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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 April, 2003, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Moya seals Barcelona title
Seat Godo Open

Carlos Moya claimed a first title in Barcelona after Marat Safin retired in the fourth set of the final with a stomach strain.

Carlos Moya
Carlos Moya claimed his second title of the year
Second seed Moya, who is a member at the Real Club de Tennis where the tournament is played, was leading 5-7 6-2 6-2 3-0 when Safin withdrew.

"It's great to finally win a title in Spain," said Moya.

"This is a good victory for me, it really means a lot. I tried to keep my mistakes down and make him work for the points.

"The fewer minutes you are on the court, the more strength you will have.

"I used to lose my concentration when I was taking a big lead in a match. I have learned how to focus and concentrate again when this happens."

Safin came into the final on the back of a magnificent win over Juan Carlos Ferrero, and began strongly as he eyed a first title in six months after struggling with various injuries.

Following a tight start to the match the Russian claimed the first break in the 11th game and and served out the set.

I beat Gaudio and Ferrero without any practice - imagine what I'll be able to do after I've done some training
Marat Safin
But from that moment on home favourite Moya took control, breaking in the first game of the second set before racing clear.

After dropping the first three games of the fourth set, Safin chose not to continue.

"I just couldn't carry on," said Safin. "I came into this tournament after a month out with injury and it was impossible.

"My game is all about attack, attack, attack. I wasn't in a position to do that after the first set.

"There was nothing I could do about it. After the first set I just had a major drop in energy. I couldn't carry on."

Safin, who has dropped from second to eighth in the world rankings, admitted he had exceeded his own expectations by reaching the final.

"A run like this makes you believe in yourself," said Safin.

"I've been injured virtually the whole season and I came to Barcelona without having played or practised for a month.

"I beat Gaudio and Ferrero without any practice - imagine what I'll be able to do after I've done some training."




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