TENNIS Johansson triumphs in his first ATP final
The 21-year-old Swede was impressive in beating Nicolas Kiefer.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Joachim Johansson is being compared by some to former Swedes Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg after winning his first ATP title in his first final.
The 21-year-old Swede thinks there's someone else who makes a better comparison -- a hard-hitting Australian.
"I would identify myself with [Mark] Philippoussis at the moment," Johansson said of the Wimbledon runner-up.
It's an apt comparison considering how Johansson harnessed a serve that hit 141 mph while not being broken once in winning the Kroger St. Jude tournament. He faced only one break point and converted 89 percent of his first serves in beating Nicolas Kiefer 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Sunday in the final.
He had played only 25 ATP matches in his career since 2000, and that includes his previous four matches this week. His previous best performance was reaching the quarterfinals at Stockholm last year, when he lost to Davide Sanguinetti.
But Johansson has been working with coach Mikal Stripple since the end of last year on his fitness level, and strengthening his abdomen to better help his serve. He began seeing results last week at the Siebel Open in San Jose, and it carried into Memphis.
Johansson hasn't been broken in 63 straight games, counting 55 in Memphis. Andy Roddick was the last person to break Johansson's serve in his second service game of a fourth-round match in San Jose.
The Swede routinely hit 137 mph on his serves, and even 130 on a second serve. He matched that with almost equally strong forehand winners.
"I've done it in Futures and Challengers, but nothing at this kind of level, and I'm very pleased with the way I've been serving especially this week. I've been playing pretty well from the baseline," Johansson said.
The 26-year-old Kiefer had experience on his side, trying to win his seventh title and first since Hong Kong. He had lost six straight matches dating to October when he arrived in Memphis, including a three-set loss to Johansson in San Jose.
He played almost as well Johansson with his serve but had six double faults, all at the most inopportune times.
Clijsters, Hewitt win on same day
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- While Kim Clijsters was accepting the trophy for another tournament win, her fianc & eacute; Lleyton Hewitt was on his way to a victory of his own.
Only one hour after Clijsters won the Diamond Games tournament in Antwerp, Hewitt added the ABN Amro title in nearby Rotterdam, Netherlands. By nightfall, the top couple in tennis was celebrating together in Clijsters' hometown of Bree.
Last year, before their official engagement, they already had won the Indian Wells titles on the same day.
On Sunday, Clijsters flashed her diamond engagement ring, which went perfectly with the Antwerp trophy racket that has 1,702 diamonds encrusted in gold.
Unlike Hewitt, Clijsters had an easy match. She beat Italian veteran Silvia Farina Elia 6-3, 6-0 in the final for her second title in as many weeks.
Hewitt was seeded only sixth in Rotterdam, but made it seem like a mistake with a spirited performance, beating No. 2 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-7 (1), 7-5, 6-4.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Top-seeded Guillermo Coria defeated defending champion Carlos Moya 6-4, 6-1. It was a rematch of the 2003 final but Coria won the clay-court event this time. Moya had a 14-match winning streak here snapped.