IF STOCKHOLM OPEN 2013
Ferrer Ousts Gulbis, Faces Dimitrov In Final
by ATP Staff|
David Ferrer is looking to hit top form for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, advancing to the final of the If Stockholm Open with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Ernests Gulbis, on Saturday. Having already qualified for the season finale, the Spaniard is hoping to pull away from Juan Martin del Potro for the No. 3 seed in London with a title this week.
The top seed in Stockholm, Ferrer stormed back after dropping the first set to Gulbis, breaking for an early 4-1 lead in the second set and eventually reeling off a stretch of seven consecutive games before closing it out.
“I played my best match this week,” Ferrer said. “It was a very tough match. I needed my game to be solid and not make many mistakes…I ran and fought a lot. In the important moments I played better.”
Ferrer advanced to his seventh final on the ATP World Tour in 2013 and 40th of his career. He claimed the titles in Auckland and Buenos Aires to open the year and will be eyeing his first crown since hoisting the trophy in the Argentine capital in February.
Ferrer is just the second Spaniard to reach the Stockholm final in the Open Era, following in the footsteps of Manuel Orantes in 1976, and is looking to become the first to claim victory.
The 31 year old will face Grigor Dimitrov in the final and recognises that it will be a battle for the trophy regardless. His key to victory? “I have to play like I did today.”
Ferrer leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head 3-0 over Dimitrov, with their most recent meeting coming on the clay of Bastad last year. The Bulgarian will contest his second ATP World Tour final after coming back to defeat Benoit Paire 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the semi-finals, on Saturday. "I'm happy I stayed really focused throughout the match and even though it went three sets I was still believing in my game," he said.
Dimitrov is confident ahead of his clash with Ferrer. "Hopefully I can recover and I'm going to be out there (fighting) for a win."
Dream Run Continues For Bjorkman
Jonas Bjorkman continued his impressive comeback as he and Robert Lindstedt reached the final with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over fourth seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky. The Swedish duo broke serve three times and won 73 per cent of their service points to prevail in 65 minutes over Gonzalez and Lipsky, who are in contention to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The 41-year-old Bjorkman is playing his first tournament in five years, since finishing his career at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai alongside Kevin Ullyett. He is bidding to win the Stockholm title for the fourth time, having triumphed in 2003 (w/ Woodbridge), 2007 (w/ Mirnyi) and 2008 (w/ Ullyett). He first reached the Stockholm final 19 years ago in 1994 with Jan Apell.
In the final, Bjorkman and Lindstedt will face top seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer, who are looking to boost their chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals by winning their second title of the season.
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