Scotsman Andy Murray, playing with a MG Radical MP, won the tournament Qatar ExxonMobil of Doha winning against fellow HEAD player Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland. Murray captured his fourth ATP title and first on an outside court. Wawrinka, who plays with a Flexpoint Prestige MP, defeated fellow HEAD player and title defender Ivan Ljubicic, of Croatia, in the semifinals. Ljubicic plays with the MG Extreme Pro.
“It was a really good week,” said Murray. “The first four matches were not easy, but relatively comfortable, and that one [finals] was by far the toughest. Did a lot of running, and the quality of tennis was very high. Stan has improved a lot over the last six months since he came back from his knee injury. I’m happy with the way the match went today.”
At the Chennai Open, fourth-seeded HEAD player Mikhail Youzhny, of Russia, claimed his fourth ATP singles title as he stunned World No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-0, 6-1. Youzhny, who also plays with a MG Extreme Pro, improved his match record against Nadal to 4-6.
“This week I started slowly but then played better and better round after round. It is a great start to 2008,” said Youzhny.
Eighteen-year-old Belarusian HEAD player Victoria Azarenka reached the final round of the Australian Women’s Open at the Gold Coast before falling to China’s Li Na 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Azarenka, who plays with the MG Extreme Pro, led by a set and a break, but could not hold off Na, who won seven of the next eight games to win the second set, then went up a break 3-1 in the third before securing the victory. It was the second career title for Na after Guangzhou in 2004.
“She played great, especially in the second and third sets,” said Azarenka. “This tournament has been great preparation for me for the Australian Open. Though I lost today, I gained a lot of confidence this week and I think I learned a lot.”
In addition, HEAD player Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, who plays with a MG Radical MP, advanced to the semifinal round.
At the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, 17-year old HEAD player Tamira Paszek, of Austria, had a successful start into the season. She advanced to the semifinal round, winning against No. 2 seed Maria Kirilenko along the way. She was eventually defeated by tournament winner and former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the 6-4, 6-3. Paszek plays with a MG Radical Pro.