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Snakes n’ Ladders: Youzhny doubles up

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Originally published on: 06/02/12 10:18

It’s Monday morning and we’re all thinking about the ladder changes over the weekend, right? Well, perhaps not all of us.

“I don’t want to think about my ranking,” declared Mikhail Youzhny on Sunday, a time when many of his compatriots might have been sneaking a peak at the ATP ladder in an attempt to work out how many places they would rise, or fall, come the next morning.

For Youzhny, it doesn’t matter. The seven spots he jumped to nestle in at No.32 doesn’t warrant too much thought for the former world No.8, who picked up his eighth career title on the weekend.

“If I keep playing well, my ranking will come,” said the new PBZ Zagreb indoors titlist after winning his first event in 16 months. He made the most of his chance to break that duck, following his 6-2 6-3 triumph over Lukas Lacko by teaming up with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis to win the doubles crown.

Vanquished opponent Lacko will pay more attention to the ladder mind, having leapt 32 spots to No.65. The Slovakian, who shocked Ivan Ljubicic and Donald Young to reach the third round of the Australian Open, is closing in on his career-best ranking of No.60 after reaching his first ATP final.

Over to the west, Tomas Berdych, who ended a similar title drought to Youzhny during the Asian swing last year with victory at the China Open, won his seventh career title in Montpellier.

The Czech fought hard to defeat home favourite Gael Monfils 6-2 4-6 6-3 in a two-hour-five-minute final.

“I expected a tough final,” said Berdych. “I felt he was the best player on the other side of the draw.

“I was surprised to come to an indoor tournament with such a high level,” he added. “It’s great to have a title from here.”

Juan Monaco was perhaps more surprised to take home a title, given that it was his first in five years.

The Argentine took home the honours at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar after he defeated compatriot Carlos Berlocq, who jumped 11 places to No.44 after reaching his first ATP final, to end a run of seven defeats in as many tour finals. 

The 27-year-old had twice been a runner-up at the VTR Open during that time.

“Third time is lucky they say, so this time its true,” said Monaco. “I’m very happy to be a champion again. I lost the last seven finals, so this is a very special moment for me.

“I’m very happy because I fought a lot, I practiced a lot and I was thinking a lot about winning a tournament again.”

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