Czechs Defend Fed Cup; Ferrer, Petrova Collect Titles
Ferrer Jerks Jerzy Around for 1st Masters Title
The Paris Masters title backs right up to the ATP finals on the 2012 calendar, and many top players tanked or subsequently skipped the event this past week to get a few days rest before the year-end finale at the O2 Arena in London.
But not David Ferrer.
The Spanish bulldog, smelling a title up for grabs, ground down the field, and in the final tour rookie Jerzy Janowicz, to capture the Paris Masters title 6-4, 6-3.
It was the first Masters Series title for Ferrer, who had previously lost in Masters finals at 2011 Shanghai, 2011 Monte Carlo and 2010 Rome.
“It was a dream for me to win here in Paris-Bercy,” said the 30-year-old Ferrer. “I had never won a Masters 1000, and I took my chance, because it was not Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic.”
Janowicz qualified into the main draw, overpowering five Top 20 opponents opponents with a huge serve, big groundies and deceptive drop shots. His scalps during the week included Andy Murray, Janko Tipsarevic and Gilles Simon. He became the first qualifier to reach a Masters final since Guillermo Canas at the Sony Open in Miami in 2007.
“This was his fifth match; this was my eighth match. I was really tired,” Janowicz said of Ferrer. “I was actually exhausted almost. I’m only human, and I’m still happy about this final. David played today really good tennis. It was good enough to beat me today. He’s a really experienced guy.”
Czechs Retain Fed Cup Crown
The Czech Republic won its second straight Fed Cup title on Sunday when Lucie Safarova clinched the tie 3-1 with a rally-stopping 6-1, 6-1 win over former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic.
The Czechs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the tie before former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic put Serbia on the board with a 6-3, 7-5 win over former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova. But Safarova, who had beaten Ivanovic in straight sets on Day 1, was also too much for Jankovic to stop.
“It’s hard to describe how I feel. I played an unbelievable game,” Safarova said. “I desperately wanted to win and I’m really delighted. It’s fantastic to win at home, in Prague. I played one of the best matches of my career.”
The Serbs seemed willing and able to possibly become the first team in the history of the contest to come back from an 0-2 deficit, but Safarova, playing at a career-high ranking of No. 17, was not to be denied.
“Here at home in this type of crowd, it’s indescribable, it’s an amazing feeling,” Safarova said. “There are so many emotions and happiness and that is the feeling we are practicing for every day.”
Petrova Beats Wozniacki for WTA Sofia Title
Russian veteran Nadia Petrova won the Qatar Airways Tournament Of Champions Sofia on Sunday, overpowering former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-1 for her third title of the season.
“After my match against [Roberta] Vinci last night I didn’t think I’d have enough time to recover, but I did all the right things and woke up feeling good,” said Petrova, who was not broken on serve in her last 24 service games of the tournament. “I knew this was the last one and that I just had to give everything I had left…I didn’t really have so much left in my tank, so I had to play smart and keep the points short.”
It was the 13th career title for Petrova.
“I’m trying to bring the good years back right now,” said the former world No. 3. “Hopefully with the preparation I’m doing in the off-season for next year, you’ll be able to see the old Petrova. I would love to play singles in Istanbul next year.”
The former world No. 1 Wozniacki had to settle for the Sofia appearance after failing to finish in the Top 8.
“I played some good tennis during the week, which I’m very happy about,” said the Dane, who with the effort will return to the Top 10. “I’m very much looking forward to the new season as well — but right now it’s about having a nice holiday, and then coming back and practicing hard for that.”
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