ATP CHAMPIONS TOUR
THE CHENGDU OPEN
THE SICHUAN INTERNATIONAL TENNIS CENTRE, CHENGDU
21-24 OCTOBER, 2010
Sunday 24th October, 2010
RUSEDSKI COMPLETES PERFECT WEEK WITH FINAL WIN OVER SAMPRAS
Greg Rusedski completed the perfect week in Chengdu, China, winning the ATP Champions Tour event with an emphatic 6-4, 6-2 victory over Pete Sampras in the final on Sunday.
Rusedski, who only discovered that he would be playing in the tournament last weekend after Michael Stich pulled out with an injury, was in imperious form throughout.
“I’m really happy to win against a great champion like Pete Sampras,’ said Rusedski after the match. “I’m very pleased. I had not played a lot of tennis coming into the event. I played really well this week. I surprised myself how well I played.”
After becoming only the second man to inflict a defeat on Thomas Enqvist since the Swede joined the circuit 28 matches earlier, Rusedski overwhelmed the 14-time Grand Slam champion in the final.
He won the first set 6-4 and after breaking for 3-0 in the second, the players were hauled off the court because of rain. Even Sampras, who is so accustomed to such conditions after winning seven Wimbledon titles before a roof was installed at the All England Club, could not recover the deficit. Rusedski served out the match to comfortably win the final, and his second ATP Champions Tour title.
Sampras was generous in defeat.
“Greg beat me fair and square today,” he said. “We both had to be a bit careful out there at the end because of the rain but Greg still managed a serve at 140 mph, so all credit to him. I’m still pleased with how I’ve played here in Chengdu and I hope to come back next year.”
Prior to the match, the pair had played each other ten times in their careers, with Rusedski only winning once, although it was a sizeable victory. In the final of the 1998 Paris Bercy tournament, Rusedski won in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3. The most notable of the nine Sampras wins probably came in their tenth and final clash. In the third round of the 2002 US Open, Sampras triumphed 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, and then went on to win the title. It was his 14th Grand Slam title, and his final professional tournament.
Rusedski will now prepare for the AEGON Masters Tennis event at the Royal Albert Hall in London (November 30 - December 5), where he will hope to go one better than 2008 when he lost to Cedric Pioline in the final.
In the match to decide third and fourth place in the Chengdu Open, defending Champion Thomas Enqvist edged a close encounter with in-form Frenchman Guy Forget 3-6, 6-1, 10-8 (Champions’ Tie Break). The third place finish means that Enqvist collects 200 rankings points from the event and cements his lead ahead of Goran Ivanisevic at the top of the South African Airways Rankings. Fourth placed Forget moves up into third position.
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