AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013
Ferrer Wins All-Spanish Contest
by ATP Staff|
World No. 5 David Ferrer credited his mental strength as he fought back from the brink of defeat on three occasions to reach the Australian Open semi-finals with a 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4), 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro on Tuesday in Melbourne.
"I tried to fight every point, every game," said Ferrer. "I know all players in important moments are nervous. I try to do my best. Today I was close to losing. But finally I came back. I always try to do my best, to fight a lot. If I am to lose, I would like to lose fighting. I never give up."
With the three-hour and 44-minute win, the 30-year-old Ferrer reached the landmark of 500 tour-level wins, joining an exclusive club of active players. The Valencia native improved to a perfect 13-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Almagro and reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam championship for the fifth time.
Note: Ferrer-Almagro highlights follow women's action. Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Visit the official tournament website
Almagro, who was bidding for a place in his first major semi-final, had his chances. He served for the match at 5-4 in the third set and at 5-4 and 6-5 in the fourth set, but never created any match points.
"I'm [disappointed] with the tie-break, but I need to work more to be ready to play with the top players," said Almagro. "Today was a big opportunity for me. I'm going to work to be ready for the next [opportunity]."
So impressed was Ferrer by his countryman, that he tipped him to improve on his career-high of World No. 9 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this year and challenge for one of the eight spots at the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
"He will have the chance to reach a semi-final again," said Ferrer. "Of course, it's a bad day for him because he was close to winning the match. He made the quarter-finals. He's on fire. He's improving his game. I think this year maybe he has the chance to be Top 8."
Fourth seed Ferrer served 16 aces during the match and won 72 per cent of points on his first serve. The Australian Open has been his most successful major, having also reached the semi-finals in 2011, beating Rafael Nadal before falling to Andy Murray. The right-hander has a win-loss record of 28-10 at Melbourne Park, which trumps 26-10, 23-10 and 20-10 marks at Roland Garros, the US Open and Wimbledon respectively.