Bjorkman Delights Home Crowd In Stockholm
by ATP Staff|
The championship match at Kings of Tennis by Index Residence has been set after local favourite Jonas Bjorkman and top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero prevailed in semi-final matches on Thursday in Stockholm.
In a battle of big serves and sound volleys, Bjorkman edged past Mark Philippoussis 7-6, 7-5. Little separated the two players throughout the match, but the Swede found another gear in the latter stages of each set.
“This was definitely above expectations! I’m happy to be back playing on home soil after many years absent. It was super fun to play, and quite frankly, a bit surprising I was able to pull through and win,” said Bjorkman. “We got to show our strengths, the best we have left of our weapons from when we played on the tour.”
Awaiting Bjorkman is the final is Ferrero after the Spaniard convincingly moved past reigning Champions Tennis winner Fabrice Santoro 6-3, 6-1. Ferrero, who won his first Champions Tour event last October at Titans Challenge in Mexico City, had all the answers for Santoro’s off-speed game and remained in control of the baseline rallies.
Ferrero won all three of his ATP World Tour matches against Bjorkman, with their most recent clash coming in Cincinnati in August 2006.
“It’s always special to play against Fabrice and see what amazing shots he can hit,” said Ferrero. “I’m feeling good and ready to play in the final against Jonas tomorrow.”
Friday’s schedule of play will see Philippoussis face Santoro in a third-place playoff, followed by Ferrero against Bjorkman in the final.