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Shanghai Saturday Briefing

Ferrer© Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer faces fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the semi-finals.

SATURDAY PREVIEW - MURRAY & FERRER FACE UNSEEDED CHALLENGERS IN SEMI-FINALS
Two of the most established top players on the ATP World Tour face two dangerous unseeded players on Saturday in the semi-finals of the $3.24-million Shanghai Rolex Masters. This is the first time in more than a year that two unseeded players have made the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament (Mardy Fish and Marcos Baghdatis did it in Cincinnati in August 2010).

The first match pits No. 3 seed David Ferrer against Feliciano Lopez, an all-Spanish, all-veteran battle. After a run that has included upsets of No. 9 seed Janko Tipsarevic and No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych, Lopez now finds himself in his second career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final (he made the semis here in Shanghai two years ago as well). Could this be the 30 year old’s time to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final? Ferrer has pulled off dramatic comeback wins over former No. 1s Juan Carlos Ferrero and Andy Roddick the last two rounds but has had a lot of trouble with Lopez in the past. Not only does Lopez lead the overall head-to-head, 6-4, but Lopez has a 6-1 hard court head-to-head advantage. Also, while Lopez has lost his last 11 matches against Top 5 players, he does have eight career Top 5 wins (including two over Ferrer while he was Top 5).

“David’s a top player right now, so I know it’s going to be tough to beat him,” Lopez said after his quarter-final win. “He’s a fighter. He’s very fast. He’s one of the best returners in the game right now. If I want to continue winning, I have to play the way I was playing today and yesterday.”

This is the first time two Spaniards not including Rafael Nadal have made the semis of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament in over five years (last time was Ferrero and Tommy Robredo at Cincinnati in 2006).

The second semi-final pits No. 2 seed and reigning champion Andy Murray against Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a first-time meeting. It has been an historic week for Nishikori, who not only reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final (which would have already guaranteed him to be Japan’s highest-ranked man ever) but he has now gone a step further to his first Masters 1000 semi-final. He is the first Asian to reach an ATP Masters 1000 semi-final since Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan at Indian Wells in 2006. He will break Shuzo Matsuoka’s previous Japanese national ranking record of No. 46 (Nishikori is projected to rise from No. 47 to about No. 32 by virtue of this result). “I feel like home here,” the 21-year-old Nishikori said. “It means a lot to play the semis here.” While Nishikori has taken out No. 4 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 12 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov this week, it will only get tougher against the No. 4-ranked Murray. The Scot has been on a roll since losing in the semi-finals of the US Open, going 13-0 with titles at Bangkok and Tokyo. He’s also won 23 of his past 24 matches since the beginning of Cincinnati in mid-August. Nishikori does have one career win over a Top 4 player though - he beat No. 4-ranked Ferrer at the 2008 US Open.

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2011 ATP WORLD TOUR TITLE LEADERS – Murray is tied for second-most titles on the ATP World Tour this season while Ferrer is tied for sixth place:   
                              No.
1) Novak Djokovic   10   6) Juan Martin del Potro  2
2) Andy Murray        4        David Ferrer               2
Robin Soderling        4        John Isner                 2
4) Nicolas Almagro   3        Gilles Simon               2
Rafael Nadal             3

BATTLE FOR LONDON -- There are three spots remaining for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London after No. 5 David Ferrer clinched a spot on Thursday.  Here are the updated 2011 ranking points leaders (thru Friday):    Bold indicates qualified
                                  2011 Points
1 Novak Djokovic        13,295    9 Nicolas Almagro           2,370   
2 Rafael Nadal             9,500    10 Gilles Simon                2,155  
3 Andy Murray            6,560 + 11 Robin Soderling           2,080
4 Roger Federer          5,185     12 Juan Martin del Potro   2,050
5 David Ferrer             4,060 + 13 Janko Tipsarevic          2,040
6 Tomas Berdych         2,940    14 Alexandr Dolgopolov    1,835
7 Mardy Fish                2,875   15 Gael Monfils                 1,765
8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga    2,790    16 Andy Roddick              1,680    
                                             18 Feliciano Lopez             1,665 +
+ Add 240 points with win            
 
