THOMAS JOHANSSON WON ST. PETERSBURG OPEN-2005
Today at the closing St. Petersburg Open-2005 final Thomas Johansson of Sweden captured his second St. Petersburg Open title defeating Nicolas Kiefer of Germany who lost to Igor Andreev in the Kremlin Cup final two weeks ago. Well, Russia’s Evgeny Kafelnikov and Sargis Sargisian also played Moscow and St. Petersburg finals in 1996 and 2003 accordingly but failed to win either of them...
The final was preceded by the VIP doubles tournament for top city officials: the St. Petersburg Governour Valentina Matvienko (who played in tandem with Shamil Tarpischev, President of the Russian Tennis Federation) and Vice Governour Sergey Tarasov (assisted by Vyacheslav Fetisov, RF Minister of Sports). The opponents played a tough 3-set match making everything possible to advance. Nevertheless, Valentina Matvienko and Shamil Tarpischev claimed the match winning 6:4, 4:6, 6:4.
In the final match Thomas Johansson of Sweden had a powerful start forcing Kiefer to convert four break points in a row. In the 7th game Johansson skillfully made Kiefer advance to the net and fired down the line. Closing the game Nicolas Kiefer converted five (!) breakpoints, but with the next Johansson’s breakpoint he lost the game. Having two breakpoints on Johansson’s serve in the 10th game Kiefer nevertheless failed to tie, while the Swede dropped two far corner shots winning the 6:4 set.
Thomas Johansson also prevailed in the second leading at 2:0. In the 8th game Kiefer had the only chance to save the match, but he failed to convert the breakpoint at 2:5. Johansson held serve and finally claimed the 6:4, 6:2 match winning $142 thousand prize money and his second St. Petersburg Open title. Earlier only Russia’s Marat Safin managed to capture two St. Petersburg Open titles (in 2000 and 2001).
Later on, the Austrian duet Jurgen Melzer/Julian Knowle won the St. Petersburg Open-2005 doubles final outplaying one of the world’s strongest tandems Max Mirnyi/Jonas Bjorkman in the toughest 3-set match (4:6, 7:5, 7:5).