Oct 27 (Reuters) - Unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny denied top seed and defending champion David Ferrer a fourth Valencia Open title when he beat the world number three 6-3 7-5 in the final of the Spaniard’s home event on Sunday.
Ranked 21 and a couple of months younger than his 31-year-old opponent, Youzhny used his graceful one-handed backhand to devastating effect at the cathedral-like Agora arena, breaking the tenacious Ferrer’s serve four times in total.
Runner-up in Valencia in 2009, the Russian sealed victory and his 10th career title on his second match point when Ferrer netted a forehand and it was his second success of the year following his victory on clay in Gstaad in July.
“I am happy because it was a great week for me and a great tournament,” Youzhny, who next competes at this week’s Paris Masters, the final event of the season before the World Tour finals, told Spanish television.
“Of course everyone in the crowd was for David but still if I played good I felt they were supporting me too,” he added.
“Now there is a big tournament in Paris and I just want to enjoy it and play like I played this week.”
Ferrer, who has already qualified for the Tour finals in London, was appearing in his 41st career final and the second in as many weeks.
He was runner-up to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in Stockholm last Sunday and the Valencia title match was his eighth final of the year in 21 tournaments.
“I gave everything and tried to win but it wasn’t to be today,” an emotional Ferrer told his supporters.
“You never like to lose and especially not at home and it’s a sad moment but it has been a great week,” he added.
“Congratulations to Mikhail and for his performance, it was a deserved victory and the truth is he went after the win more than me today.” (Writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Toby Davis)