Re: ATP Finals
World No. 7 David Ferrer won his 10th ATP World Tour title on the eve of the Australian Open as he halted David Nalbandian’s hot streak in Auckland with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Argentine in the final of the Heineken Open on Saturday.
Four years ago at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Auckland, the 28-year-old Ferrer won his first ATP World Tour hard-court title with victory over Tommy Robredo.
“It’s very special,” declared Ferrer. “When I won here [in 2007] it was my first hard court title and to win it for a second time four years later is special because it’s more difficult now with the pressure and expectation. I like a lot to play the second week of the season here; I like the tournament a lot, the people support me a lot.
“Of course I am with confidence after winning a tournament; the next tournament I will go in with confidence in my game and my mentality,” added the Spaniard, who faces Jarkko Nieminen in the first round of the Australian Open.
The top seeded Ferrer was strong on serve throughout the week, holding 93 per cent of his service games in the lead up to the final, and he continued that trend against Nalbandian, saving all three break points he faced. In overturning a three-match losing streak against the Argentine, Ferrer broke serve three times from five opportunities and wrapped up victory in 68 minutes.
“I think David did not have a good day,” admitted Ferrer. “He played a little bit badly in the second set. Maybe it was the key in the first set at 3-3 when I went a break up and won the set. He lost concentration. I thought I played very consistently and I did my job.”
Nalbandian added, “He played better than me. I had some chances in the beginning of the first set, but couldn’t take them. Sometimes I missed easy shots and I tried risks that didn’t work.
As champion, Ferrer received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and $72,600. He improved to a 10-10 record in ATP World Tour finals, having added to his two triumphs at Acapulco and Valencia in 2010.
World No. 27 Nalbandian had not dropped a set on an impressive run through to the final, which included the dismissal of second seed Nicolas Almagro in the semi-finals. The 29-year-old Argentine, who was bidding for his 12th ATP World Tour title, will face Lleyton Hewitt in a blockbuster first round at the Australian Open.
“I think it was a very good week,” reflected Nalbandian. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you play good and lose, sometimes you play bad and win. Sport is like that. Today I lost. I will try to play better every day.”