World No. 5 David Ferrer claimed his 13th career title with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over fellow Spaniard and last year’s winner Nicolas Almagro in the Buenos Aires Open final on Sunday.
Top seed Ferrer, runner-up to compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2010, recovered from dropping his only set of the tournament to improve his head-to-head record against world No. 11 Almagro to 9-0.
“I’m really happy, this was an account I had pending. This title is something very important to me,” Ferrer said in a courtside interview.
“I’ll be back, for sure,” Ferrer told fans at the claycourt tournament at the Buenos Aires Lawn tennis Club, confirming he would return to defend the title next year.
Almagro, looking to repeat his back-to-back wins in Brazil and Argentina last year having retained his Brazil Open title in Sao Paulo last week, made the better start and broke Ferrer in the third game.
Serving for the set, the second seed found himself 40-15 down, but worked his way back and took the game with his first set point, slamming down one of his 36 aces in the tournament.
Ferrer, who had the easier passage through the semi-finals after beating local favorite David Nalbandian 6-1 6-4 on Saturday, gradually wrested control from Almagro after earning a break in the fourth game of the second set.
He broke again in the third and fifth games of the deciding set and won on his second match point when Almagro went wide with a backhand down the line.
The 29-year-old Ferrer said his experience had helped him through.
“With Nico they are always very physical matches. With the passing of the years one doesn’t have that anxiety of youth,” he said.
World No. 11 Almagro, who has 11 titles all on clay, said Ferrer deserved his victory as the better player on the day.
“I played pretty well. Against another rival I might have won,” the 26-year-old told a news conference. “At no time did I lose my confidence in my tennis. This shows how well David is playing.”
“I’m perfect physically. I work hard to be in good shape after difficult matches like yesterday’s,” said Almagro, who needed three sets to overcome Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the last four.
“[Ferrer] went up a gear and I couldn’t counter that,” Almagro said.