Marat Safin wins Barcelona Open


Russia's Marat Safin beat Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain to win the Barcelona Open title today with a 6�3 6�3 6�4 victory.

Safin, who had not won a match outdoors all season before this tournament, turned in a devastating display of power hitting to take only the second ATP Tour title of his career.

Safin dominated the match of the two unseeded 20�year�olds, serving 16 aces to Ferrero's two. He broke twice in the first set and once in each of the next two, while Ferrero never managed to win more than two points in any one game against serve.

"That was a great game." said a delighted Safin after his commanding win. "I'd like to thank Ferrero for playing such a high standard of tennis."

Ferrero attempted to draw Safin into as many long rallies as possible on the baking Barcelona clay but the Russian rarely fell for the tactic as he mixed up his game, trading shots from the baseline for a while before coming into the net.

The first set lasted just 32 minutes as Safin broke in games seven and nine.

Safin clinched the break in the second set with a heavily top�spun crosscourt backhand winenr as Ferrero came to the net.

The Russian attacked hard throughout the third, wasting three break points in the first game but taking Ferrero's second service game for a 2�1 lead.

Serving at 5�4 in the third, Safin took the second of two match points as he flashed a backhand across court and an exhausted Ferrero could only play a weak return into the bottom of the net.