US OPEN 2012
Ferrer Holds Off Hewitt To Advance
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
World No. 5 David Ferrer finished strongly to hold off 2001 US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt on Sunday, reaching the fourth round in New York with a 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory on Louis Armstrong stadium.
The Spaniard saved five set points in the first set tie-break to clinch the opener, before Hewitt battled back with an early service break in the second set to level the match. The 31-year-old Australian was limited to just three more games, though, as Ferrer powered into the last 16 in three hours and 12 minutes.
"Early on he wasn't giving me any cheap points out there," said Hewitt. "It was tough to get games. His depth was exceptional right from the word go. I was fighting hard to sort of just stay in touch in the first set, and then I started putting a bit more pressure on him. For most of the tie-break I was on top obviously. It could have gone either way. I'm not saying I was going to win, but if I'd won the first set it would have made life a bit easier."
"Maybe the first set was the key," said Ferrer. "When I won the first set, after almost one and a half hours, it was very tough. He won the second set, but I think he was more tired than me. So in the third and in the fourth I played with more power."
The 30-year-old Ferrer claimed his 57th match win of the season, highlighted by winning five ATP World Tour titles. The Valencia resident was also a semi-finalist at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal) and reached the quarter-finals at both the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) and Wimbledon (l. to Murray). He achieved his best result at Flushing Meadows in 2007, when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Djokovic).
Ferrer goes on to face 13th-seeded Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman eased past wild card Steve Johnson 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-3. Gasquet won 39 of his 45 first serve points and broke the American four times to advance in just under two hours.
Gasquet is through to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the fourth time, adding to round of 16 showings in 2005, 2006 and 2010. He is bidding to reach his first major quarter-final since making a run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007.
The 26 year old has defeated Ferrer just once in their previous eight meetings, having fallen to the Spaniard twice this season, in the fourth round of the Australian Open and quarter-finals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Rome.