SATURDAY SEMI-FINAL FEDEX HEAD 2 HEADS – In Order of Play

Stadium Court

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs (3) David Ferrer (ESP)           Lopez Leads 6-4 (6-1 on hard)
05 New Haven (USA) Hard SF Feliciano Lopez 4-6 6-3 6-2
06 ATP Masters Series Hamburg  Clay R64 David Ferrer 6-4 6-2
06 Stockholm (Sweden) Hard R16 Feliciano Lopez 3-6 6-3 6-2
07 Tokyo (Japan) Hard QF David Ferrer 6-4 6-4
07 ATP Masters Series Madrid (Spain) Hard R32 Feliciano Lopez 7-6(3)7-5
08 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard QF Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-3
08 ATP Masters Series Madrid (Spain) Hard R32 Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6(4)
09 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay R64 David Ferrer 6-2 6-3
09 ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai (China)Hard R32 Feliciano Lopez 4-6 7-5 6-1
11 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay R32 David Ferrer 6-2 6-0

 

Lopez

Ferrer

Age (Birthdate)

30 (September 20, 1981)

29 (April 2, 1982)

Residence

Madrid, Spain

Valencia, Spain

ATP Ranking (Career-High)

No. 28 (No. 20 – January 31, 2005)

No. 5 (No. 4 – February 25, 2008)

2011 W-L Record (on Hard)

34-23 (16-13)

50-14 (24-7)

2011 Finals W-L

0-1

2-3

Career Finals W-L

2-5

11-13

Last ATP Final/Last ATP Title

‘11 Belgrade/’10 Johannesburg

’11 Bastad/’11 Acapulco

2011 Tie-Break W-L

27-19

11-8

Shanghai W-L (Best Result)

8-2 (SF – 2009, ‘11)

6-2 (SF – 2011)

Coach

Alberto Berasategui

Javier Piles


LOPEZ FASTFACTS
      
Tournament Highlights
:
• The 30-year-old Spaniard has an 8-2 career mark and he’s appearing in the semi-finals for the second time in three years after defeating No. 9 seed Janko Tipsarevic 762) 76(3), American Alex Bogomolov Jr. 76(4) 36 63, No. 6 seed/No. 7-ranked Tomas Berdych 64 64 and No. 15 seed Florian Mayer 62 64
• He is No. 2 in aces with 37, behind Roddick (39) and in service games won (91%, 42 of 46 held), saving  17 of 21 break points (81%), including 14 of 16 in his 2nd Rd. win over Bogomolov
• In 2009, he defeated No. 19 Ferrer and No. 11 Soderling before retiring with a sprained right ankle vs. Nadal in the semi-finals
• Last year lost in the first round to No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 76(4) 63

