Oct 28 (Reuters) - World number five David Ferrer beat unseeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1 3-6 6-4 to win the Valencia Open for the third time on Sunday, claiming his sixth ATP World Tour title this year.
The local favourite, pushed all the way in a gruelling third set, climbed up into the stands after winning to embrace his friend and former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero who retired from the sport earlier in the tournament.
“I am delighted to win here at home in front of my fans and my family,” Ferrer told Spanish television in the cavernous clam-shaped Agora building in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences complex.
“It was extra special today because Juan Carlos Ferrero has retired here and I wanted to dedicate the title to him.”
The match was evenly-balanced in the final set with world number 21 Dolgopolov, who defeated defending champion Marcel Granollers in the quarters, making life difficult for Ferrer with his big serves and clever changes in lines of attack.
The pressure seemed to get to the 23-year-old, however, and he netted a straightforward shot on matchpoint.
“It was a very tough game,” Ferrer said. “He made it very hard for me throughout and he pushed me to the very limit. It was about keeping my concentration and I managed to do that.” (Reporting by Mark Elkington in Madrid, editing by Mark Meadows)