• Ball clips Mayer to reach maiden final in Los Angeles

    8/2/09 3:36 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Ball clips Mayer to reach maiden final in Los Angeles Qualifier Carsten Ball advanced to his first career ATP World Tour final Saturday afternoon. The 22-year-old Australian defeated Leonardo Mayer in straight sets.

    Australian qualifier Carsten Ball makes his first-ever appearance in an ATP World Tour final, following his straight-sets dismissal of Argentine Leonardo Mayer on Saturday. Ball had not won a Tour-level match heading into Saturday’s semi. The 22-year-old knocked out Mayer 7-5, 7-6 in an hour and 32 minutes of play. With the semifinal victory, Ball holds a 4-0 record on the season.

    Ball earned his first set point at 6-5 on the opening set, but failed to convert. The Australian collected a second and struck a miss-hit return, drawing a forehand error from Mayer. Ball closed the 7-5 set without facing a break point, winning 80% of his first-service points.

    Ball fought off three break points in the first game of the second set. Mayer fell behind a break at 1-3, choosing not to play a backhand return from the Australian that fell inside the baseline. Ball could not consolidate, dropping serve immediately after hitting a double-fault on break point. The Australian regrouped in the second-set tie-break, building a 5-2 lead on two ground stroke errors from the Argentine. Ball went on to crush his 10th ace of the day, earning a trio of match points at 6-3. Mayer struck a forehand error on match point, sending the Australian into his first career final.

    Ball becomes the first qualifier to advance to the LA Tennis Open championship match. The 22-year-old awaits the Haas-Querrey semifinal clash to be contested late Saturday evening.

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