VALENCIA OPEN 500
Youzhny Snatches Valencia Crown From Ferrer
by ATP Staff|
It was Youzhny's 10th career title and first victory over a Top 5 opponent since 2010, when he upset Novak Djokovic in the Rotterdam semi-finals. He also prevailed on the clay of Gstaad in July.
The Russian has won multiple titles in one year for the first time since 2010, when he hoisted the trophies in Munich and Kuala Lumpur. He also added to the impressive title count of players over 30, in 2013, becoming the fourth such player to win multiple titles this year, joining Ferrer, Tommy Haas and Nicolas Mahut. In total, 16 players over the age of 30 have won on the ATP World Tour this year, three more than last year's tally.
Youzhny sprinted to a quick lead in the first set, securing consecutive breaks for a 5-1 advantage. He would stumble in the early stages of the second, however, as he was broken to love for 3-1, after Ferrer hit a backhand that clipped the tape and dribbled over.
The Javea native would go on to reel off nine consecutive points, extending his lead to 4-1, before Youzhny staged a comeback, breaking back immediately and claiming six of the next seven games for the win.
Youzhny was particularly strong in return, winning nearly half of the Spaniard's service points and applying pressure from the baseline with deep penetrating groundstrokes to open the court for his signature backhand passing shots. Ferrer's frustration grew as an uncharacteristic stream of unforced errors crept into his game.
The former World No. 8 takes home €360,000 and 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points, vaulting up six spots to No. 14 in the Emirates ATP Race to London.
"It is a really good tournament and has a great atmosphere," said Youzhny about his experience at the City of Arts and Sciences, the venue of the Valencia Open 500.
For Ferrer, the three-time Valencia champion lost his sixth consecutive ATP World Tour final after triumphing in Auckland and Buenos Aires to open the year. He receives €162,300 and 300 Emirates ATP Ranking points for his run to the final.
Despite suffering losses in consecutive finals in Stockholm and Valencia, Ferrer believes October has been a very positive month for him. "The truth is that Youzhny played very good," he said. "He sliced and served very well. He was more comfortable then me on court, I was missing touch."
Youzhny improved his impressive FedEx ATP Head2Head against Ferrer to 5-3 overall and 5-1 on hard courts. The title bout marked the third final of the year between players over 30, after Roger Federer defeated Youzhny on the grass of Halle and Nicolas Mahut upset Lleyton Hewitt in Newport.
Both Ferrer and Youzhny will compete at the final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year, the BNP Paribas Masters, next week. The Russian opens with Kevin Anderson and could potentially face Barclays ATP World Tour Finals contender Roger Federer in the second round, while the Spaniard receives a first round bye and is in No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych's quarter of the draw.30-AND-OVER WINNERS OF 2013
|David Ferrer||Auckland||30 yrs., 9 months|
|David Ferrer||Buenos Aires||30 yrs., 10 months|
|Tommy Robredo||Casablanca||30 yrs., 11 months|
|Tommy Haas||Munich||35 yrs., 1 month|
|Albert Montanes||Nice||32 yrs., 6 months|
|Roger Federer||Halle||31 yrs., 10 months|
|Feliciano Lopez||Eastbourne||31 yrs., 9 months|
|Nicolas Mahut||‘s-Hertogenbosch||31 yrs., 5 months|
|Nicolas Mahut||Newport||31 yrs., 5 months|
|Carlos Berlocq||Bastad||30 yrs., 5 months|
|Ivo Karlovic||Bogota||34 yrs., 4 months|
|Mikhail Youzhny||Gstaad||31 yrs., 1 month|
|Tommy Robredo||Umag||31 yrs., 2 months|
|Jurgen Melzer||Winston-Salem||32 yrs., 3 months|
|Tommy Haas||Vienna||35 yrs., 6 months|
|Mikhail Youzhny||Valencia||31 yrs., 4 months|