HEAD pros Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Victoria Azarenka kicked off the new year in strong fashion at various tournaments around the world by winning three titles in the first tournament week of 2009.
HEAD player Andy Murray captured his first ATP title of 2009 at the Qatar Open in Doha. Murray, who plays with a MicroGel Radical MP, posted a dominating performance against Andy Roddick winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.
“It’s great to be able to start the season with a win and carry some of the momentum I built in 2008 into the new season,” said Murray. “I made some good shots on the court that put me in great position to defend my title.”
Along his way to the final, Murray defeated World No. 2 Roger Federer 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-2. Throughout the tournament, the Scottish tennis star only dropped one set. The victory at Doha marked Murray’s 9th ATP title making him one of the favorites to win the upcoming Australian Open.
At the Chennai Open, HEAD young gun Marin Cilic secured his second career title – and first of 2009 – winning a hard-fought match in straight sets against Sander Devvarman 6-4, 7-6(3).
“I’m thrilled to have pulled this one out and secure my second career ATP title,” said Cilic. “It was a tough match that could have gone either way, so it feels great to pull out the win.”
With his recent victory, the 20-year-old Cilic reached a career-high World ranking at No. 20. Fellow HEAD player Rainer Schuettler reached the semifinals at the Chennai Open but had to withdraw with an injury to his left wrist.
HEAD player Richard Gasquet, who plays with a MicroGel Extreme Pro, put together a strong performance at the Brisbane International defeating second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semifinals. Gasquet eventually lost to tournament winner Radek Stepanek 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
In the doubles competition, HEAD player Marc Gicquel captured the title with partner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after defeating their competition in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
At the Brisbane International, 19-year-old standout and HEAD player Victoria Azarenka captured her first title on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour after a dominating performance against her opponent. In the final, Azarenka, who plays with a MicroGel Extreme Pro, defeated Marion Bartoli in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
No. fifth-seeded fellow HEAD player Amelie Mauresmo reached the semifinals after upsetting No. 1 seed Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2. An injury forced Mauresmo to withdraw against Bartoli in the semifinals.