It was an emotional Friday night on the Centre Court of the BALTC, as not only did one of the most loved athletes of Argentina, Gabriela Sabatini, received her golden ring from the Tennis Hall of Fame (she has been inducted in 2006 and this was yet another distinction), but this special presentation was also followed by what we knew would be Fernando González’s last match on a clay court, as he faced the very in form World no 5, David Ferrer.
His last clay court match it indeed was, but not without him putting up an incredible fight after a difficult first set in which a businesslike Ferrer made very short work of him, taking it 6-2 in 25 minutes.
The second set, however, was much more even and disputed and the crowd (another full house at the BALTC) was treated to a variety of rallies all the more spectacular from both players, a flurry of incredible defense and no less incredible winners. In the end, after breaking González’s serve in the ninth game of the set, Ferrer confirmed is place in the semi-finals of the Copa Claro with a 6-2 6-4 victory.
Out of respect for his opponent, a good friend of his, David Ferrer did not celebrate his win in any way: no fist pumping, no salutations to the crowd, only a long, long hug at the net with Feña. After all, despite the Spaniard’s win, it was Feña’s night and he fully deserved to receive the whole of the crowd’s attention for the last time, a crowd that had always loved him and who showed it to him, with a lot of emotion, throughout the whole encounter.
Feña now heads to Chile, where he’ll rest and get ready for his last tournament, the Masters 1000 of Miami. And he confirmed, when asked about it, that it will be his last tournament and that there will be no turning back once the last page of his great career will be turned. I was glad to be part of that moment, last night, as it was incredibly special for all those present on the Central.
As for Ferrer, he will face David Nalbandian in a match that promises to be epic for a place in Sunday’s finals. The other final spot will be contested between Stanislas Wawrinka and Nicolás Almagro.