Janko Tipsarevic survives a three-set thriller to lift the trophy in Stuttgart

July 15, 2012

ATP Tennis News

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

Janko Tipsarevic won his first title of the year at Stuttgart. (Photo credit: Alex Domanski/Reuters)

MercedesCup, Stuttgart, Germany – The audience in Stuttgart was witness to a mesmerizing and rather strange match as the top two seeds battled for the trophy in a three-set thriller. The match had more twists and turns and highs and lows than a roller coaster as the battle for dominancy fluctuated between both players,which eventually saw the top seed, Janko Tipsarevic, lift the trophy 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in 2 hours and 35-minutes.

The Argentine opened up nervously and was broken in first service game, but then broke back in the fourth to level it up 2-2 as he began to put more pressure on Tipsarevic’s service games and settled into the rallies.

The games remained on serve until 4-4, when during the ninth game of the set Tipsarevic began to shorten the rallies and approached the net on shorter balls to finish off the points earlier. The step up in level of aggression paid off as he broke the Argentinean and took the first set 6-4 where the Serb won 30 points to Mónaco’s 25.

At the start of the second set, Mónaco once again had the benefit of serving first, but a few untimely forehand errors caused break point opportunities for Tipsarevic which he capitalized on with his second break point.  In the third game, Mónaco still looked to be struggling with his rhythm on court as he netted a double-handed backhand and served up 3 break point opportunities for Tipsarevic which he won after returning a serve deep at the feet of Mónaco onto the baseline.

The second set seemed to be getting worse for Mónaco after a good, completive first set turned into that of a nightmare as he very rapidly found himself 4-0 down and could do little but admire the Serb as he chased down all balls and change the direction of the ball supremely. Many would have been forgiven for thinking that it was only a matter of minutes until the match was over, but impressively the Argentine surmounted a brief comeback reeling off the next three games in a row to bring the match back to 3-4.  The four minutes of rain that came down certainly dampened Tipsarevic’s spirits and washed away the blues for ‘Pico’ Mónaco.

After 1 hour 30-minutes Mónaco found himself level at 4-4 and the set was back on serve. Tipsarevic seemed to lose control of the match and his mentality waivered as he saw Mónaco rally back and snatch the second set 7-5 where he converted 100% of his break points on all four occasions.

In the third set, the second seed looked to be the more dominating player, as he was more relaxed, thinking clearly, going for the lines and using all of the angles on the court.  All seemed to be going well for Mónaco until the fifth game of the third set where he double faulted and created another break point opportunity at a pivotal moment in the match which Tipsarevic readily capitalized on.

The heavens opened up once again and the match experienced another rain delay.  This time Mónaco was unable to come back out and turn the set around once again as Tipsarevic eventually the sealed the match 6-3 in the third.

During the presentation ceremony, Tipsarevic was presented with a strange block of wood looking trophy and naturally Mónaco sat with his head in his hands at the end of the match as he was clearly bitterly disappointed with the turnout of the match and the ultimate disappointment for the Argentine was to have to withstand a long presentation ceremony in which he watched the Mercedes Benz he could have won be driven on to the court which was offered as a present by Tipsarevic to his wife for her birthday and their anniversary. (What a lucky lady!)

There have been a lot of ‘first times’ today for Tipsarevic as he is the first Serb to win in Stuttgart, it was his first title of the season (he is the only man in the top 10 that hadn’t won a tournament this year up until today) and more impressively his first ever title on clay.

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About Lisa-Marie Burrows

Lisa-Marie Burrows has a MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism and is a freelance sports journalist. She has covered many national and international tennis tournaments and has worked in Paris for Eurosport News channel. She is a member of the International Press Association and a journalist for its online magazine, IMPress. She has contributed articles for various leading websites including www.tennisgrandstand.com, www.worldtennismagazine.com, www.tennisbloggers.com, www.tennisscoop.co.uk and www.olympictennis.net. Lisa-Marie operates her tennis website www.tennisnewsviews.com where you can read her reports. She can be reached at lburrows@internationalpress.com or on Twitter @TennisNewsViews.

View all posts by Lisa-Marie Burrows

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