Bellucci Defeats Top Seed Tipsarevic in Gstaad final, Wins His 3rd Career Title

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Thomaz Bellucci capped off an impressive week at Gstaad by defeating 1st seed and title favorite, Janko Tipsarevic, 6-7(6) 6-4 6-2.  Bellucci defeated 4th seed Youzhny, 5th seed Lopez and 1st seed Tipsarevic en route to his third career title (thus repeating a similar pattern of upsets at last year’s Gstaad tournament, when 2011 champion Marcel Granollers defeated the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seeds en route to his title win).

The final proved to be an entertaining match — although the wind intermittently frustrated both players, Bellucci continued his aggressive game plan against Tipsarevic, who played a touch more passively than usual.  Bellucci played patiently and once again, showed his willingness to charge the net to finish points with an impressive forehand.  At 4*-5 on Bellucci’s serve, each player won a point off a cross-court backhand to go 30-all.  After a smooth backhand dropshot that glided over the net, Bellucci held his serve.  After a Tipsarevic hold, the first set TB proved to be a spectacle worthy of itself.

Tipsarevic, who seemed to be at the mercy of Bellucci’s shotmaking decisions for the better part of the first set, continued to play like an observer to Bellucci’s offense-based game.  Bellucci went up 5*-1 in the TB, and then served an ace to earn 5 SPs.

What followed afterwards was a reminder of the threat that nerves pose to a player in a winning position.  Bellucci’s backhand began to let him down, until Tipsarevic leveled the TB at 6-6 and earned SP on Bellucci’s serve.  That’s when Bellucci served a crazily wayward double-fault to lose the first set.

Given the inconsistency which has characterized Bellucci’s game, along with his past tendency to buckle under pressure, many observers may have guessed that no. 8-ranked Tipsarevic would capitalize on his momentum to take the title.

After a week of impressive matches, however, Bellucci seemed more determined in this final, which showed in the glances he exchanged with his coach in between points.  He stayed level with Tipsarevic, and pounced on the first of three SPs he earned at 5-4* on Tipsarevic’s serve.

At the end of the second set, Tipsarevic was clearly bothered by the windy conditions, which had also visibly bothered Bellucci earlier in the match.  Perhaps this brief loss of focus cost the top seed, as Tipsarevic went 0-40 in his opening service game in the decider — Bellucci broke to go up in the 3rd set.  Save the hiccup in the first set TB, Bellucci was playing well off both wings.  Tipsarevic struggled to hold at 1*-4.  At this point, Tipsarevic’s serve was perhaps the only shot he had to rescue himself from trouble.

When Tipsarevic served to stay in the match at 2*-5, Bellucci showed a renewed commitment to play aggressively.  He hit an impressive BHDTL to go 30-all on Tipsarevic’s serve and then he earned his first championship point at 30-40.  After Tipsarevic saved it, Bellucci let go of a second championship point.  At deuce, Tipsarevic double-faulted — Bellucci could be seen cheering his 3rd championship point, which he dutifully took.  Bellucci is now a two-time winner at Gstaad, having won his first career title at Gstaad in 2009.  He will re-enter the top top 40 in the ATP rankings on Monday.

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