Igor Kunitsyn won his first ATP tournament overcoming his compatriot Marat Safin 7-6(6) 6-7(4) 6-3. There were no breaks of serve in the first set. Safin was leading 3:0 in the tie-break but the next 4 points won Kunitsyn who had setpoint on his own serve at 6:5. Safin managed to save first set point after long rally but wasn’t able to save another one on his own serve albeit the umpire Carlos Bernardes had announced “7 all” before Kunitsyn took the challenge which overruled the umpire’s decision. In the second set Kunitsyn broke Safin’s serve to lead 3:2 but lost his own serve in the following game. The set went to another tie-break which was comfortable won by Safin. At the beginning of the deciding set Kunitsyn had cramps but after an intervention of a trainer broke Safin’s serve in the 6th game and held his serve to the very end finishing the tournament with an ace. Kunitsyn looked like a surprsining man after that and his statement after the final proves it: “I was hoping to win a couple of games and that’s it. I still don’t know how I was able to outplay Marat, but I guess it happens. I still don’t understand how I won.” Safin hasn’t won a tournament since Australian Open 2005.
Robin Soderling didn’t lose a service game on route to final but Nalbandian broke him in the opening game of the final after controversial desicion of the umpire Pascal Maria. Soderling lost his confidence and the match was going to easy win for the Argentinian. Nalbandian was leading 6-2 3:1 (30-15) but Soderling who had been supporting by the local fans leveled up in the 8th game and won the second set at first set point with stunning forehand passing-shot. The Swede was leading 3:2 in the decider but Nalbandian since then won 4 consecutive games to capture 9th title in 17 career finals. Soderling has lost three finals this year, all of them indoors. “It was great,” Nalbandian said. “The conditions are perfect to play indoors. It could be faster or slower. I adapt my game to play here and I really like it.” Nalbandian leads 5-1 against Soderling.
Playing 16th ATP tournament in career, Philipp Petzschner won maiden ATP title with convincing 6-4 6-4 over Gael Monfils. The German has been the 3rd qualifier this year (after Nishikori and Simon) who won an ATP title. Monfils has lost 5 finals in a row, three of them indoors.
Kunitsyn and Petzschner join to the body of 10 first-time title winners in 2008.
Moscow – Final
Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) d. (7)Marat Safin (RUS) 7-6(6) 6-7(4) 6-3
Stockholm – Final
(1)David Nalbandian (ARG) d. (4)Robin Soderling (SWE) 6-2 5-7 6-3
Vienna – Final
(q)Philipp Petzschner (GER) d. (8)Gael Monfils 6-4 6-4
Surprising Win For Igor Kunitsyn At Kremlin Cup