2011 Highlights:
F: Belgrade (l Djokovic); QF: Barcelona (l Dodig); Wimbledon (l Murray); Gstaad (l Almagro)

2011 in Review:
• The left-hander enters his second career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final (’09 Shanghai) with a 34-23 match record on the season, 16-13 on hard courts…His best result came in May when he reached his seventh career ATP World Tour final in Belgrade (l. to Dokovic)
• He will move from No. 28 to around No. 21 with result so far and to around a career-high No. 18 if he reaches the final (his career-high is No. 20 on Jan. 31, 2005)
• Has a 22-59 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents, 3-12 this year with wins over No.7 Berdych here and Americans, No. 10 Roddick at Wimbledon and No. 8 Fish in Davis Cup quarter-final
• This is the Madrid native’s second semi-final of the year…Prior to this week, he last reached a QF in late July in Gstaad
• His best Grand Slam result of the year came at Wimbledon where he advanced to the quarter-finals for the third time (2005, ’08, ’10), falling to local hero Andy Murray
• He didn’t win back-to-back matches until Miami in late March (d. Berankis, Chela, l. to Nadal)…Prior to that, he lost in the second round in Brisbane (d. Petzschner, l. to Anderson), Australian Open (d. Falla, l. to Tomic), Rotterdam (d. Mayer, l. to Baghdatis) and Dubai (d. Lu, l. to Djokovic)
• After a second round loss in Monte-Carlo (l. to No. 6 Ferrer),reached the quarter-finals in Barcelona (l. to Dodig), the final in Belgrade (l. to No. 2 Djokovic) and second round last week in Madrid where he lost to No. 3 Federer in three tie-breaks (held one match point)
• Member of Spanish Davis Cup team, which is in the final (vs. Argentina)…Played in first round 4-1 victory over Belgium, winning doubles match (w/Verdasco) in straight sets, and losing dead rubber to Steve Darcis in three tie-breaks…Lost in doubles (w/Verdasco) in SF vs. France

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 History:
• Has a 63-76 career record and this week’s result equals his career-best semi-final showing  in Shanghai two years ago (ret. vs. Nadal)…He also reached the quarter-finals six previous times, three coming in Madrid (2003, '07-08)
• Has an 12-7 mark in ATP Masters 1000 play this season
 

FERRER FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights:
• The 29-year-old Spaniard has a 6-2 career mark and he's appearing in the semi-finals for the first time after defeating top Canadian Milos Raonic 75 76(7) on Wednesday, countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero 16 75 62 on Thursday (saving three match points and 4-5 in second set) and No. 10 seed Andy Roddick 67(5) 62 76(2), never losing serve in 16 games
• Has held serve 37 of 42 games this week (88%) and broken opponents eight times
• Last year he defeated left-handers Michael Llodra and Thomaz Bellucci before falling to No. 5 Robin Soderling in the third round
• In 2007, he made his Tennis Masters Cup debut in Shanghai and reached the final (l. to Federer)

2011 Highlights:
W: Auckland (d Nalbandian); Acapulco (d Almagro); F: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal); Barcelona (l Nadal); Bastad (l Soderling); SF: Australian Open (l Murray); Tokyo (l Murray); QF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Fish); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Djokovic); Nice (l Dolgopolov)
 
2011 in Review:
• The No. 2 Spaniard (behind No. 2 Nadal) is making his eighth semi-final showing of the year, the second in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000…He was runner-up in Monte Carlo (l. to Nadal) in April..He is trying to reach his sixth final (2-3) of the season and 25th in his career (11-13)
• Last week he was a semi-finalist in Tokyo where he lost to eventual champion Andy Murray 62 63…Has a 50-14 match record (24-7 on hard) and third time in his career he’s won 50-more matches (61 in 2007, 60 last year)…Has an 8-2 mark vs. countrymen with only losses to Nadal in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona finals
• He became the fifth player to qualify for next month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London
• This is his second tournament since the US Open where he reached the 4th Rd. (l. to Roddick)
• He won ATP World Tour titles in Auckland (d. Nalbandian) in January and Acapulco (d. Almagro) in late February…Also runner-up to Nadal in ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo, Barcelona in April and to No. 5 Soderling in Bastad in July
• He’s helped his native country to the Davis Cup final (vs. Argentina) by posting a 3-0 record this year in wins over U.S. in Austin, Texas, defeating Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish, and over France’s Gilles Simon on Sept. 16 in SF tie
• One of seven Spaniards to win an ATP World Tour title this season (Almagro-3, Nadal-3, Ferrer-2, Andujar, Ferrero, Granollers, Robredo)…Spain is 12-19 in finals this season (most titles)

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 History:
• Has a 107-72 career mark and his best result is a runner-up in Monte-Carlo in April  and Rome last year (l. to Nadal both times)…Also semi-finalist in Miami in 2005-06, Rome in 2005, along with Monte-Carlo in 2010-11 and Madrid last year…He is one of 12 active players to win at least 100 career matches

