David Ferrer battles past Feliciano Lopez to win Malaysian Open
Last Updated: 04/10/15 1:21pm
David Ferrer defeated fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-5 7-5 in a hard-fought final to win the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.
Ferrer was playing in the 50th ATP World Tour-level final of his career, the only active player to reach the landmark outside of the 'big four' of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray, and his victory means he has won exactly half of them.
The top seed went a service break down in the first set but quickly hit back and then forced two set points on Lopez's serve, taking the first to close out a 38-minute set.
He continued his momentum by winning the first game of the second set and then going 0-40 up on Lopez's serve, but the second seed dug deep to earn a tough hold.
Serving at 3-4, Lopez saved three more break points before winning the game with an ace - but it was only a temporary reprieve as Ferrer once more turned up the heat when it mattered most, taking his eighth break point of the set to again avoid a tie-break and win 7-5 7-5.
It was Ferrer's fourth title of the season and his third on a hard court, following wins on similar surfaces in Doha in January and Acapulco in February. He also won in Rio de Janeiro in February on his preferred clay court.
"I feel very happy, because I have never played so well at this tournament," said Ferrer. "I played my best match of the week in this final, and my sensations after my elbow injury are now very good.
"Feliciano is a good tennis player, but an even better person. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season."