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Ferrer Defeats Llodra In Paris SFs; Janowicz Denies Simon

Paris, France

Janowicz, Simon© AFP/Getty ImagesJerzy Janowicz is congratulated by Gilles Simon after winning their Paris semi-final.

Fourth seed David Ferrer advanced to the BNP Paribas Masters final on Saturday, defeating wild card Michael Llodra 7-5, 6-3 in Paris-Bercy.

“I feel good. I am very happy because I am in the final,” Ferrer said. “Tomorrow, it's going to be a very difficult match because my opponent, he's playing very, very good. But I will try to do my best for to beat him.”

The Spaniard claimed victory in one hour and 50 minutes, saving 10 of the 11 break points he faced. The fifth-ranked Ferrer improved to 3-0 against Llodra and notched an ATP World Tour leading 71st match win of the season, breaking a tie with World No. 2 Novak Djokovic.

“Of course this year was the best of my career,” said Ferrer. “I never won six titles in one year. If I win tomorrow, it's going to be seven. I'm very happy for that. I won a lot of matches.”

Ferrer will contest his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final, having finished runner-up at Rome in 2010 and at Monte-Carlo and Shanghai in 2011. The 30 year old has recorded the most victories of any player yet to win an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title with 123 wins in Masters 1000 competition. He is tied with Roger Federer for the most tour-level trophies this season with six and can surpass the Swiss should he get past Jerzy Janowicz in Sunday’s final.

Janowicz will look to cap off his incredible run with the title after beating Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-5. Simon is the fifth player ranked inside the Top 20 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings Janowicz has defeated this week.

“When I had match point today, I felt a little bit strange. I had chicken skin,” said Janowicz. “I was a little bit nervous during this match point, but this was really an unbelievable feeling. I just said to myself before this match point to not change anything, just to play the same game as I played before. I did this.  I finished the match with a dropshot. (Laughter.)”

The 69th-ranked qualifier hit 12 aces and did not face a break point. He broke Simon once in each set to seal the win in 89 minutes. Janowicz is the first player to reach the final of his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 debut since 2000, when Harel Levy finished runner-up in Toronto to Marat Safin.

“There was no surprise about this. I played a player who's totally confident right now,” said Simon. “He is playing and having fun while he's playing. He's hitting as hard as he can each time.

“This is what I saw from his game on the previous matches, and I was not surprised with how he played against me today. He is very difficult to return. Normally I'm supposed to be one of the best returners on the tour, and I was not able to do that today.”

Janowicz is bidding to join Martin Klizan as the only first-time winners on the ATP World Tour season. The 21-year-old Janowicz advanced to the third round at Wimbledon (l. to Mayer) and was a quarter-finalist at the Kremlin Cup (l. to Bellucci) in Moscow. He is looking to become Poland's first titlist at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event and the first Pole to win a tour-level title in 30 years, when Wojtek Fibak captured the WCT/Chicago in 1982.

“I was always a confident guy, but I was dreaming about top 100. I broke top 100 this year,” Janowicz said. “But I could never expect something like this. I came here to play qualifications, and suddenly I'm in the final.”

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