Ferrero Rallies For QF Spot; Nalbandian Closes In On 300 Match Wins
Buenos Aires, Argentina
by ATP Staff|
Former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Copa Telmex with a hard-fought 6-7(7), 6-0, 6-3 victory over seventh-seeded compatriot Marcel Granollers on Wednesday at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Buenos Aires.
The 29-year-old Ferrero, a semi-finalist in Buenos Aires in 2006 (l. to Moya), converted six of 11 break point chances and won 70 per cent of points behind his first serve to help secure the victory after two hours and 27 minutes.
After struggling through an injury-ridden season in 2008 - that resulted in him finishing outside the Top 50 for the first time in 10 years - World No. 93 Ferrero opened 2009 with a 1-3 record before reaching the quarter-finals at Costa do Sauipe last week (l. to eventual runner-up Bellucci). The Villena resident enjoyed his best season in 2003 when he won his lone Grand Slam championship at Roland Garros and ranked at No. 1 (September 8) in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.
Ferrero next faces top seed and defending Buenos Aires champion David Nalbandian for the seventh time. Ferrero has won three of their past four meetings, but Nalbandian won their most recent match last March at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament at Indian Wells to even the head-to-head series at 3-all. Nalbandian also prevailed in a third-set tie-break in their only clay court meeting in 2002 at Estoril.
World No. 10 Nalbandian, Argentina’s No. 2 tennis player (behind No. 7 del Potro), won 83 per cent of his first serve points and broke Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver four times to secure the 7-5, 6-2 win. The Cordoba native advances to the Buenos Aires quarter-finals for the fourth time in six event appearances. Last year he won his home country title by defeating Jose Acasuso in the final.
The 27-year-old Nalbandian will be looking to notch his 300th match win on the ATP World Tour when he plays Ferrero. He currently has a 299-142 singles match record, and opened his 2009 campaign by winning his 10th ATP World Tour title in Sydney (d. Nieminen).
Spaniard Tommy Robredo, the No. 3 seed, continued his success on Latin American clay as he advanced to his third straight quarter-final with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela. Robredo improved to a 4-1 head-to-head record against the Argentine as he capitalised on six of his 16 break point opportunities.
Robredo, currently No. 17 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, has now won nine of his past 10 matches including his semi-final run in Vina del Mar (l. to Acasuso) and title win at Costa do Sauipe (d. Bellucci).
Brazilian qualifier Franco Ferreiro advanced to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over fellow qualifier Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay. Ranked No. 192, the No. 6 Brazilian had a 0-2 career record on the ATP World Tour prior to his arrival in Buenos Aires, when he recorded his first ATP World Tour victory with a first round win over Ivan Navarro.