Costa wins French Open


PARIS, Reuters

Spaniard Albert Costa beat compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-1, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 in the French Open final on Sunday.

Humbled in the first two sets of the all-Spanish clash, Ferrero fought back bravely to win a tense third set 6-4 but it was only a reprieve.

Solid and consistent throughout, Costa broke a struggling Ferrero twice in the fourth set to earn the victory on a double fault from his hapless opponent.

The 11th-seeded Ferrero started off sluggishly as, after a short rain break at the beginning of the opening set, his more experienced opponent won 11 games in succession.

Costa, who has not won a tournament for the past three years, was far more focused and consistent in the first two sets and never let his young opponent into the match.

The final had only lasted six minutes when play was halted by rain for some 20 minutes with Costa leading 1-1 30-0.

When play resumed, the Barcelona player held serve to love and broke Ferrero to lead 3-1. Costa again held serve to lead 4-1 against favourite Ferrero, who struggled to find his rhythm.

Making an unusually high number of unforced errors, Ferrero again dropped serve to trail 5-1. Costa clinched the set 6-1 on his first set point after 22 minutes of play.

The nightmare continued in the second set for the “mosquito” and he quickly found himself two sets down.

The 22-year old Spaniard won only ten points in the 24-minute set as he was unable to even register his name on the scoreboard.

Costa was simply faster, stronger and varying his game when it mattered, while Ferrero looked completely lost on court.

There were long cheers from the crowd when Ferrero finally won the first game of the third set and went on to break Costa in the next game.

But Costa held his nerve to break straight back before levelling at 2-2.

Ferrero continued to spray his shots in the next game, even sending a couple of returns into the stands, but he managed to hold serve and earn a break point in the next game.

Although Costa did not falter on that occasion, Ferrero gained the crucial break in the tenth game to grab the set 6-4.