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29th January
written by kat

Taken from the Official Dubai Championships Website
29 January 2002
The little man they call ‘Mosquito’ is looking forward to defending the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open title he won last year – and to becoming the first player in the 10 year history of the tournament to win it twice. Juan Carlos Ferrero beat all-comers in 2001 to claim the handsome Silver Dhow trophy in the men’s week event at the two-week Dubai Tennis Championships.
It was a victory that set him up for the most successful season of his career, with Ferrero finishing as world number five, the highest placing for a Spaniard since Alex Corretja, another Dubai champion, climbed as high as three after his win in Dubai in 1998.

Ferrero also claimed an impressive total of four ATP Tour titles and compiled a career-best 16-match winning streak, which was second in the year only to world number one Lleyton Hewitt, who managed 17 straight victories.
After winning just one of his first three matches of the year, Ferrero took off once he landed in Dubai, beating the US Open champion Marat Safin and then embarking on his remarkable run through the European clay court events, claiming further titles in Estoril, Barcelona and Rome before he was finally stopped in the Hamburg final by fellow Spaniard Albert Portas.
Ferrero continued his progress at Roland Garros, reaching the semi-finals of the French Open before losing to eventual champion Gustavo Kuerten, and after making his Wimbledon debut and beating former semi-finalist Jason Stoltenberg he returned to the clay and reached the final in Gstaad.
Then, after a successful American hardcourt season, he led Spain to victory in the Davis Cup over Uzbekistan to take his country back into the World Group. He rounded off a great year by reaching the semi-finals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney.
“The Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open was the first step on the road to success for Juan Carlos in 2001 and we’re looking forward to seeing what he will achieve here in 2002,” said Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free.
“No player has won the title twice, let alone in consecutive years, but Juan Carlos has proven himself to be a great champion and in his title defence against the likes of Tim Henman, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Goran Ivanisevic we are sure to witness some spectacular matches.”
The Dubai Tennis Championships, comprising the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open back-to-back with the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open, runs from 18th February to 3rd March and is held under the patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence, UAE.

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