David Ferrer wins first ATP title since February 2014 at Qatar Exxonmobil Open in Doha
Steen Kirby,Tennis Atlantic
David Ferrer had slipped down to number 10 in the world before the start of Doha but he captured his first ATP title in eleven months in the desert paradise over an in-form Tomas Berdych 6-4 7-5. Ferrer got off to a strong start, and though Berdych gave him a push in both sets, the Spaniard remained the frontrunner throughout the match and never let Berdych garner enough momentum to take it to a third set.
It was a great week for the Spanish number 2, he survived a stern test from qualifier Thiemo De Bakker in round one, defeating the tiring Dutchman from a set down, before dispatching his countryman Fernando Verdasco and Dustin Brown in straight sets. He was pushed to three tough tiebreaks against the big serving Ivo Karlovic, who reached the semis by shockingly vanquishing world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarters, but prevailed in a third set breaker to reach the final. Djokovic seems to struggle against players whose biggest weapon is their serve, and Karlovic used it masterfully in their quarterfinal match, he passed the 9,000 career aces mark in his career this week in Doha, and is one of the greatest servers the game has ever seen.
Berdych crushed all opposition en route to the final. He earned routine wins over Denis Istomin, Blaz Kavcic, Richard Gasquet, and Andreas Seppi, who snuck into the semifinals partially due to the fact Rafael Nadal was shocked by career journeyman Michael Berrer of Germany, who is retiring at the end of the season, in round 1. Nadal looked to be in control in the first set, but Berrer employed a much more aggressive approach in the next two sets, and the Spaniard played sloppy listless tennis against the inspired German, losing in 3 sets.
Nadal found more success in doubles this week, as he usually does in Doha, his team up with one of his best pals on tour, Juan Monaco, earned them yet another Doha title, this time over Austrians Julian Knowle and Philipp Oswald.