* Spaniards in Top 30 – Ferrer and Lopez are two of the top five Spaniards in the Top 30 South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings:

No. 2 Rafael Nadal
No. 5 David Ferrer
No. 11 Nicolas Almagro
No. 24 Fernando Verdasco
No. 28 Feliciano Lopez


Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs (2) Andy Murray (GBR)  First Meeting

 

Nishikori

Murray

Age (Birthdate)

21 (December 29, 1989)

24 (May 15, 1987)

Residence

Bradenton, Florida

London, England

ATP Ranking (Career-High)

No. 47 (No. 46 – May 2, 2011)

No. 4 (No. 2 – August 17, 2009)

2011 W-L Record (on Hard)

32-19 (22-11)

52-11 (31-6)

2011 Finals W-L

0-1

4-1

Career Finals W-L

1-1

20-9

Last ATP Final/Last ATP Title

’11 Houston/’08 Delray Beach

’11 Tokyo/11 Tokyo

2011 Tie-Break W-L

10-11

14-4

Shanghai W-L (Best Result)

4-0 (SF – 2011)

7-0 (Winner – 2010)

Coach

Dante Bottini/Brad Gilbert(not here)

Daniel Vallverdu


NISHIKORI FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights:
• The 21-year-old Japanese native has won three of his four matches in three sets en route to his first semi-final…On Friday, he defeated No. 12 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 64 63, saving six of seven break points…Has been broken 12 times this week (held 44 of 56 games) while breaking opponents 15 times
• He made his debut with a 06 75 76(5) victory over top Dutchman Robin Haase on Tuesday and followed with a 67(1) 64 64 win over No. 4 seed/No. 8-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 76(6) 46 63 triumph over Colombian Santiago Giraldo

2011 Highlights:
F: Houston (l Sweeting); SF: Delray Beach (l Tipsarevic); Eastbourne (l Tipsarevic); Kuala Lumpur (l Tipsarevic); QF: Chennai (l Tipsarevic)

2011 in Review:
• The top Asian player on the ATP World Tour has a 32-19 match record on the season (22-11 on hard) and he’s appearing in his career-best fifth semi-final or better, the first in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament…He came into this year with 26 career tour level matches between 2007-10
• He came in No. 47 (reached a career-high No. 46 on May 2, tying the all-time high by a Japanese man, Shuzo Matsuoka on July 6, 1992) and by reaching the semi-finals, he will move to around No. 32 next week, making him the highest-ranked Japanese man ever (and around No. 25 if he reaches the final)
• He posted his second career Top 10 win (2-9) over No. 9 Tsonga in the second round on Wednesday (’08 US Open, d. No. 4 Ferrer)
• Two weeks ago he reached his fourth ATP World Tour semi-final (or better) of the season in Kuala Lumpur, losing to eventual champion Janko Tipsarevic for the fifth time this year…His best result was a runner-up in Houston (l. to Sweeting) in April…He also was a semi-finalist in Delray Beach in February and Eastbourne in June (l. to Tipsarevic both times)

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 History
• Has a 5-7 career mark with his previous win coming in Miami (d. Chardy) in March

MURRAY FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights:
• The reigning champ,is 7-0 at this tournament…He had a walkover on Wednesday (vs. Tursunov), then ousted No. 13 seed Stanislas Wawrinka 64 36 63 on Thursday, and Aussie qualifier Matthew Ebden 63 62 on Friday…He has held serve 19 of 22 games (86%) and has won eight of 23 return games (35%)
• He did not drop a set in his tournament debut last year (d. Federer in final)…He opened with a 62 62 win over wild card Yan Bai and followed with a 63 64 victory over Frenchman qualifier Jeremy Chardy, a 62 62 triumph over No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and 64 61 win over Juan Monaco

2011 Highlights:
W (4): London / Queen's Club (d Tsonga); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d Djokovic); Bangkok (d Young); Tokyo (d Nadal); F(1): Australian Open (l Djokovic); SF(5): ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Djokovic); Roland Garros (l Nadal); Wimbledon (l Nadal); US Open (l Nadal)

