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5th March
2001
written by kat

Taken from the Official ATP Tour website
5 March 2001
Juan Carlos Ferrero captured the second ATP title of his career when his top seeded opponent Marat Safin was forced to retire with a back injury 52 minutes into the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Ferrero, the seventh seed from Spain, was leading 6-2, 3-1 in the battle of the New Balls Please stars when Safin decided he could no longer continue. The 21-year-old Russian incurred the injury during his semifinal win over Thomas Johansson.

“It is difficult for [Marat] to play at a good level if he’s injured,” said Ferrero, who moves to 17th position in the ATP Champions Race 2001. “I think it is better for him to stop.”
Ferrero, who defeated Jonas Bjorkman, Jiri Novak, Magnus Norman and saved two match points against Dominik Hrbaty to reach his first final of the year, became the second Spaniard to win in Dubai following Alex Corretja’s title in 1998.
The 21-year-old from Onteniente finished the ATP Champions Race 2000 at No. 12, and was part of the winning Spanish Davis Cup team last December. It was his first title since winning in Mallorca in 1999, and he was a finalist in Dubai and Barcelona last year.
Safin: “Sorry for the crowd.”
For Safin, it was a disappointing end to what had been a good week for the Russian. “I’m really sorry for the crowd who paid for the ticket and watched only half a match,” said Safin. “I definitely couldn’t play 100 percent…If you cannot serve and volley, you just have to play from the baseline and hold your serve.”
Safin, who won seven titles in 2000 including the US Open and the Tennis Masters Series events in Toronto and Paris, reached his first final of the year with victories over David Prinosil, Julien Boutter, Andrei Medvedev and Johansson. He stands in 12th position in the ATP Champions Race 2001.

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