4-1. Safina’s new strategy was to move forward when permitted which resulted in successful volleying. Safina finished second set on a high note, closing it at love.

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