Top seeded Nicolas Kiefer of Germany defeated unseeded Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 on Sunday to win the $1 million Duty Free Dubai Tennis Open. The win was Kiefer's first ATP title of the season.
A runner-up at Dubai in 1999, Kiefer captured his fifth career ATP Tour title. He became the first Number 1 seed to win the tournament, receiving $137,000 and a BMW for his performance. "I improved with every match and it's a really nice feeling to have won this tournament," he said afterwards.
The 19-year old Ferrero was the youngest player in the tournament. He played impressively throughout the 2 1/2-hour match, saving two match points in the second-to-last game. "I would have liked to return home victorious, but Nicolas played very well," Ferrero said afterwards. Kiefer won the match with his superb serving, blasting 11 aces compared to only one by Ferrero. Kiefer credits his improved serve to a rigorous training program with world pole vault record-holder Sergei Bubka.
The Czech tandem of Jiri Novak and David Rikl swept aside Robbie Koenig of South Africa and Peter Tramacchi of Australia 6-2, 7-5 to claim the doubles title.
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