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Paris Saturday Preview - Ferrer Leads Surprise Final Four Line-Up

Paris, France

Janowicz© Getty ImagesJerzy Janowicz looks to continue his remarkable run against Gilles Simon.
SATURDAY PREVIEW - FERRER LEADS SURPRISE FINAL FOUR LINE-UP IN PARIS

• The underdogs have risen up at the BNP Paribas Masters this week and for the first time in two years, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title will go to someone apart from ‘Big Four’ of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal (Robin Soderling won here in 2010). This is the first time at least two unseeded players have reached the semi-finals in Bercy since 2004 (qualifier Radek Stepanek made the final and unseeded Max Mirnyi lost in the semi-finals).

• All four players left are trying to earn their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. The line-up features the World No. 5, a qualifier, wild card and former Top 10. Three of the players are also appearing in their first semi-final in Bercy. It’s the fourth time since 1990 two Frenchmen are in the semi-finals of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament, first since here two years ago when Gael Monfils and Michael Llodra were in the final four (also ’02 Madrid, ’90 Hamburg).

• The first semi-final is a first-time meeting between unseeded Frenchman Gilles Simon and Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz. Both have taken out Top 10 players to get here as Simon eliminated No. 6 Tomas Berdych and Janowicz upset No. 3 Andy Murray and No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic, his first two career Top 10 wins. Simon is playing in his fourth career ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (1-2). He reached his lone ATP Masters 1000 final in Madrid in 2008 when it was held on indoor hard courts (l. Murray). Simon is trying to reach his 14th ATP World Tour final (10-3 record). The No. 69th-ranked Janowicz is playing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final and two weeks ago he broke through to reach his result  quarter-finals of Moscow two weeks ago. Janowicz, who leads the tournament with 51 aces, is the first player to reach the semi-finals of his ATP Masters 1000 debut since qualifier Harel Levy was runner-up in Toronto in 2000 (l. to Safin). He was already the first Pole to reach the quarter-finals in an ATP Masters 1000. The last Pole to reach an ATP World Tour final is Lukasz Kubot in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil in February 2010 (l. to Ferrero).

• In the second semi-final, No. 4 seed David Ferrer brings a 2-0 career mark against French wild card Michael Llodra, who has not been broken in 43 service games this week, saving five break points. It has been a while now Ferrer has been considered the best player never to win an ATP Masters 1000 title, and now is one of his best chances with three other unseeded players left. In fact, Ferrer has won 122 ATP Masters 1000 matches, the most of any player without a title. Llodra is appearing in his second semi-final here in three years and at No. 121, he is trying to become the first player outside the Top 100 to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final since No. 191 Andrei Pavel here in 2003 (l. to Henman). ice here - Ferrer has won both of their previous meetings in straight sets on outdoor hard courts. Ferrer is playing in his 10th career ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (3-6 record); he is 0-3 in ATP Masters 1000 finals with a runner-up at Rome in 2010 and Monte Carlo (l. to Nadal in both) and Shanghai in 2011 (l. to Murray). Ferrer, who is 6-1 in finals this year, is trying to reach his 33rd ATP World Tour final (17-15 record). Llodra is appearing in his second ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (l. to Soderling in 2010 Paris SFs - held 3 mp) and he is trying to reach his 11th ATP World Tour final (5-5 record).  In February he was runner-up in Marseille (l. to del Potro).

*RACE TO LONDON – The field is set for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, which begins Monday. The alternate is the only spot not finalized. If Gilles Simon wins the title, he would grab the No. 10 position and alternate. If not, Richard Gasquet will. Here are the updated standings and players remaining will add 240 points by reaching the final:
      Points
1 Novak Djokovic-Q         11,420          9 Janko Tipsarevic  2,990 
2 Roger Federer-Q           9,465           10 Richard Gasquet   2,515  (holds tie-break)
3 Andy Murray-Q            7,600            11 Nicolas Almagro  2,515
4 Rafael Nadal-Q             6,795 (W/D)  12 Juan Monaco  2,430
5 David Ferrer-Q             5,300 (in SF) 13 Milos Raonic   2,380   
6 Tomas Berdych-Q         4,405           14 John Isner    2,215   
7 Juan Martin del Potro-Q 4,080           15 Marin Cilic   2,210
8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga         3,490          16 Gilles Simon   2,165 (in SF)  Q-Qualified

