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Ferrer Tops Isner, Meets Gulbis In QFs

Madrid, Spain

Ferrer© Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer reaches the Madrid quarter-finals for a sixth time overall.

World No. 5 David Ferrer reached the Mutua Madrid Open quarter-finals for a fifth straight year as he defeated American John Isner 6-4, 6-4 in Thursday’s night match.

Ferrer dropped just 10 service points overall, including four behind his first serve, and broke the World No. 10 two times from seven chances. He served the match out to love in one hour and 17 minutes, improving to a 5-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Isner.

Ferrer had needed three sets to overcome fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos in his Madrid opener, and was pleased with his performance Thursday.

"I was a little bit more focused, because you know if you [get] a break you have a lot of possibilities to win the set," he said. "I knew the break points, I had to go for them, especially if I could return his serve."

The 32-year-old Spaniard will look to reach the Madrid semi-finals for a second time when he next meets Ernests Gulbis. The 20th-ranked Latvian defeated Croatian Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4. "I served really well," said Gulbis. "I was aggressive. I didn’t go for long rallies."

Gulbis also reached the Madrid quarter-finals on his last appearance at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, four years ago (l. to Federer), and called his showing a “bonus” after being bedridden with a cold at the start of the week.

"It’s getting better now," he said. "It’s all I care about now, to play good and to feel better, and then whatever comes at this tournament is bonus for me because honestly I wasn’t prepared to do well here."

Ferrer has defeated Gulbis in their two previous meetings, most recently last autumn in the Stockholm semi-finals.

"He's an irregular player, but when he's playing well he can beat the best ones," said Ferrer. "That's what he's been doing this year. He's been more regular than ever before, and I have to play very [consistent], as I did today, to be able to have possibilities."

Ferrer's past four losses in Madrid have come against Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer (twice) and Novak Djokovic.

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