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Ferrer Sets Nadal Blockbuster QF

Paris, France

Ferrer© AFP/Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer is through to his 10th successive major quarter-final.

World No. 5 David Ferrer advanced to his 10th successive Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday at Roland Garros as he held off a late fightback from Kevin Anderson to prevail 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1.

Next up, Ferrer will play eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, against whom he has won just six of 27 meetings. But Ferrer has won two of their past three clashes, including their sole meeting in 2014, in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarter-finals.

See Ferrer vs. Nadal FedEx ATP Head2Head

"I will try to do my best," said Ferrer. "I will try to play aggressively with my forehand and try to finish the points at the net. But of course it's going to be difficult with Rafael on a clay court. Tactically, I will have to be perfect. I hope that I will instill some doubts in Rafa's mind, but if we play at our best level, both of us, he will be the better player. So I will pull out all the stops to play well without making errors, and we'll see what's going to happen.

"I was very nervous [last year in the final]. I was jittery. It was a little bit too much for me. But now I'm calmer, I've had time to adapt. I think that I will be calmer, more serene, but I don't know exactly what will be my state of mind when I play against Rafa. I won't think about the final that took place last year."

Watch Ferrer vs. Anderson Highlights (Courtesy: French Tennis Federation)

The Spaniard reached his first major final in Paris last year, finishing runner-up to Nadal. He is through to the last eight at Roland Garros for the fifth time in 12 appearances.

Next up, Ferrer will play eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, against whom he has won just six of 27 meetings. But Ferrer has won two of their past three clashes, including their sole meeting in 2014, in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarter-finals.

Ferrer withstood nine aces and 42 winners from Anderson to break the South African on seven occasions. Ferrer limited his unforced errors to just 24 and made 72 per cent of his first serves, claiming victory in two hours and 51 minutes.

"It was tough," said Ferrer. "I think in the first and second sets I played very good. I think I did not make too many mistakes. In the third, he played better. He improved his level. I played consistent. When I lost the third set, I tried to play more with my forehand, and he was more tired than me at the end of the fourth set."

Victory for Ferrer was his 36th on the clay of Roland Garros, moving him into joint second place with Alex Corretja for most wins by a Spanish player.

The 28-year-old Anderson dropped to a 20-11 match record on the season, highlighted by back-to-back final showings in Delray Beach (l. to Cilic) and Acapulco (l. to Dimitrov). In reaching the fourth round, the Johannesburg native equalled his best result at Roland Garros.

"It's disappointing not being able to get through this hurdle and make my first quarters of a slam," said Anderson. "But I thought there was a lot of positives from today's match. At the same time, it was difficult. It's not easy playing him here; he doesn't let up at all. I was able to really stay with him in the third, and felt at the end I was playing some really good tennis."


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