2011 in Review:
• The hottest player on the ATP World Tour comes into his 11h semi-final or better with a 52-11 match record on the year (31-6 on hard courts), winning 23 of his past 24 matches since mid-August with only loss to Nadal in the semi-finals at the US Open…He is 4-1 in finals this season (20-9 in his career)
• Last Sunday, he rallied to defeat No. 2 Rafael Nadal 36 62 60 in the final of Tokyo, losing only four points in the third set (for fourth title)…During his 23-1 run, won his second title at ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d. Djokovic), reached the semis at the US Open, won a pair of Davis Cup matches vs. Hungary and picked up title in Bangkok (d. Young)
• Has already qualified for season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London along with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer…Stands No. 3 in ATP year-to-date Rankings (1,375 pts ahead of Federer)
• In June, won his second Queen’s Club title in London (d. Roddick in SF, Tsonga in F) and followed with semi-final at Wimbledon (l. to Nadal)
• Went into the clay court circuit with a 6-4 match record before reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal in three sets)…He then made 3rd Rd. in Madrid (d. Simon, l. to Bellucci) and semi-finals at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l. to Djokovic) and Roland Garros (l. to Nadal)
• He began the season with a second straight runner-up at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) and then lost three straight opening round matches before turning things around on clay in April, going 12-4
• He posted a career-best 21-4 mark in Grand Slam play, reaching SFs or better for first time in a season

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 History:
• Has a 107-44 career mark and 7-1 in finals…Won in Cincinnati in August (d. Djokovic)…Last year won titles in Toronto and Shanghai and from 2008-10 has won two titles each year…His only final loss came to Nadal in ’09 Indian Wells…He’s won most ATP Masters 1000 titles without a Grand Slam crown…Also a semi-finalist nine other times, including this week

2011 ATP World Tour Wins Leaders – Murray and Ferrer are among match wins leaders this year:
                            W-L  Titles
1) Rafael Nadal      66-13    3
2) Novak Djokovic  64-3    10
3) Andy Murray      52-11    4
4) David Ferrer       50-14    2
5) Roger Federer    49-12    1

POTENTIAL FINAL HEAD-TO-HEADS

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs Kei Nishikori (JPN)   Lopez Leads 1-0
11 Barcelona (Spain) Clay R16 Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6(5)

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs Andy Murray (GBR)   Murray Leads 6-0
06 Washington (U.S.A.) Hard R16 Andy Murray 7-5 6-2
08 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo  Clay R64 Andy Murray 7-6(5)6-4
10 Los Angeles (U.S.A.) Hard SF Andy Murray 6-0 1-6   6-4
10 Valencia (Spain) Hard R32 Andy Murray 6-3 7-6(1)
11 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass QF Andy Murray 6-3 6-4 6-4
11 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Andy Murray 6-1 6-4 6-2

David Ferrer (ESP) vs Kei Nishikori (JPN)   Tied 1-1
08 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Kei Nishikori 6-4 6-4 3-6 2-6 7-5
11 Tokyo (Japan) Hard R32 David Ferrer 6-4 6-3

David Ferrer (ESP) vs Andy Murray (GBR)   Murray Leads 4-3
06 Barcelona (Spain) Clay R32 David Ferrer 4-6(5) 7-6(0) 6-1
06 ATP Masters 1000 Toronto Hard R64 Andy Murray 6-2 7-6(6)
10 ATP Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay R16 David Ferrer 6-3 6-4
10 ATP Masters 1000 Madrid (Spain) Clay QF David Ferrer 7-5 6-3
10 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals  Hard RR Andy Murray 6-2 6-2
11 Australian Open (Australia) Hard SF Andy Murray 4-6 7-6(2) 6-1 7-6(2)
11 Tokyo (Japan) Hard SF Andy Murray 6-2 6-3

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