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17th April
2004
written by kat

from the official Valencia tournament website
17 April 2004
In the first semifinal of the II Open de Tenis Comunidad Valenciana, 20-year-old Fernando Verdasco needed only 60 minutes to stun top-seed and defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 6-1, reaching his second career ATP-level final in the process.
“This is the best match I won in my career. I’m really really happy. I never beat a Top 10 player before, and my best result was against Nicolas Massu. I have one more match to go to win my first tournament and I’m very happy,”” said Verdasco after reaching the semifinals.
“It’s was a very bad match. I never found my game and felt uncomfortable on the court,” said Ferrero, who lifted the 2003 Valencia trophy after defeating Christophe Rochus in the final. “He started very strongly, playing very well. I probably went down on myself because I was missing a lot and more and more. It’s been one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time.”
The Madrid-resident, who is 38th in the INDESIT ATP 2004 Race, was involved in the only previous all-countrymen final of 2004 when he lost to fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya in the championships match in Acapulco last month.
“The tournament in Acapulco, where I reached my first final, for sure helped me a lot earning confidence and believing in my possibilities. I’m here playing another final on clay and I ‘m very happy,” continued Verdasco.
In Sunday’s final the talented left-hander takes on another unseeded player, Albert Montanes, who scored a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 semifinal win over sixth seed Alberto Martin. It will be the first time the two meet at an ATP or challenger level event.
23-year-old Montanes has played in one ATP final in his career, three years ago in Bucharest. That time he lost to Younes El Aynaoui in straight sets. His previous best efforts this season are two semifinals of the challengers in Cagliari and Barletta.

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