David Ferrer of Spain has enjoyed a successful week at ATP Bastad 2017. On Saturday, the Spaniard continued his late-career dominance of Fernando Verdasco. Ferrer defeated his compatriot in a competitive three-set match 6-1, 6-7, 6-4. The result sends Ferrer to the Sunday final in Sweden where he will next face Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Dolgopolov looking for 2nd title this season

Dolgopolov himself has enjoyed a strong week that will help him get back to a respectable ranking. He handled Andrey Kuznetsov with very little trouble on Saturday, winning 6-3, 6-2. Dolgopolov has a title on clay from earlier this season and will be looking for his second one on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ferrer will be looking to end a lengthy title drought. The Spaniard has no titles this year to date, he did not win any in 2016, and his last victory in a final came at ATP Vienna 2015. That drought has played in role in his slide down the rankings. He entered this week as the World No. 46, but certainly his result in Bastad will help him get close to seeding position with the 2017 US Open looming.

With an appearance in the Bastad final, Ferrer stands to gain about 10 ranking spots on Monday. He could gain more with a title, and that's important for him. With the US Open seeds to be announced in the weeks ahead, Ferrer will want to position himself in the top 32 so as to improve his outlook in the opening rounds at Flushing Meadows.

A title in Bastad would certainly help the Spaniard do that. Dolgopolov could have similar considerations, however even with a title he would remain well out of Grand Slam seeding position immediately following Bastad.

Ferrer vs. Dolgopolov match preview

Ferrer and Dolgopolov do have a lengthy head-to-head history against one another.

Their meeting in the Bastad final will mark their 14th meeting in official tour-level matches. Thus far, it is the Spaniard that has gotten the best of the Ukrainian national. In their 13 matches, Ferrer is 9-4, but there is a trend within the overall series that is worth considering. Their head-to-head series has started to go Dolgopolov's way in recent seasons.

Dolgopolov is still just 28 years old while Ferrer is now in his mid-30s. When it comes to championship matches, one would expect the younger player to have more late-round energy. Furthermore, three of Dolgopolov's victories over Ferrer have come in their five most recent matches. Dolgopolov beat Ferrer on clay in Rio earlier this season, he beat Ferrer in Acapulco in 2016, and Dolgopolov beat Ferrer on clay in Rio in 2014. Ferrer's success against Dolgopolov has been on grass or cement over the years. Even when on goes back to 2011, Dolgopolov defeated Ferrer in Nice that season on clay. Despite the overall record, Dolgopolov's outlook heading into the match has to be one of optimism.

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