Friday, August 09, 2002

'Mosquito' Ferrero stings Dent in 3 sets

Spaniard, 22, reached final of French Open

By Gary Estwick,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — The tennis player known by many as “Mosquito” showed Thursday how he earned the nickname.

        Juan Carlos Ferrero, one of the rising tennis stars from Spain, zipped around the Grandstand Court at the ATP Tennis Center, rebounding from a slow start against American Taylor Dent to advance to the quarterfinals with a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters.

    Center Court

    10:30 a.m.: Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan vs. Mahesh Bhupathi-Max Mirnyi.

    Not before 1 p.m.: Rainer Schuettler vs. Carlos Moya, followed by Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Wayne Arthurs.

    7 p.m.: Lleyton Hewitt vs. Andre Agassi, followed by Fernando Gonzalez vs. Andy Roddick.

    Grandstand — Noon: Mark Knowles-Daniel Nestor vs. Martin Damm-Cyril Suk, followed by Jiri Novak-Radek Stepanek vs. Donald Johnson-Jared Palmer, followed by Wayne Black-Kevin Ullyett or James Blake-Todd Martin vs. Joshua Eagle-Sandon Stolle.

        “I'm playing very good,” said Ferrero, who is ranked No.8 in the world. “I'm serving good, returning good, and solid from the baseline.”

        Ferrero will play Wayne Arthurs, who defeated Tommy Robredo 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. Ferrero beat Arthurs in the first round last year, 6-4, 6-4.

        Ferrero's trip to the quarterfinals is his first in Cincinnati. He was knocked out of the tournament in the first round in 2000 and in the second round last year.

        By now, the 22-year-old Ferrero has started to get used to playing well. He fought his way to the French Open final before losing to fellow Spaniard Albert Costa in four sets.

        Despite reaching his first Grand Slam final, Ferrero took the loss hard.

        “It was hard to forget,” he said. “It was the finals of a Grand Slam. After the finals, I took a rest for about one week, then I started to practice again.”

        Before he reached the French Open final, Ferrero won in Monte Carlo in April, beating Carlos Moya. The two Spaniards could meet in the semifinals if Moya beats Rainer Schuettler in the quarterfinals.

        Ferrero's rise in tennis

        has seen him climb from No. 435 in 1998 to 12th in the world at the end of 2000 to No.5 at the end of last year.

        After his match, Ferrero spoke to his father, Eduardo, back in Villena, Spain. Eduardo introduced his son to tennis at age 7.

        “I have to tell him if I won or not,” Ferrero said. “I ask him if everything is good in Spain. He tells me about the weather.”

   ATP Masters Results & Schedule


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