(November 4, 2012) — David Ferrer and Jerzy Janowicz were both chasing their first Masters 1000 title in Paris on Sunday, but Ferrer had endured a considerably longer wait for his opportunity.
Ferrer, 30, entered play on Sunday with 123 wins at the Masters level. Janowicz, 21, had only 5 to his name—and they had all come during a whirlwind week that would end up seeing the Pole vault 40 spots in the rankings, inside the top 30.
Much of the attention in Paris this week was centered around that captivating surge of Janowicz, but in the end it would be Ferrer’s star that would shine the brightest on Sunday. The Spaniard, who now leads the ATP with 72 wins, stood his ground against the aggressive play of Janowicz to prevail in a hard-fought struggle, 6-4, 6-3.
In a spirited first-set, it was Janowicz who would have the first opportunity to move ahead. But Ferrer, who saved 10 of 11 break points against Michael Llodra in Saturday's semifinal, finagled his way out of yet another sticky situation and then broke in the next game when Janowicz sailed a forehand long on Ferrer’s second set point (Janowicz had aced away Ferrer’s first set point with a beautiful, slicing serve down the T).
After the two exchanged breaks early in the second set, Ferrer moved ahead for good with a second break in the sixth game.
Ferrer’s tidy score sheet (13 winners and 12 unforced errors) kept the pressure on Janowicz and ultimately helped force the Pole into 43 unforced errors against 27 winners of his own (12 of those winners were aces--Janowicz led all players with 75 aces for the week).
“For me it was a dream,” Ferrer told a full house of appreciative fans after running over to hug his box and kiss his girlfriend in an emotional celebration that was long overdue for the World No. 5.
The victory means that Ferrer now stands alone atop the tour in terms of titles (7) and wins (72) in 2012.
As for his adversary, Janowicz is hoping that his trip to the promised land won’t be his last. “I hope soon I will have a chance to be in the final of another tournament,” he told the crowd, "and I will try to take my revenge of course.”
Ferrer than joked that he is already thirty so the young lad might want to hurry up, which prompted Janowicz to grab the mic one more time and say he would try to hurry.
Of course there are no guarantees for Janowicz, who became the first player to reach the final of a Masters 1000 event on his debut since 2000, and the first Polish male to ever reach the final at this level.
Thanks to his inspiring run of five consecutive wins against top 20 players, Janowicz will now become the first Polish male to reach inside the ATP’s top 30 since Wojtek Fibak last did so on February 20, 1984.
Ferrer will head to London to compete in the ATP World Tour Finals next week. He's been drawn into Group B, which also features Roger Federer, a player that Ferrer has lost to on 13 consecutive occasions.