Ferrer Drubs Nalbandian for Auckland Title

by John on January 15, 2011

Anytime the Davids get together, it’s almost always a long-drawn-out battle. Today wasn’t one of those days. Top-seeded David Ferrer trounced Argentine David Nalbandian 6-3, 6-2 Saturday afternoon in the final of the Heineken Open in just 68 minutes. It was the No. 7-ranked Ferrer’s 10th career title and second at Auckland, a traditional warm-up tournament for the Australian Open. “It’s very special,” Ferrer said. “When I won here [in 2007] it was my first hard court title and to win it for a second time four years later is special because it’s more difficult now with the pressure and expectation. I like a lot to play the second week of the season here; I like the tournament a lot, the people support me a lot.” Nalbandian, the No. 6 seed, had breezed through his first four matches en route to the final without dropping a set. Today, though, was different. Nalbandian, ranked No. 27, was well off his game, committing numerous unforced errors as Ferrer’s defensive game regularly forced him to play one more shot in many rallies. The first set was close and proceeded on serve until Ferrer broke Nalbandian in the eighth game. Ferrer served out the set in the next game with an ace. Both players held serve twice to start the second set, but with Nalbandian’s error count starting to mount, Ferrer broke again in the fifth and seventh games and cruised to the win. Ferrer saved the only three break points Nalbandian held while converting three of five break points on the Argentine’s serve. “He played better than me,” Nalbandian said. “I had some chances in the beginning of the first set, but I couldn’t take them. Sometimes I missed easy shots and I tried risks that didn’t work.” Ferrer, who improved to 7-5 against the Argentine, served very effectively, winning 73 percent of his first service points and 67 percent of his second. Nalbandian won just 52 percent of the points on his first serve, but a respectable 60 percent on his second. “Of course I am with confidence after winning a tournament,” Ferrer said. “The next tournament I will go in with confidence in my game and my mentality.” That, of course, would be the Australian Open, which begins Monday.


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