Giving tennis more than a shot

Copa Claro (Wrap-Up) – Great Finals, Great Tournament

The Copa Claro finished yesterday with the crowning of three Spaniards: David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco in doubles, and David Ferrer in singles, on the clay of the BALTC. Both finals gave us phenomenal tennis and crowned what has been a fantastic week of tennis in the Argentine capital.

 

Great win for Marrero and Verdasco

To open the last day of competition, the Spanish pair of David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco were facing Slovak Michal Mertinak and Brazilian Andre Sa. Teaming together for the third time, Marrero and Verdasco, who came into the tournament unseeded, lost only one set (in the semi-finals against Éric Prodon and Horacio Zeballos) en route to their first title as a pair.

 

It was a very tight doubles match but only one break of serve in each set were sufficient to ensure the Spaniards of the title in a 6-4 6-4 win over Mertinak and Sa, who ended up runners-up for the second consecutive week (they had lost to Eric Butorac and Bruno Soares last week in São Paulo).

 

After the match, the champions did assure that it would not be their last tournament together, as they are teaming up again in Acapulco this week and will try to get in at the first Masters 1000 of the season, in Indian Wells, as well. I can only wish them the best of success, as they were really nice to watch throughout the week.

 

David Ferrer wins an epic match

David Ferrer is one of the best clay court players in the world at the moment and without a doubt the best player who has yet to win a Masters 1000 on this surface (or any other). Nicolás Almagro came into this final as defending champion but also as the winner of the São Paulo event last week. Both came into the final playing great tennis and even though David Ferrer led 8-0 in the head-to-head, we knew we would be in for a great match, and a great match we had.

 

Nico Almagro came into the match with all his weaponry out, particularly his serve. I lost count of how many times he overcame 0-30 deficits on his serve, usually with a powerful first. Breaking early in the first, he held serve until the end of the set, which he took, 6-4.

 

However, if there’s something that we cannot do, it is to consider David Ferrer down and out, as we know that he fights until the very end. This time was no different. After this lost first set, he rallied to take the second and although there was quite a bit of drama, long rallies, and very long games, Ferrer winning the second set was definitely the downfall of Nico Almagro.

 

The last two weeks of tennis and the long matches he had to play in the first round and the semi-finals seemed to have taken their toll on his energy and Ferrer won the decisive set quite easily to clinch his first Copa Claro, 4-6 6-3 6-2. After missing the tournament last year due to fatigue, Ferrer had promised tournament director Martín Jaite he would come this year and not only did he keep his promise, he also took all the honours in the tournament, where he was the heavy favourite to win.

 

However, despite winning the event, David Ferrer slipped to no 6 in the world in this week’s rankings, as his points from last year’s title in Acapulco were removed due to the changes in the calendar. Then again, I think that this is only temporary, as David Ferrer is in great form and again starts as the heavy favourite in Acapulco this week.

 

As for Nico Almagro, he really had an incredible week again and I’m looking forward to see what he’ll do over the next few months. As he said, what he needs is consistency and with his new coaching team and his newfound serenity, I’m pretty sure that we will see him more often in the latest stages of tournaments throughout the season, and not only on clay.

 

A great event

It was my first coverage of the Copa Claro and I can assure you that I will do all that is possible to come back next year. Not only was the tournament displaying the strongest field of the week (and there was an ATP 500 event played at the same time), giving us the chance to see many great matches from qualifications to finals, it is also one of the best venues I’ve seen, and, without a doubt, the best tournament organization.

 

I thus wish to thank the Copa Claro’s organization once again for granting me the privilege to be part of this wonderful event and for making it so special to cover and see.

 

And I wish to thank all of you who have followed me throughout the week.

 

Tomorrow, I will try to give you some other impressions of the tournament. However, I cannot upload all my photos until my return to Montreal, due to many connection issues here. But for now, here are some of the photos from the last day of action in Buenos Aires:

 

[slideshow]

 

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