Verkerk acknowledges he doesn't compare with FerreroPosted: Sunday June 08, 2003 6:23 PM
PARIS, June 8 (Reuters) -- Vanquished Dutchman Martin Verkerk admitted he had been totally outclassed by champion Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain in Sunday's French Open final.
Verkerk, seeking to become the first Dutchman to win the Roland Garros crown, lost 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in a one-sided match.
"My serve was not good enough, my strokes were not good enough, my length was not good enough, my volleys were not good enough.
"It was down to Ferrero. I couldn't handle his pressure today. The better player won. Ferrero on clay is the best in the world. On clay I will never be as quick as Ferrero or be the player that Ferrero is."
Verkerk said the windy conditions in Paris had made it difficult to find his rhythm on serve.
"It was swirling round the court and between my first and second I had to wait. I couldn't get my rhythm. He also had problems with the wind, but his serve is not his weapon.
"I have to rely on my serve, and today it was not good enough and so a lot of my game fell apart."
But the 24-year-old, who had not won a Grand Slam match before the tournament began, refused to use that as an excuse and paid tribute to his conqueror.
"He was returning all the time to my feet before I had even moved. Maybe I was a bit nervous, but his level was unbelievably good.
"I am not happy, but if he plays that way I can say, 'Okay I had no chance.'"
Verkerk enjoyed vociferous support from a large Dutch contingent in the crowd.
He said: "When I came out and the Dutch crowd was yelling, it was amazing.
"It's more than a dream. To be in the final of a Grand Slam, there are no words for that. I am still dreaming and I think I will be dreaming for a long time.
"I wake up with a big smile, happy every morning. Everything has changed, and this day is the first day I can really enjoy it. It has been an amazing week. I am very proud. But he was too good."
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