Czech veteran Rosol coolly wins Irving singles title

Posted Sunday, Mar. 16, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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In his third trip to the Irving Tennis Classic, No. 3 seed Lukas Rosol finally got it right.

The No. 47-ranked Czech overcame cold, windy conditions and playing the better part of two matches in one day Sunday to win the $125,000 ATP Challenger at the Four Seasons Resort and Club.

Rosol cruised through the final, defeating up-and-coming American Steve Johnson 6-0, 6-3. That victory came two hours after Rosol rallied from a set down to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 in a semifinal match that had been suspended Saturday by rain tied 4-4 in the first set.

“It was a fantastic week for me,” said Rosol, who is in the main draw of this week’s Sony Open in Miami. “The last two years I came here [to Irving] and lost in the first two rounds, but always in tough matches. So now, I think I am good for Miami.”

After a slow start in the morning when he lost his serve, then lost the first set to Stakhovsky, Rosol took charge early in the final against Johnson. Rosol won 24 of 30 points in the first set, including 12 of 13 points on his serve, despite winds gusting over 25 mph that created a wind chill in the low 30s.

“I just tried to play my game, concentrate and not rush,” Rosol said. “I just tried to be relaxed and everything was working.”

Johnson, who was coming off a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Tobias Kamke of Germany in the semifinals, found his footing against Rosol early in the second set, but the 6-foot-5, 28-year-old Rosol kept the pressure on the 24-year-old two-time NCAA champion.

Rosol broke Johnson to go up 5-3 in the second set, before serving out the match for his first tournament title since winning last year’s ATP Tour 250 clay-court tournament in Bucharest, Romania.

“I think I’m getting old, a little bit, but more experienced, so I know how to play,” said Rosol, who lost to No. 6 Andy Murray in three sets in the second round two weeks ago at Indian Wells. “I know Steve is a very good player. He has a very good serve and forehand, but today, I just tried to play more consistent and it was the key to win the tournament and this match.”

American Scott Lipsky and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico won their second doubles title in the past three years in Irving with a 4-6, 7-6 (7), 10-7 victory over John-Patrick Smith of Australia and Michael Venus of New Zealand.

Lipsky and Gonzalez won the first doubles title in Irving in 2012, at the event formerly known as the Dallas Tennis Classic.

“It feels good to win any tournament,” Lipsky said. “But this is a very tough field in between Indian Wells and Miami, so you have a lot of good players, a lot of good teams. We had a lot of close matches and we were lucky to get through a couple of 10-point tiebreakers, so it’s good to get the title.”

Rusty Hall, 817-390-7816 Twitter: @RustyHall10s

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