Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco was too much for Robin Soderling in the ATP Barcelona final on Sunday, outlasting the Swede 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 for the Barcelona Open BancSabadell title.
The 26-year-old Spaniard Verdasco recovered mentally from last week’s Monte Carlo final, where he was dressed down by countryman Rafael Nadal, winning only one game.
“I’ve always dreamed of winning the title here,” Verdasco said of his home-country event. “I grew up watching this tournament on television. It’s an incredible feeling, it’s hard to put it into words. In the past two weeks, with a final in Monte Carlo and the title here in Barcelona, I’ve won 1,000 points. This is maybe the best moment of my career right now.”
Verdasco was 1-4 against Soderling entering the match, and broke serve in the fourth game of the deciding set to win in just over two hours.
“I didn’t start well,” Soderling said. “I wasn’t feeling the ball very well today, which made me a little bit too passive and not aggressive enough. After the first set it was much better but I made one bad game in the third set with a few backhand errors and that cost me the match.”
Soderling was the first Swedish player to reach the Barcelona final since Magnus Larsson in 1995.
In the doubles final top seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic became the first team at the Barcelona Open BancSabadell to successfully defend their title in 27 years, edging Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Knowles 4-6, 6-3, 10-6.
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