Thomas Enqvist of Sweden says his RCA Championships victory is proof his hardcourt game is coming together, just in time for the U.S. Open.
Enqvist won the RCA Championships on Sunday, posting a convincing 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bernd Karbacher of Germany. The victory pushed his summer hardcourt record to 18-4."I think I have been serving well," the 21-year-old Swede said. "That is important on hardcourt - and I have been moving well. That is key for me, because if I am comfortable I usually hit it pretty good."
Enqvist, with four championships this year, is assured of the No. 9 ranking when the next ATP weekly rankings are announced Monday.
He opened the tourney at No. 13, after ending the 1994 season at No. 60.
Karbacher, seeded 12th and ranked 27th in the world, fought his way into his first-ever hardcourt final with victories over second-ranked Pete Sampras and No. 17 Todd Martin.
But he was clearly overmatched by the hard-hitting Swede at the Indianapolis Tennis Center.
"I think I played well," said Enqvist, who won 24 of his 28 first-service points. "I moved well on the court, and I made some big returns."
With a 50-15 season mark, Enqvist is only one of four players with over 50 wins. He said he is ready for the year's last Grand Slam tournament.
Enqvist said he has also been boosted by winning some close matches.
"You get a lot of confidence," he said, "and it is easier to win the next close match."
Karbacher, who had lost his only previous match with Enqvist two years ago, said the long week in hot, humid Indianapolis took a toll.
"I played one more match than Thomas, and I think there was not enough petrol in the tank," Karbacher said.
The German player said he and Enqvist play similar hard-hitting, baseline styles.
"You try to dictate the points," Karbacher said, "and the guy who is standing on the baseline and hitting the ball harder than the other, this guy is usually winning the points."
Karbacher, showing some nervousness, said that strategy led him to take too many risks.
Enqvist received $150,000 for winning the tournament. Karbacher's prize was $80,000.