VALENCIA OPEN 500
Ferrer Vies For Fourth Valencia Crown; Bryans Aim For 11th Title Of Year
by ATP Staff|
The final of the Valencia Open 500 will be a battle of ATP World Tour elder statesmen when 31-year-olds David Ferrer and Mikhail Youzhny duel for the title. It will be 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.
“Youzhny is a good player," said Ferrer. "He has a good backhand and also slices the ball very well. It will be a close final.”
Ferrer extended his perfect form against countryman Nicolas Almagro with a 6-2, 6-3 victory in Saturday's semi-finals. He improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head mark against Almagro to 14-0, denying his countryman revenge after a riveting five-set encounter at the Australian Open earlier in the year.
The defending champion advanced to the Valencia final for a record fifth time, where he will be seeking a fourth title after raising the trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2012. It will be his eighth final of the year on the ATP World Tour, having dropped five in a row since triumphing in Auckland and Buenos Aires. Almagro, meanwhile, was denied his first hard court final of his career, having reached 20 straight on clay.
Ferrer converted on his first match point when Almagro pulled a backhand wide. The Javea native's lone break point faced came while serving for the match, but was quickly denied.
The World No. 3 has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held at The O2 in London from 4-11 November.
In early action, Mikhail Youzhny captured the first all-Russian ATP World Tour semi-final in more than three years, ousting World No. 39 Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 6-4 in 75 minutes. Youzhny will vie for his 10th crown on the ATP World Tour in what will be his 21st final, on Sunday.
"I feel I served well and I'm happy to be back in the final," said Youzhny.
The 2009 Valencia Open 500 runner-up converted on four of nine break points faced, including his second match point, when Tursunov double faulted.
Youzhny will attempt to win multiple titles in one year for the first time since 2010, when the Russian hoisted the trophies in Munich and Kuala Lumpur. He is also seeking to add to the impressive title count of players over 30, in 2013. A win in Sunday's final would make him the fourth such player to win multiple titles this year, joining Ferrer, Tommy Haas and Nicolas Mahut.
Youzhny owns a 4-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage over Ferrer, however they have only met once since 2009. They are 10 years removed from their first encounter, won by Ferrer on the hard courts of Madrid.
Bryans Eye 11th Title Of Season
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan will attempt to add to their 2011 Valencia Open 500 title on Sunday. The twins have a shot at lifting their 11th trophy of the season and 94th team title after they beat Tommy Haas and Andre Sa 6-3, 6-4 in 63 minutes. In the final, they will play second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares, who have also qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The Austrian-Brazilian duo defeated London contenders Jamie Murray and John Peers 6-3, 7-6(4) to advance to their 10th final of the year. Peya and Soares are 0-2 in finals against the Bryans this year, falling on the clay of Madrid and grass of Queen's Club.