Feliciano López staged an impressive comeback to beat David Ferrer in the final of the Senior Masters Cup in Marbella on Saturday (2-6, 7-5, 11-9).
The match was a repeat of the final of the same competition in Valencia in May, but this time López took the spoils, fighting back from a set behind to win the second set and the resulting 'super tie-break'. The spectators at a near-full Puente Romano Tennis Club were treated to a great match.
Ferrer was devastating initially, breaking his opponent twice in succession to storm to a 4-0 lead which ultimately decided the first set. As in Valencia, Ferrer showed that he has lost neither his determination nor his physical and technical prowess in retirement.
But the grit López showed towards the end of the first set was a sign of things to come, and after winning a much more balanced second set, he also emerged victorious 11-9 against a stubborn Ferrer in the 'super-tie break' that the tournament uses to decide matches drawn at one set all.
López, who had got married in Marbella a week previously in a ceremony which Ferrer attended, was gracious in victory, acknowledging his opponent's superiority in the first set, and adding "playing here is always a pleasure, and to be able to play against friends is really wonderful".
López becomes the tournament's fourth Spanish winner, after Albert Costa, Carlos Moyá and Juan Carlos Ferrero.
On the way to the final, López had beaten fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo (7-6, 4-6, 10-8), while Ferrer made slightly lighter work of his semi-final, defeating German former world number two Tommy Haas (6-4, 6-2).
In the third place play-off which took place before the final,Robredo beat Haas 6-4, 6-4, with the latter's performance occasionally showing signs of rustiness. Overall, however, the German made Robredo work hard to win what was another entertaining match for those watching on the Costa del Sol.