SATURDAY SEMI-FINALS FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS – In Order of Play

Court Central

Gilles Simon (FRA) vs (Q) Jerzy Janowicz (POL)   First Meeting

SIMON FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights:
• The Frenchman has a 7-6 record in Bercy and he’s appearing in his first semi-final…Countryman and wild card entry Michael Llodra is also in the semis
• This week has defeated Marcos Baghdatis 75 61 and lucky loser Victor Hanescu 75 63 before getting a walkover against No. 15 seed Kei Nishokori, who withdrew due to a right ankle injury…In the quarters defeated No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych 64 64
• Has held serve 28 of 31 games (90%), saving 12 of 15 break points (80%) while breaking opponents 10 of 29 games (34%)
• His previous best results was third round in 2008 (l. to No.7 Roddick),’09 (l. to No. 9 Tsonga) and second round in ’07 (l. to No. 8 Robredo) and ’10 (l. to No. 5 Soderling)…Four losses to Top 10s
• Last year after a bye, lost in opening match to Juan Monaco

2012 Highlights:
W: Bucharest (d Fognini); F: Bangkok (l Gasquet); SF(4): Brisbane (l Dolgopolov); Montpellier (l Monfils); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal); Nice (l Almagro); QF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Isner)
YTD W-L: 43-24 (21-11 on hard), 9-13 in Tie-breaks
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 10
Date of Birth: December 27, 1984
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 20

2012 in Review:
• The No. 3 Frenchman (behind No. 7 Tsonga, No. 12 Gasquet), is appearing in his seventh semi-final of the season (2-4 mark), second in an ATP Masters 1000 (Monte Carlo in April)
• Will finish in the Top 20 for the fourth time in five years…Came in ranked No. 20 and will move to No. 16 so far and if he wins the title will move to No. 10 and hold the alternate spot for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London
• Has compiled a 43-24 match record on the season (21-11 on hard), reaching the quarter-finals or better eight times (6-1 in QFs), including three in ATP Masters 1000 events (17-7 record)…Has a 5-6 mark this year against Top 10 opponents with three wins over Tipsarevic, one over Tsonga and Berdych
• On April 30, captured his 10th career ATP World Tour title in Bucharest (d. Fognini) and on Sept. 30 reached the final in Bangkok (l. to Gasquet)…Also a semi-finalist in four other tournaments – Brisbane, Montpellier, ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo and Nice, the later two on clay
• His best Grand Slam result was the third round at Roland Garros (l. to Wawrinka in five sets) and the US Open (l. to Fish in four sets)
• Has a 10-3 career record in ATP World Tour finals…His 10 titles is third among Frenchmen in the Open Era, behind Yannick Noah (23) and Guy Forget (11)

JANOWICZ FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights
:
• The Polish native qualified into the main draw with a pair of 62 64 wins over Dmitry Tursunov and Florent Serra…This week in the main draw has defeated No. 19-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber 76 64,  No. 15-ranked (No. 12 seed) Marin Cilic 76 62, No. 3 Andy Murray 57 76 62 (saving match point) and No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic, who retired at 36 61 4-1 due to illness
• He is the first qualifier(s) to reach the semi-finals (better) here since 2004 when Radek Stepanek reached the final (l. to Safin) and Max Mirnyi advanced to the semi-finals (l. to Stepanek)
• Leads the tournament in aces (51) and has held serve 44 of 47 games (94%), saving five of eight break points…Also No. 3 in first serve pts. won (84%)

2012 Highlights:
QF: Moscow (l Bellucci)
YTD W-L: 12-3 (6-2 on hard), 9-3 in Tie-breaks
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: November 13, 1990
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 69

