Former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, playing only his third tournament of the year, demolished fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar to win the Stuttgart Open on Sunday.
Ferrero, who has dropped from 28th to 85th in the ATP rankings in a year plagued by knee and wrist injuries, won the rain-delayed final between the two non-seeds 6-4, 6-0.
It was the 16th ATP title of his career, although the 31-year-old won 11 of those between 1999 and 2003.
“When I got here, I never thought that one week later I would leave Stuttgart as the winner,” he told reporters. “The past few months have been extremely hard for me because of injuries, which has made this all the more satisfying.”
Ferrero, 31, was world No. 1 for eight weeks in 2003, the year he won the French Open. His career has never since reached those heights, although he put together a 14-match unbeaten run last year, winning successive tournaments in Buenos Aires and Costa da Sauipe.
Andujar, 25, was attempting to win the third title of his career.
There were three service breaks in the first six games, with Ferrero taking a 2-0 and 4-2 lead.
Andujar saved two set points at 3-5, before Ferrero clinched the set with an ace. Ferrero broke again in the first game of the second set and never looked back as Andujar lost his nerve, winning only 15 points and serving four double faults.
AFP, BASTAD, SWEDEN
Sweden’s Robin Soderling easily won the ATP Swedish Open on Sunday by beating Spain’s David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2.
After rain delayed the start of the match by two hours, Soderling needed just 67 minutes to dispatch his opponent as he carried over the form he showed in crushing Czech Tomas Berdych in Saturday’s semi-final.
The win is Soderling’s fourth tournament triumph of the year following victories in Brisbane, Rotterdam and Marseille.
It is also his second Swedish Open crown, having also won in 2009, and the 10th ATP title of his career.
“It went well today. It’s absolutely fantastic to be here. I’m already looking forward to next year,” the smiling world No. 5 said as he collected his prize.
Ferrer congratulated Soderling, admitting that he “didn’t have a chance.”
“I’ll come back next year and try to win then. Robin has played incredibly well this week. It was a well-deserved victory,” the TT news agency quoted him as saying.
Top seed Soderling crushed Ferrer to take the first set in only 30 minutes and while the -Spaniard, seeded two, showed some signs of life in the second set, this was a comfortable win for the home favorite.
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’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
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