VIENNA, October 25, 2015
David Ferrer captured his 26th career title, winning the final of the Erste Bank Open 500 on Sunday. The 33-year-old Spaniard rallied back from a set down to overcome Steve Johnson in a close first tour meeting between the two 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Ferrer withstood 11 aces from his opponent but was more solid with his second service, winning 58% of the points. The Spanish top-seed gained the decisive break in the 11th game of the third set to seal victory in two hours and 14 minutes.
“Steve played very aggressively, very consistent throughout the match. He also had his chances to win today. It was close in the end,” Ferrer told after lifting his first Vienna trophy. Last year he finished runner-up losing the final to Andy Murray. “Sometimes life gives you a second chance and finally I could claim the title here. It was nice winning another tournament.”
Ferrer faced an elbow injury this season and is happy to be back. “I felt pain after Roland Garros. I haven’t recovered yet from that, still have to undergo treatment. But it is important for me that I am able to compete again. So far, I have to take care of my elbow every day,” the world number 8 explained. “I keep going every day. I know that the career will finish one day but now I just want to enjoy this moment.”
Ferrer is currently playing one of his best seasons in his life and is almost qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London. “This has been one of my best year’s so far. Maybe 2012 and 2013 were better, but now I enjoy playing tennis more than back then. Of course, I want to be among the eight players competing in London, but I am not there yet.”
For the moment, the man from Valencia is not sure about playing his home tournament next week. “I do not know. I have to talk to Juan-Carlos (Ferrero). It is difficult, as my elbow is not at 100% but I hope to be able playing there.”
Steve Johnson is going to play in Valencia next week, after seemed he didn’t seem to be too dissapointed with his performance in Vienna this week. “David played in so many finals. He just has a lot of experience but it was an awesome week for me with super crowd. I am proud about the way, I was playing. I am not gonna hang my head, not gonna be sad about this. I keep comfort for the last two weeks of the year.”
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo played their first event together, capturing their first team title on the ATP Tour. They won the doubles final 4-6, 7-6, 10-6 against second seeded pair of Jamie Murray and John Peers in one hour and 32 minutes.
Kubot claimed his fourth title of the season, Melo his fifth. For the latter, this triumph is even more special, as the 32-year-old Brazilian will become the new world number one in the ATP Doubles Rankings on 2 November, passing the Bryan Brothers for the first time since September 2012.
“I’m living the dream, playing three tournaments – winning 500, 1000 and 500 points again,” Melo said. “There was a lot of pressure on my shoulders to become No. 1, this is a tough achievement. I am a really lucky guy to [soon-to-be] No. 1 with the Bryans still around.”
Earlier the day, tournament director Herwig Straka came to a positive conclusion of this year’s event. “More than 50,000 spectators attended the matches this week. We hope to reach the mark of 55,000. We had a lot of international guests, in particular from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Consequently, players from this region like Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic would be interesting for us,” he told after the Wiener Stadthalle achieved a new attendance record for tennis matches on Friday.
“There are always some parts, which can be improved. For example, we would like to make the action on Sunday more attractive. Maybe by having an exhibition match or a concert. We will see,” Straka said and is going to start his talks with potential players for next year in Basel next week.“At this time of the year, the players are making their schedule for the next season. Our goal will be to present Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic to the fans,” the Erste Bank Open tournament director clarified his ambitions.