2012 in Review:
• The 21-year-old Pole (turns 22 in 10 days) is appearing in his first career ATP World Tour semi-final…Two weeks ago in Moscow, posted wins over Benjamin Becker 76 63 and No. 7 seed Carlos Berlocq before losing to Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 64 76 in his maiden quarter-final
• Trying to become the second qualifier to win an ATP World Tour title  this season (Nieminen, Sydney)
• He entered this week ranked No. 69 after reaching a career-high No. 64 last week (Oct. 22) and has an 12-3 match record on the season, including 5-0 in Davis Cup play…Will crack Top 50 next week (around No. 39) and if he reaches the final will move to around No. 28 and if wins the title to around No. 22 …Began the year ranked No. 221
• The last player to reach semis or better in ATP Masters 1000 debut: Israeli qualifier Harel Levy runner-up in Toronto in 2000 (l. to Safin)
• The No. 2 Pole (behind No. 63  Lukasz Kubot) made his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at Wimbledon and advanced to the third round (l. to F. Mayer 75 in fifth set)
• Made his improvement with success on the Challenger circuit with a 32-9 match record and three titles, in Italy, the Netherlands and Poland
• In opening month of campaign, reached quarter-finals at Great Britain #2 Futures and followed with runner-up at Great Britain #3 Futures

(4) David Ferrer (ESP) vs (WC) Michael Llodra (FRA) Ferrer Leads 2-0
10 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami      Hard R64 David Ferrer 6-2 6-4
10 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai Hard R64 David Ferrer 7-6(2) 6-1

FERRER FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights:
• The 30-year-old Spaniard opened on Wednesday with a 61 63 win over countryman Marcel Granollers and followed with a 62 46 62 victory over No. 16 seed Stanislas Wawrinka and 62 75 over No.6 Tsonga
• Leads the tournament this week in return games won (13 of 31, 42%) and has held serve 28 of 31 games (90%), saving five of eight break points
• He is making his eighth appearance in Bercy (10-7 record) and appearing in his first semi-final in Bercy…His previous best were QFs in 2005 (l. to Roddick), ‘07 (l. to Nalbandian) and last year (l. to Isner); also 3rd Rd. in 2010; has lost opening match three times (1st Rd. in ‘04 and 2nd Rd. after opening bye in ‘06 and ‘08)
• A Spaniard has never won this title…There have been three finalists with Rafael Nadal (l. to Nalbandian) in 2007, Sergio Casal (l. to Becker) in 1986 and Andres Gimeno in 1972 (l. to Smith)

2012 Highlights:
W(6): Auckland (d Rochus); Buenos Aires (d Almagro); Acapulco (d Verdasco); s-Hertogenbosch (d Petzschner); Bastad (d Almagro); Valencia (d Dolgopolov) F: Barcelona (l Nadal); SF(4): ATP Masters 1000 Rome (l Nadal); Roland Garros (l Nadal); US Open (l Djokovic); Kuala Lumpur (l Benneteau); QF(4): Australian Open (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Djokovic); ATP Masters 1000 Madrid (l Federer); Wimbledon (l Murray)
YTD W-L: 70-14 (27-7 on hard), 20-12 in Tie-breaks
YTD Titles: 6
Career Titles: 17
Date of Birth: April 2, 1982
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 5

2012 in Review:
• The No. 2 Spaniard enters his 12th semi-final (or better) with a career-best 70-14 match record (previous-best 61 match wins and three titles in ’07)…Has a 7-4 mark in SF matches…Has played well in tie-breaks (20-12)…He and Janko Tipsarevic are the only players this year to win at least 20 matches on clay (32-5) and hard courts (27-7) this year...6-8 vs. Top 10 opponents
• Has won 122 ATP Masters 1000 matches, most of any player without a Masters 1000 title…He’s reached three finals: in ’10 Rome, ’11 Monte Carlo (l. to Nadal in both), ’11 Shanghai (l. to Murray)
• Last Sunday captured his career-best sixth ATP World Tour title (in seven finals) of the season in Valencia (d. Dolgopolov)…It was his third Valencia crown (2008, ’10, ’12)…He and Federer are title leaders this year…Has a 12-1 record in decisive set matches
• He has captured titles on three surfaces: Auckland on hard, Buenos Aires, Acapulco and Bastad on clay, and ‘s-Hertogenbosch on grass…Also runner-up on clay in Barcelona (l. to Nadal)…He is the only player to win multiple titles on clay and hard this year
• Compiled a career-best 18-4 record in Grand Slam tournaments, reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal) and the US Open (l. to Djokovic) along with the quarter-finals at Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) and Wimbledon (l. to Murray)…It was first time he reached QFs-better at each in a year
• Has a 17-15 career record in ATP World Tour finals and both of his indoor titles came in Valencia

