Ferrer vs. Ferrero in Mexican final
ACAPULCO, Mexico -- Venus Williams came from a set down to defend her Mexican Open title, while David Ferrer defeated good friend and fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero to end his 14-match winning streak.
Williams beat Polona Hercog 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday night for her second consecutive title -- this one on clay to go with Dubai a week ago on hard courts. The win pushed her career total to 43 WTA championships, the most by an active player.
Ferrer lost to Ferrero at the Copa Telmex last week in Buenos Aires, but got a little bit of revenge with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory in Acapulco. Ferrero's winning streak had included ATP titles in his last two tournaments, in Brazil and Argentina.
Williams started slowly and got into trouble with an erratic serve and groundstrokes that were often long. Hercog was poised in winning the first set and seldom missed a shot.
The American gained her composure in the second set and began to wear down the 19-year-old Slovenian, hitting the corners more often and opening the court.
"I played such a good opponent," Williams said. "In the first set she did not miss one shot and I had to find a way to get into the match."
As she did last year in winning, Williams donned a huge sombrero -- known as a "charro," the type worn by Mexico Mariachi musicians -- and turned to salute the crowd. She suggested she'll be back next year for at shot at three straight.
"I would love to come next year," she said. "I have to make it three, a hat trick. I think I can do it. It's not an easy tournament to win, as you can see this year."
It was Williams' first tournament of the season on clay, and she was pushed to three sets in her final three matches by lightly rated opponents. Williams beat No. 399 Laura Pios Tio in the quarterfinals, No. 164 Edina Gallovits in the semifinals and 60th-ranked Hercog, who was playing in her first WTA final.
Williams came from 5-1 down in the final set to win the quarterfinals against Pous Tio, cheered on by fans chanting "Venus, Venus." The fans were just a vocal in the Saturday's final.
"It's too bad Mexican fans can't follow me around the world and give me that support," Williams said. "I'm going to miss it."
The victory was Williams' ninth on clay, second on the active list to Justine Henin. She disputes any suggestion she's only an average clay-court player, though.
"I actually feel like I've had good results on clay," she said.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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