World No. 14 Ferrer, who reached a career-high No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on February 25, 2008, is through to his first final on the ATP World Tour since June last year – when he won his seventh title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (d. Gicquel). He improved to an 11-4 record on the season, highlighted up till now by semi-final finishes at Auckland (l. to Querrey) and Johannesburg (l. to Chardy).
Today Ferrer showed why he was #4 in the world at this time last year. He brought so much energy and concentration to the court that before his opponent realised it he had lost the first set. Ferrer was in a zone, and if he can reproduce today’s form in the final he will undoubtedly defeat Djokovic.
The Javea native is the third Spaniard in the past four years to reach the Dubai final, after Feliciano Lopez finished runner-up last year (l. to Roddick) and Rafael Nadal won the title in 2006 (d. Federer). Three Spaniards (including Nadal) have won the title (Juan Carlos Ferrero 2001, Alex Corretja 1998).
The 26th-ranked Gasquet slipped to a 10-5 record on the season. The Beziers native also lost in the semi-finals in Brisbane (l. to Stepanek) and Sydney (l. to Nalbandian) at the start of the season. He was looking to reach his first ATP World Tour final since Stuttgart (l. to del Potro) in July 2008.
“He played really well,” said Gasquet. “That’s the worst guy for me. His game is the worst for me because he has no fades in his game. He has a big backhand, big forehand and he runs everywhere, so that’s really hard for me.”