Dodig Tops Berrer at Zagreb for First ATP Title

by John on February 7, 2011

Unseeded Croat Ivan Dodig rode a strong serve yesterday to win his first ATP Tour title, defeating German Michael Berrer 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the PZB Zagreb Indoors. Until this past week, Dodig had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals of an ATP Tour level event. All that changed when the No. 84-ranked Dodig shocked No. 2 seed Ivan Ljubicic in the quarterfinals on Friday and then stunned No. 3 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the semifinals on Saturday. “This is the best thing that can happen to a player — to play in front of your own crowd and win your first title,” Dodig said. “I’m really happy and enjoying the moment. It’s been amazing all week; it’s an unbelievable experience.” Berrer, the No. 8 seed, was appearing in his second straight final at Zagreb. Last year he lost the championship match to Marin Cilic. Dodig served 16 aces, along with seven double faults, and won 82 percent of his first service points. He also saved all seven of his break points. “I didn’t have any pressure, I just tried to concentrate on my tennis and play point by point until the last point,” Dodig said. “I think I was serving very well all week, especially on the important points. I’m really happy that my serve was working great in every match.” The 26-year-old Croat started the match fast, breaking Berrer in the second game and clinching the opening set in just 38 minutes. Dodig saved four break points in the fourth game of the second set and then broke through in the seventh. The Croat saved two more break points in the eighth game and another while serving out the match. Dodig served an apparent ace on his second match point and threw his racket into the cheering crowd to celebrate when the chair umpire overruled the call. He sealed the victory with a backhand winner down the line on his third match point after one hour and 38 minutes of play. “It was difficult for me today,” Berrer said. “Whenever I had a break point he came out with some great serving.”

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