Spaniards set to reign again

THE BOURNEMOUTH clay-court singles title will remain in Spain - Barcelona to be precise, in the home of either Felix Mantilla or Alberto Costa. The two previous winners of the Samsung Open meet in today's final at the West Hants Club.

Mantilla, who defeated his compatriot Carlos Moya in last year's final, eliminated Germany's Marc-Kevin Goellner in the semi-finals yesterday, 6-4, 6-2. Goellner, who has lived in London for five years, is the only non-Spaniard to play in the Samsung final. He lost to Costa in 1996.

Costa, the No 2 seed, defeated Vincenzo Santopadre, 7-6, 6-0, in the Italian's first appearance in an ATP Tour semi-final. The result releases Santopadre for alternative Sunday duties.

Mantilla, the No 3 seed, has lost his four previous matches against Costa, the first three on clay and the latest on a concrete court in Indian Wells, California, in March. "He has played better than me," Mantilla shrugged, finding it unnecessary to add that Costa has one of the finest backhands in the sport.

Santopadre stayed in contention with Costa until the first set tie-break, which the Spaniard took, 7-3. After that, there was no stopping his advance to the final.

Mantilla broke Goellner in the third game of each set. The Spaniard ended a spirited rally with a winning forehand down the line to unsettle his opponent in the opening set, and capitalised on Goellner's loss of concentration after a foot-fault at 1-1 in the second set.

Having largely coped well with Goellner's serve, Mantilla let fly with five consecutive aces, the fourth on a second serve to hold for 3-1 in the second set. "Serving like that was unbelievable for me," he said.

Mantilla's most difficult match was a three-set win against Austria's Stefan Koubek in the quarter-finals on Friday. The Spaniard received a code violation for coaching during the second set. "It was a mistake by the umpire," Mantilla said. "My coach [Jordi Vilaro] shouted 'vinga!', which is Catalan for 'come on!' and I just said I couldn't see the ball because the sun was in my eyes."

He will have to keep his eye on the ball today if he is to retain the title and collect the $54,000 (pounds 35,000) first prize.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy