SONY OPEN TENNIS
Ferrer Finishes Strongly; Meets Haas In SFs
Third seed David Ferrer advanced to his third semi-final at the Sony Open Tennis on Wednesday, overcoming unseeded Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 on Stadium Court in Miami.
After splitting sets, Ferrer broke Melzer three times from five opportunities in the third set to seal the win in one hour and 55 minutes. The World No. 5 improved to 7-2 against the Austrian and has won their past four meetings.
“I was a little bit nervous in the first set and part of the second,” said Ferrer. “But I tried to fight every point, to be focused and I had a good feeling in the final of the second set and of course in the third one.”
Ferrer is bidding to lift his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy, having triumphed over Jerzy Janowicz in Paris this past November. The Spaniard reached the semi-finals at Crandon Park in 2005 and 2006, falling to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer respectively. Ferrer leads the ATP World Tour with 24 match wins this season and is chasing his third title, after successfully retaining crowns in Auckland (d. Kohlschreiber) and Buenos Aires (d. Wawrinka).
In the semi-finals, the 30-year-old Ferrer will play Tommy Haas. The No. 15 seed backed up his upset victory over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic by brushing aside 11th seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes. Haas did not face a break point, winning 78 per cent of his service points.
“The first break in the match at 4-3 was the key. That was a long game,” reflected Haas. “I played some good points when it came down to it, which I am proud of, and then served out the first set. I felt pretty comfortable after that. I used my chances right away in the second set and took that momentum. Again, I played the way I wanted to, using my all-around game and variety. I think I did that pretty well tonight.”
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Haas is through to the last four at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the first time since 2006 in Paris. He is aiming to win his first Masters 1000 trophy since 2001, when he captured the crown on home soil in Stuttgart. The 34 year old is the first German to reach the Miami semi-finals.
“I certainly enjoy these little stats sometimes,” Haas said. “I thought another German might have reached the semis. So it’s obviously nice.”
Ferrer has won both of the pair’s previous clashes, but the two haven’t faced off since 2008 in Dubai.
“It’s incredible what he’s done the last year,” said Haas. “It’s going to be a great challenge. I haven’t played him in a long time, so I’m looking forward to it.”