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4th May
2003
written by kat

The top seed captures his third title on home soil and moves to second position in the ATP Champions Race 2003
from ATP Tennis
4 May 2003
Top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero claimed the ninth ATP title of his career with a 6-2, 6-4 victory of Belgium’s Christophe Rochus in the final of the CAM Open Comunidad Valenciana presented by Onofre.
Ferrero, who moves up to second position in the ATP Champions Race 2003, captured his second title of the year (Tennis Masters Monte-Carlo) and is now 29-6 for the season with a 17-1 record on clay.
En route to the final, Ferrero defeated wild card Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Albert Portas, Agustin Calleri and Brazil’s Flavio Saretta without dropping a set.
Rochus was appearing in the first ATP final of his career since turning professional in 1996. The Belgian overcame Spaniard Albert Montanes in the first round before defeating Markus Hipfl, Sargis Sargsian and Fernando Vicente.
The 24-year-old had won only two matches on the ATP circuit this year before arriving in Valencia. His best result prior to this week was a semifinal appearance in Palermo in 2000, when he lost to his brother Olivier.
What the Players Said:
Ferrero: “It was a very good match. I played very well and felt very comfortable on court. I didn’t feel any danger during the match. I am always happy to win a tournament, but it is special to win one in Valencia. I like playing here.
“I am not that far away from becoming the No. 1 player in the world. The key will be whether I can play better and more consistently on hard courts. If I continue to play well in the European clay court season and then take that form to the hard courts in the United Sates, I could finish the year as the World No. 1.
“From here, I won’t be getting much rest, but I am looking forward to playing Rome as it is one of the most important tournaments on the circuit. Normally, I wouldn’t have played this week, but Valencia is an exception. I have been receiving treatment on my right arm all week for a minor injury, but it is not serious. With a day’s rest, it should be fine.”
Rochus: “It was my first final, but I was feeling okay before the match. I wasn’t nervous. The beginning of a match is very important against a player of Ferrero’s standard. It sets the rhythm of the match. I didn’t start well. He broke my serve and I was immediately under pressure. I was trying to do too much with my shots, hoping to make a difference, but he was too good. I was a little bit lost and didn’t know what to do. I consider Ferrero as the best player in the world on clay.
“It has been a very important week for me. My ranking should be close to entering the Top 100 again, allowing me to play in the main draw of tournaments. Recently, I have had to play a lot of qualifying rounds. I know I have the game to beat a lot of good players.”

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