Ferrer To Face Johnson In Vienna Final
In 2014, David Ferrer's quest to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals took a hit with a three-set defeat to Andy Murray in the final of the Erste Bank Open. The Spaniard is hoping for a reversal of fortunes on Sunday in Vienna.
Ferrer downed Gael Monfils 7-6(5), 7-5 in Saturday's semi-finals, denying all six break points faced during the two-hour and one-minute affair. Currently at No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, Ferrer will be looking to cement his position among the elite eight as he bids for a 26th title in his 51st tour-level final.
Ferrer crashed the net early and often against Monfils, winning 15 of 19 such points. After converting on his fourth set point to take the opener in a tie-break, he broke to love for 6-5 in the second set and served out the match a game later. The Spaniard has turned around their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, having dropped the first three meetings against Monfils, before reeling off three straight without dropping a set.
"It was a tough match," said Ferrer. "It was my best match this week. I'm very glad because I am in the final.
"To beat him, I have to play my best tennis. Today, I served well and my forehand worked very nicely. It's one of the best seasons of my career and tomorrow I will fight for another title."
Opposing Ferrer in Sunday's Vienna final will be Steve Johnson, who advanced to his first ATP World Tour title match with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Ernests Gulbis. Johnson needed 91 minutes to seal the victory, firing 12 aces and converting on two of four break opportunities.
The former two-time NCAA champion at the University of Southern California is the first American to reach the final of an ATP World Tour 500 event since John Isner finished runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in Washington 2013. With Jack Sock advancing to the final in Stockholm as well this week, it also marks the first time two Americans have reached two different ATP World Tour finals in the same week since 2008, when Sam Querrey and Andy Roddick hoisted the trophies in Las Vegas and Dubai, respectively.
"It feels great," said Johnson, who is the first player from the U.S. to reach the Vienna final since 1998, when Pete Sampras won the title. "Hopefully I can get one more win on Sunday. I'm just very excited to be in my first final. I served well in the first set and served well in the second."