David Ferrer, so often the forgotten man of the world’s top ten, made a heartening start to the new season by winning the Qatar Open title yesterday, defeating Tomas Berdych, 6-4, 7-5.
The 32-year-old fourth seed saved three set points in the second set against Berdych, the third-seeded former Wimbledon finalist, whose big weapons sometimes threatened to sweep all before him.
But Ferrer, diligent, fast and better focussed, made the best of his talents ‘“ despite having to work hard to survive from within two points of defeat against Ivo Karlovic the previous day ‘“ and proved that he can still be a high level contender with the 22nd title of his career.
‘Yesterday was a very tough match but we didn’t have long rallies so I recovered well ‘“ and today I was ready to play one more match against Tomas even though he is a very good player,’ Ferrer said.
It was a surprising implosion by Berdych, whose strident ground strokes, particularly when he hit straight, threatened to take charge of the match. His best chances were harmed by his own doubtful shot selection.
One came on his third set point, when he pinned Ferrer back with a great drive, and then tried to make a drop shot over the highest part of the net. With the court open the ball fell dramatically back.