Consolation prizes not enough for Ferrero
As consolation prizes go, $500,000 and the number one world ranking are not bad.india Updated: Sep 08, 2003 14:13 IST
As consolation prizes go, $500,000 and the number one world ranking are not bad.
But they did little to soothe the sting Juan Carlos Ferrero felt after being pummelled 6-3 7-6 6-3 by American Andy Roddick on Sunday in the final of the US Open.
While theuiet Spaniard, who will take possession of the top ranking on Monday, politely accepted the runner-up cheque the gloomy expression written on his face indicated these were not the reasons he had come to New York.
Indeed, they were small consolation for the 23 year-old, who had stepped onto Arthur Ashe stadium court confident he could add a US Open crown to the French Open title he won in June.
"Right now I am a little bit sad," Ferrero said.
"But I have to think I did a great job these two weeks.
"At the beginning of the week, of the tournament, I didn't expect to be number one and in the final."
The Flushing Meadows fortnight featured an impressive run by Ferrero, who worked his way into his first US Open final against daunting opponents and conditions.
With rain compacting the schedule, the chiseled Spaniard was forced to play four matches in as many days against a murderers row of opponents that included two former champions -- one of them arguably the greatest hardcourt player of all-time.
The minefield the third seed had to manoeuvre through was not for the faint of heart.
A fourth round victory over 1999 US Open finalist Todd Martin was followed by an even more impressive quarter-final win over fiery 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt.
He capped that with a dazzling semi-final triumph over hard court maestro and eight-time grand slam winner Andre Agassi that landed Ferrero in the final where he could not defuse Roddick's explosive power.
"I was working for that, to play the final, to beat big players like Todd Martin, Hewitt, Agassi and also Roddick," Ferrero said.
"But today was not my day.
"Never before have I experienced four days in a row like this, playing Martin, Hewitt, Agassi and this final today. Never.
"And I hope it doesn't happen again.
"But I learned that I can play pretty good tennis on a hardcourt and I can play against everybody."