On this day: David Ferrer defeats Jerzy Janowicz for first Masters crown



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On this day: David Ferrer defeats Jerzy Janowicz for first Masters crown

Reaching the first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Hamburg 2004, David Ferrer had been one of the most consistent players at the premium level of ATP tournaments, reaching almost 30 quarter-finals until the end of 2012 but advancing into the last four only ten times.

Between 2010-2012, David played in four Masters 1000 finals, losing the first three to Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray before he finally went all the way and conquered the first and only Masters 1000 crown in Paris 2012. At the age of 30 years and seven months, David became the sixth 30&over Masters 1000 champion since 1990 and also the oldest one in Paris, passing Roger Federer who claimed the title a year earlier when he was 30 years and three months old.

2012 was the best season in Ferrer's career in terms of the number of ATP crowns, scoring 76 victories to stand as the fifth-strongest player on the Tour behind the big four. A week before Paris, the Spaniard clinched the title at home in Valencia and used the fact he was the best-ranked player left in the quarters in the French capital with both hands, ousting Stan Wawrinka in the third round to dominate in the rest of the event and lift the trophy against the most desirable opponent in the title match.

The remaining seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Janko Tipsarevic and Tomas Berdych failed to reach the semis and David was left alone against Michael Llodra, Gilles Simon and a qualifier Jerzy Janowicz who was playing at the Masters 1000 level for the first time!

Ferrer defeated Llodra while Janowicz ousted Simon, leaving the French fans in ruins and setting up a grand final that proved to be a massive opportunity for both to grab such a notable title. Ferrer was the favorite against an inexperienced rival and confirmed that on the court as well, toppling the Pole 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 28 minutes for his maiden Masters 1000 crown.

Jerzy served at only 57% and that wasn't enough to add more fuel to his booming first serve, with both players finishing on 20 service winners. On the other hand, Ferrer landed 79% of the first serve in and did everything right on the second serve, saving three out of four break points while winning 40% of the return points to create seven chances and convert three to control the scoreboard all the time.

Janowicz had more winners but only at the cost of 40 unforced errors while Ferrer stayed on around ten, taming his shots nicely and always forcing an extra shot from the other side of the net. David found the way to overpower his rival in the shortest points up to four strokes and had the advantage in the longer rallies too (which was never in doubt) to earn his win fair and square and secure the biggest title of his career.

The Spaniard held at love in the opening game with an ace and closed the next two service games with unreturned serves to keep the pressure on Jerzy, waiting for a chance on the return patiently. That couldn't happen in the Pole's opening four service games, with Janowicz earning many free points with serve alone and avoiding longer rallies to stay in touch until 4-4.

Ferrer netted an easy forehand in the ninth game to offer a break point to his rival, saving it after a weak forehand from Janowicz who missed a great chance to move ahead. That switched the momentum to the side of the more experienced player who grabbed a break in game ten after a forehand error from the Pole to take the opener 6-4 after 39 minutes.

David held at love at the beginning of the second set with a forehand winner but Janowicz moved 2-1 ahead with his lone break in the third game following a loose forehand from Ferrer. The next game was crucial as well, with Jerzy squandering two game points before sending a forehand long to get broken and draw Ferrer back to 2-2.

The Pole earned another break opportunity in the next game but David erased it with an ace, having to fend off another one in one of the longest points of the match that finished with a backhand error from Jerzy who couldn't create more chances on the return by the end of the encounter.

As usual, Janowicz had to pay the price for not taking his opportunities, hitting a double fault to suffer a break in the sixth game and falling 5-2 down after three winners from David in the next game. Serving for the title at 5-3, Ferrer fired three winners to make a hold at love and cross the finish line to secure the title and earn one of his most notable wins ever, adding his name to the list of the Masters 1000 champions, something he deserved more than any other player on the planet at that moment.