Whew, pretty intense final today. Good match, disappointing result. I mean, Philipp Kohlschreiber, really? He’s not in the same league as recent winners like Fernando Gonzalez, David Ferrer, or even Jarkko Nieminen and Dominik Hrbaty. But I’ll get over it. Congratulations Philipp. Have a good season, make a name for yourself, and come back next time. And bring Juan Carlos.
Philipp with two Ps was tough to beat at this tournament. He didn't play amazing tennis, but he made it very difficult for his opponents to break his serve. If you can keep holding serve you're not going to lose matches. Not that Kohlschreiber has a particularly huge serve, he just works very hard during his service games to win all the points. That’s what every tennis player sets out to do I guess, but PK was good at it this week.
The German played well today in his 76(4) 75 victory, but so did Juan Carlos Ferrero. In fact I would say Kohlschreiber was hitting errors more often than JC, but they tended to come at the beginning of games rather than the end, so it didn’t matter. The two men served well (PK started off a bit shaky but raised his first serve percentage when Ferrero began to make him work), and the free points they got from their big serves helped both of them get out of some close situations. After two service breaks at the beginning of the match there were no more until PK finally got one over Juan Carlos at 55 in the second. One more hold (with one tiny break point for Ferrero at 30-40 mind you) and it was all over Rover. Juan Carlos must be disappointed. It’s not as if he had a lot of missed chances to regret, it was a very close match, but if he had hit a few more winners in that tiebreak it could have been a lot different. But if Marin Cilic had finished Kohlschreiber off after being a break up in the third set of their second round match the whole tournament would have been a lot different. You can’t dwell on would have beens in tennis.
It was good to see Juan Monaco and Luis Horna win the doubles title today. They defeated fellow unseeded pair Jurgen Melzer and Xavier Malisse 64 36 10-7 in a close final. Monaco has had a great week in Auckland, reaching the semifinals in singles (improving on his quarterfinal result last year) and now winning his first doubles championship. Plus he has a famous girlfriend who came to watch all his matches. Famous enough to have a Wikipedia page anyway, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luisana_Lopilato, check it out. Horna must have been very pleased too, as he rolled his ankle quite badly in his final round of qualifying match on Monday and had to retire. That’s why they’re getting rid of Rebound Ace. But the Peruvian number one looked good in the doubles these past few days so he evidently recovered. The fact that he and Monaco didn’t start playing until Thursday probably helped.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a Heineken Open wrap up post, and then my time as a tennis blogger will have come to an end. Can’t believe I haven’t put up a picture of Juan Monaco in his tight shirt yet, we’ll rectify that tomorrow. For now, here’s your 2008 Heineken Open champion, Philipp Kohlschreiber. Neat trophy.