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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 June, 2003, 19:16 GMT 20:16 UK
Ferrero revels in French triumph
Juan Carlos Ferrero acquaints himself with the French Open trophy
Victory made up for Ferrero's defeat in last year's final

Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero fulfilled a childhood dream when he beat Holland's Martin Verkerk to win the French Open on Sunday.

Ferrero, who was the beaten finalist in 2002, clinched his first Grand Slam title with a comprehensive 6-1 6-3 6-2 victory.

It was the most one-sided French Open final since Bjorn Borg lost only five games on his way to beating Guillermo Vilas in 1978.

"It was 12 years ago when I first came to Roland Garros and I always dreamed of winning here, I don't know what to say," said 23-year-old Ferrero.

"Last year I played badly in the final. This time I always believed I could win.

"I felt so good all the time, from the baseline and serving. It was the perfect final for me.

"It's very special. Now I'm feeling great but maybe tomorrow I will feel even more excited.

I am happy for him that he won because he is a great champion
Beaten finalist Martin Verkerk

"These two weeks were the most special in my life."

Ferrero said he was inspired by the memory of his late mother, Rosario, who died when he was 17.

"She was there in the front row today," he said.

Verkerk admitted that had been well beaten in his first appearance in a Grand Slam final.

"I was behind all the time, he played unbelievable. He deserved to win," said Verkerk.

"But to be in the final here, it was more than a dream. I never expected to stand here.

"Now I am here and all I can really say is I am happy for him that he won because he is a great champion.

"I can't say I was unlucky - I mean it was one, three and two, that's not unlucky."





Links to more French Open 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Barry Millns
"Ferrero finally entered the Grand Slam winners' enclosure with style"


Runner-up Martin Verkerk
"I never expected to stand here"


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