Nalbandian Breezes To Stockholm Open Title

by John on October 13, 2008

As fall settles in on Europe, Argentina’s David Nalbandian is heating up once again. Nalbandian defeated Sweden’s Robin Soderling 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in the Stockholm Open final yesterday, capturing his second title of the year and ninth in his career. The top-seeded Argentine played nearly flawless tennis all week, dropping but one set in five matches. Stockholm marked the beginning of the autumn indoor swing through Europe. Nalbandian won in Buenos Aires in February and lost the championship match in Acapulco the following week, but since then, it’s been a so-so year for the current No. 7 in the world. Last fall, Nalbandian was the hottest player on the tour, winning Masters Series titles in Madrid and Paris. The hot streak included wins over both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in each of the tournaments. Five of Nalbandian’s nine career titles have come in October and November, including the 2005 Masters Cup Championship. “It was great,” Nalbandian said afterward at Stockholm’s Royal Tennis Hall. “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 now heads to Spain to defend his Madrid Masters title this week. “I’m going with confidence, I’ve won my first indoor event of the season, so it’s a great start for me,” Nalbandian said. “I hope to defend my trophy. Madrid has some altitude, maybe 5-600 meters. But I’ll have a few days to get used to it. There’s no extra pressure on me, I’ll just try and play my game 100 percent when I’m on the court.” Nalbandian’s return to form and the play of rising star and fellow countryman Juan Martin Del Potro, winner of four straight tournaments this summer and now No. 9 on the ATP computer, greatly bolster host Argentina’s chances against Spain in the Davis Cup final Nov. 21-23.

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