HEAD racquet rebel Sergiy Stakhovsky took a giant step into the US Open after New Haven trophy success, with the Ukranian wielding his YouTek Prestige MP to earn his second title of the season as he won the Pilot Pen event in Connecticut.
Victory came in a fight back as Stakhovsky beat Denis Istomin, of Uzbekistan 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. It marked his fourth career title from as many finals including a pre-Wimbledon grass trophy in June in the Netherlands. The No. 47 is due for a rise into the Top 40 in time for the final Grand Slam of the season in New York. He is set to surpass his career best level of 46th in the world.
Stakhovsky is unsure of just how he has achieved his consistent run of form. His first two trophies came indoors, at Zagreb in 2008 and last autumn in
“I have no idea why I have a perfect record in finals," said the HEAD player, aged 24 from Kiev who lives in the Slovak city of Bratislava. "I'm really happy to be able to be the winner of this match today." In the semi-final he had to beat fellow HEAD racquet rebel Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 for his place in the final. The Dutch – playing the YouTek Prestige Pro and ranked 48th just one place behind Stankhovsky – appeared in his second ATP World Tour semi-final.
Stakhovsky who called his week "really exhausting," credits his serve with seeing him through to the title at New Haven, a short drive away from Flushing Meadows where the Open is staged. "There were really a lot of good rallies. It definitely wasn't our best tennis from both of us. But we were trying as hard as we could. Definitely we were fighting for everything."
"I had a lot of three-set matches, a lot of time on court. But now I must get myself together for the US Open. I'm really glad to win this title. It pushed me to another level again. But I just need to think forward again and get ready.” The winner improved his record this season to 19 wins and 17 defeats.