Unseeded Gilles Muller Luxembourg sent Japanese player, Go Soeda home after defeating him in two sets, 6-4; 6-3 during the afternoon session of the BBT Atlanta Open held in Atlanta, Ga.
Muller’s service games were smokin’ hot, winning 100% of the points when he landed his first serves in. “I know if I put high percentage first serve(s) in, I‘m getting a lot of free points,” said Muller, who admitted his service game, was off earlier in the week.
Tomorrow, Muller will face the winner of the Roddick / Isner match and has no preference in potential opponents. His game plan will be the same for either player. “I’m just happy to be in the final no matter.”
Preparations for this year’s BBT Atlanta Open were no different from previous years. Muller attributes lady luck as a small factor in making it to the finals. “I didn’t have to play someone like John,” he said in a post match interview. Isner sent Muller home two years in a row. Also, this year, Muller’s second round opponent, Mardy Fish retired due to illness.
Muller is enjoying himself on court these days. He’s been ‘full-circle’ during his tennis career. In the beginning, his focus wasn’t quite on. “I thought some other things were more important than tennis. I didn’t practice that hard.”
In the ‘middle’ he worked hard to get back into the ATP top 100 but fell victim to knee issues forcing him to take a seven month hiatus. “Now, I’m trying to enjoy everything. I know any second anything can stop everything.”
Reflecting back on his seven month layoff, Muller says it was probably one of the best things that ever happened to him, making him realize how much he loved tennis. “You realize how much you love it and how much you want it. It may be stupid to say but maybe the injury was one of the best things that happened to me.”
Soeda had no idea what to do with Muller’s on-fire service games. “ I didn’t know which side of the court he was coming on service,” said Soeda. “(It was) just really tough to hit a return.”
Furthermore, Soeda felt like he was playing on a half tank of gas. “Today my body is really tired from yesterday. I think the heat is the reason. I felt like my body was heavy, and in the second set I felt like (getting sick to the stomach). But still I tried to fight.”
Saturday afternoon doubles action, had Ryan Harrison / Matthew Ebden knocked off the one-seed team, Colin Fleming / Ross Hutchins, 6-4; 6-4.