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MOYA MOVES INTO ATP CHAMPIONS FINAL AGAIN
[column size=”00-1″ last=”1″ style=”1″]Tonight’s Wilander-McEnroe Match To Determine Matchup By Steve Dorsey
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Carlos Moya took another step forward in his quest to capture a second consecutive ATP Champions Tour title at the Delray Beach ITC when he earned a berth in the finals with a straight-set victory Saturday afternoon over Mark Philippoussis.
Moya’s 6-4, 6-4 win was his second in round-robin play of the six-player, three-day tournament. He defeated Aaron Krickstein by that identical score Friday night, giving the native Spaniard a 2-0 record in Group B and a berth in Sunday’s championship match.
Moya has finished each of the past two years ranked No. 1 on the ATP Champions Tour after retiring from the ATP Tour in 2010 because of a lingering foot injury. He won all four of his matches in Delray Beach last year – there were eight players – and has not lost a set in the six matches he’s played here.
“I love this tournament. The atmosphere is great, so I look forward to playing tomorrow,” said Moya, who defeated his boyhood idol Ivan Lendl in last year’s Delray Beach final, also by the score of 6-4, 6-4.
Temperatures hovered in the low 80s Saturday afternoon and windy conditions also made the early matches a challenge at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center.
“The conditions made it a little tough, but I’m very happy to be in the final again here,” Moya said. “It was another great match with Mark. We always play good together and today was really good fun.”
Moya’s opponent in Sunday’s final – scheduled to begin at approximately 3 p.m. – will be determined tonight when John McEnroe and Mats Wilander square off in the nightcap match to determine the Group A winner. Wilander defeated Pat Cash 6-3, 6-3 in the other afternoon match Saturday. Philippoussis and Aaron Krickstein will kick off Saturday’s evening session when they meet to determine the Group B runner-up.
The first-round qualifying matches to determine the four open spots in the ITC main draw began Saturday with 16 matches on the outer courts. The top three seeds – No. 1 Ricardas Berankis, No. 2 Tim Smyczek and No. 3 Ernests Gulbis – each advanced with straight-set wins, but No. 4 Ruben Bemelmans was ousted when he retired after Daniel Munoz-De La Nava won the first set 6-0.