2012 MATCH WINS LEADERS – Ferrer could become the ATP World Tour match wins leader on Saturday:
                                     W-L Titles
1)  Novak Djokovic         70-12     5
            David Ferrer      70-14     6
3)  Roger Federer          68-10     6
4)  Juan Martin del Potro 63-15     4
5)  Tomas Berdych          59-20     2

LLODRA FASTFACTS

Tournament Highlights:
• The French left-hander is playing in Bercy for the eighth time (9-7 record) and this week has not been broken in 43 service games, saving five break pts…Also leads in first serve pts. (85%) and No. 4 in second serve pts. (62%)
• This week has posted wins over lucky loser Daniel Gimeno-Traver 75 63, No. 10 seed John Isner 64 76 No. 7 seed Juan Martin del Potro 64 63 and Sam Querrey 76 63
• He was a semi-finalist two years ago (l. to Soderling - held three match pts.), reached 2nd Rd. in ‘06 and lost in 1st Rd. five times (2000-01, ‘04, ‘09, ’11)
• At No. 121, he is the lowest-ranked player to reach the semi-finals here since Andrei Pavel in 2003 (ranked No. 191) reached the final (l. to Henman)

2012 Highlights:
F: Marseille (l Del Potro)
YTD W-L: 12-13 (11-7 on hard), 10-4 in Tie-breaks
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: May 18, 1980
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 121

2012 in Review:
• The 32-year-old Frenchman, the oldest player remaining, comes in with a 12-13 match record on the season (11-7 on hard courts)… He is 2-7 vs. Top 10 opponents with wins over No. 8 del Potro on Thursday and over No. 9 Tipsarevic in semi-finals of Marseille in February (l. to No. 10 del Potro in final)…Afterwards improved from No. 50 to season-high No. 40 on Feb. 27
• Came in ranked No. 121 and will jump to around No. 50 and to around No. 38 if he reaches the final and around No. 26 if he wins the title…The last player outside the Top 100 to reach a final this year was No. 141 Ricardas Beranks in Los Angeles (l. to Querrey)
• Prior to this week, his last ATP World Tour level match win came at Roland Garros (d. Garcia-Lopez, l. to No. 7 Berdych)
• Opened the season with third round at Australian Open (d. Gulbis, Bogomolov, l. to Murray)
• Last month (on Oct. 7) reached final at Mons Challenger in Belgium (l. to De Schepper)
• Last week in Basel lost in the final round of qualifying to Stepanek 76 63
• In doubles, won title in Rotterdam (w/Zimonjic) and earned silver medal at London Olympics (w/Tsonga), losing to Bryans

POTENTIAL FINAL HEAD-TO-HEADS

Gilles Simon (FRA) vs David Ferrer (ESP)   Ferrer Leads 4-1
07 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay R64 David Ferrer 6-3 6-1
07 Bastad (Sweden) Clay QF David Ferrer 6-1 6-0
11 ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati (USA) Hard R16 Gilles Simon 6-4 6-7(3) 6-4
11 ESP vs. FRA WG SF (Spain) Clay RR David Ferrer 6-1 6-4 6-1
12 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Clay R16 David Ferrer 6-0 7-6(5)

Gilles Simon (FRA) vs Michael Llodra (FRA)   Llodra Leads 5-0
05 Metz (France) Hard R32 Michael Llodra 6-4 6-0
08 Adelaide (Australia) Hard R32 Michael Llodra 7-6(3) 6-3
09 Marseille (France) Hard SF Michael Llodra 7-6(5) 6-2
09 Lyon (France) Hard SF Michael Llodra 6-7(4) 6-3 7-6(1)
10 Eastbourne (Great Britain) Grass QF Michael Llodra 6-1  6-3

Jerzy Janowicz (POL) vs David Ferrer (ESP)      First Meeting

Jerzy Janowicz (POL) vs Michael Llodra (FRA)     First Meeting

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