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Navarro Ousts Ferrer In Quarter-finals

's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Benjamin Becker© Getty ImagesBenjamin Becker

ATP World Tour No. 81 Ivan Navarro accounted for a surprise departure on Thursday at the Ordina Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch as he dismissed defending champion and No. 3 seed David Ferrer in an all-Spanish quarter-final at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.

The 27-year-old Navarro, who was beaten by Ferrer in their one previous meeting, sealed the one-set lead after 47 minutes courtesy of a break of serve in the seventh game. The Spaniard then pressed home his advantage in the second set, breaking twice in the third and fifth games to close out victory after one hour and 20 minutes. Navarro saved all five break points he faced in the clash to back up his hard-fought victory over No. 6 seed Marc Gicquel in the second round.

After entering the Ordina Open with a 2-7 career record on grass, Navarro is through to his first career grass-court semi-final - and his first ATP World Tour semi-final since Valencia (l. to Starace) in April 2007. The Alicante native, who improved to a 5-13 mark on the season, has never reached an ATP World Tour final.

The No. 19-ranked Ferrer fell short of winning his 30th match of the season (29-14 record) as he failed to defend his first grass-court title, clinched last year with victory over Marc Gicquel. The 27 year old was bidding to reach his fifth semi-final or better in 2009; he went on to reach the finals at Dubai (l. to Djokovic) and Barcelona (l. to Nadal).

In the semi-finals, Navarro will face Dutch wild card Raemon Sluiter – who knocked out Israeli Dudi Sela 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and five minutes. The 31-year-old Sluiter, who was contesting his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since Munich in April 2005, was also a semi-finalist at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2003 (l. to Schalken).

At the top of the draw, German qualifier Benjamin Becker built on his second-round success against top seed Fernando Verdasco to reach his second successive quarter-final with a hard-fought 7-6(6), 7-5 victory over 2004 champion Michael Llodra of France.

The 28-year-old Becker has surpassed his best result of the season, achieved last week by reaching the quarter-finals on grass in Halle before falling to Olivier Rochus in three sets. The World No. 82, who has won four titles on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2009, will now contest his first ATP World Tour semi-final since September 2007 – when he went on to reach his lone ATP World Tour final at Bangkok (l. to Tursunov).

For a place in the final, Becker will meet fourth-seeded compatriot Rainer Schuettler, who saved three match points to battle past French No. 7 seed Jeremy Chardy 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-6(11) in two hours and 29 minutes.

The No. 43-ranked Chardy battled back from a set and a break down to level the match at one-set all before breaking to lead 4-3 in the deciding set. The Frenchman served for the match at 5-4, but failed to earn a match point as Schuettler levelled at 5-5. Schuettler held four match points at 6-2 in the tie-break, but was denied by Chardy who then went on to hold three match points at 7-6, 8-7 and 10-9. However, from 9-10, Schuettler won four of the last five points to seal his place in the semi-finals.

The 33-year-old Schuettler is through to his first grass-court semi-final since reaching the last four at 2008 Wimbledon (l. to Nadal) after improving his season match record to 10-16. He will look to reach his first ATP World Tour final since finishing runner-up at 2004 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo (l. to Coria).

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