Verkerk misses final's lone bright spotPosted: Sunday June 08, 2003 3:03 PM
PARIS (AP) -- A chagrined Martin Verkerk shook his head when told a Dutch supermodel was cheering for him from the front row during the French Open final.
He never noticed her.
"Something good about today, and I don't see it," Verkerk said.
Not much went right Sunday for the Dutchman, who lost to Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in the most lopsided men's final at Roland Garros since 1978.
"My serve was not good enough, my strokes were not good enough, my depth was not good enough, my volleys were not good enough," he said. "But it all had to do with Ferrero."
Although it ended in defeat, the tournament was still the best of Verkerk's career.
When he arrived to play at Roland Garros for the first time, he had never won a Grand Slam match. He departed with a check for $491,000, more than doubling his career earnings in seven years as a pro.
"It has been an amazing week for me," Verkerk said. "It's more than a dream. To be in the final of a Grand Slam, there are no words for that."
Verkerk was ranked No. 170 at the start of last year. He'll be a career-best No. 15 this week, and with a 125 mph serve he'll be a threat at Wimbledon, even though he has never played on grass.
Kim Clijsters left Roland Garros with a championship trophy after all.
Clijsters lost the women's singles final Saturday to Belgian compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne but bounced back Sunday to earn her first Grand Slam title in the women's doubles.
And she did it on her 20th birthday.
"To have it on my birthday makes it even more special," Clijsters said. She and Japan's Ai Sugiyama beat two-time defending champions Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez 6-7 (5), 6-2, 9-7.
"It's my first Grand Slam title," Clijsters said. "You know, that's always great."
She and Henin-Hardenne made tennis history Saturday, playing in the first all-Belgian Grand Slam final and giving the nation its first Grand Slam champion.
"That will definitely be one of my biggest things in my career, to be a part of that big Belgian final," she said.
Disorder on the court
A male streaker wearing nothing but tennis balls and sneakers ran onto center court during the French Open final Sunday.
Runner-up Martin Verkerk said the naked prankster made him smile and relax a bit -- though not enough to prevent his loss to Juan Carlos Ferrero.
"I found it real funny," said Verkerk, who lost 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. "I was smiling."
"I was a bit annoyed," the Spaniard said. "It was a bit bothering."
The man rushed onto the court during a second-set changeover, shed his clothes and hurdled the net before two security guards dragged him off the court. Scrawled across his back in big black letters was an ad for a Web site. A ball boy gathered the man's discarded garments.
Tournament organizers think this was the first streaker at the French Open. Wimbledon matches have been interrupted by streakers, most recently at the men's final last year.
Boys and girls winners
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland and Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany, both 18, won junior titles at the French Open.
Wawrinka, seeded fifth, beat No. 6-seeded American Brian Baker 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 for the boys' championship.
No. 2-seeded Groenefeld defeated top-seeded Vera Douchevina of Russia, 6-4, 6-4.