Bucharest final preview and pick: Rosol vs. Garcia-Lopez

Lukas Rosol and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez are no strangers to big wins, but neither is a mainstay of ATP title matches. Rosol will be playing in his first career final when they square off on Sunday in Bucharest.

Lukas Rosol and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they collide in the final of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps their only link is Rafael Nadal. Rosol, of course, stunned the former world No. 1 in the second round of Wimbledon in 2012. Garcia-Lopez saved 24 of 26 break points before upsetting Nadal 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 in the 2010 Bangkok semifinals on his way to the title.

Rosol is playing the best tennis of his career–or at least since the fifth set against Nadal. The world No. 48 will blow past his career-high ranking of 46th when the next week’s list is released. Rosol has improved his 2013 record to a stellar 12-8 thanks to victories in Bucharest over Gilles Muller, Andreas Seppi, Viktor Troicki, and Gilles Simon. He was especially impressive in quarterfinal and semifinal routs of Troicki and Simon.

“I hope to win my first final,” Rosol said after beating the second-seeded Frenchman. “I have a good record at Challengers, where I only lost one of my six finals. So I hope that I can continue this good run.”

Whereas Rosol had been decent but unspectacular since last summer, Garcia-Lopez is coming out of nowhere this month. The 87th-ranked Spaniard lost five matches in a row from late January through February before not playing again until April. Suddenly, though, he reached the Casablanca quarters and finished runner-up at a Challenger event in Rome. Garcia-Lopez has been a marathon man this week, winning all four of his matches in three sets–over Horacio Zeballos, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Janko Tipsarevic, and Florian Mayer.

His experience with close encounters should help Garcia-Lopez heading into what will like be another competitive affair. His 2-1 lifetime record in ATP finals also bodes well. Rosol, on the other hand, is playing in his first-ever ATP final. Still, the Czech appears to be catching fire and when he does, he is tough to stop.

Pick: Rosol in 3

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