Dent Claims Bangkok Title
No. 8 seed Taylor Dent claimed the inaugural Thailand Open title by defeating top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 7-6(5) in the Bangkok final Sunday. It was the 22-year-old American's second title of the year following his victory in Memphis in February and the third in his career.
Dent, who scored wins over Wesley Moodie, Thierry Ascione, Nicolas Thomann and No. 5 seed Jarkko Nieminen en route to the final, now holds a perfect 3-0 record in singles finals.
Ferrero, who holds on to the No. 1 spot in the ATP Entry Rankings thanks to his final effort, was looking for his fourth title this year, following Tennis Masters Monte-Carlo, Valencia and Roland Garros. This was the Spaniard's third final loss in 2003, the others being Sydney and the US Open. His career-record in finals is now 10-10.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Dent: "I was struggling at the start, but I was happy to hang onto my serve. It's just a great feeling to win. I gutted it out today. My serve was working at times but he was also getting on it. I was patchy on volleys, but I ground it out and kept a strong mental head about me, that's what won me the match."
"I went out expecting a tough match whether I won or lost. The score sometimes deceives, it was a lot closer than two sets."
About his serve and volley game: "I like to press off second the second serve and get in there and make them pass me. That's what I'm at the baseline for - to get short balls and come in on them. That's always my strategy. The most improved thing about my game has been my serve accuracy. My mental toughness is also better. In the past I've broken guys enough to win matches, but I haven't held serve. Now I'm serving well enough to hold comfortably most of the time."
Ferrero: "I'm disappointed, I've lost two finals in a short time. But when you lose finals, it at least means you are playing well to get into them. I'm sad now, but tomorrow I'll be better. At least I'll stay No. 1. That was one of my goals in this tournament."
"It was tough for me to come here and defend the No. 1. But I now have a chance to get some points in Vienna as I have none to defend. I'll train indoors next week in Spain and try to play well in Vienna."
"It was tough against Dent, especially when he is serving well. You have to take it to a tiebreaker because it's so tough to break his serve."