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Gonzalez Wins China Open Men's Title
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World number seven Fernando Gonzalez was in a class of his own at the China Open final as he rallied past third seed Tommy Robredo 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in the China Tennis Center on Sunday.

The Chilean, who enjoyed his revival of fortunes here in Beijing after the disappointing summer season, earned the convincing victory in one hour and 45 minutes.

Fernando Gonzalez

Gonzalez and Robredo are both battling for two of the remaining five spots in the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. The win has moved Gonzalez four places up to 7th in the ATP Race while Robredo settled for a 11th finish thus far.

"It is one of the best matches in the last few months and I am happy to win the match. The first set is quick and I play well, but in the second set I started to miss my shots. That's the reason why it was close," said Gonzalez.

"The win also give me confidence, and I will come back to defend the title next year. It also gives me confidence to play in the Olympics."

The second seed looked totally in control, raising his game to break the Spaniard in his opening service game to take a 3-0 early lead, while the error-prone Robredo sort of crumbled under the consistency of his opponent's metronomic groundstrokes.

After holding serve in the fourth game, Robredo could not regain his momentum, allowing his opponent to take three straight games.

Tommy Robredo

The Spaniard resumed his composure in the second set and went a break up at 3-1 after taking Gonzalez's serve in the fourth game, but successive unforced errors from him gave Gonzalez a string of break points in the seventh game which the Chilean claimed by drilling a forehand down the line at the end of a long rally.

However, the Australian Open finalist kept missing what is usually his most effective shot, a powerful forehand, in the next service game on the way to surrender at 6-3.

The final set became much tighter at the beginning, with a rampant Gonzalez taking Robredo's second serve after six deuces to storm to a 3-1 lead.

The break seemed to knock Robredo's spirits, losing the next three games running out of gas.

"The fourth game in the final set was the most important game in the match, and since that my opponent started to gain confidence and hit much harder," said Robredo.

"I played not so good at the first set, and I am trying to find the way; the second set was becoming pretty much close," he added.

In the men's doubles, Rik De Voest from South Africa and Ashley Fisher of Australia beat Chris Haggard of South Africa and Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei 6-7(3), 6-0, 10-6.

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2007)

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