Ferrer Foils Thiem For Cincy SF Berth
Never count out the heart of a champion. After two years, David Ferrer is back in the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.
The dogged Spanish veteran stunned third seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-3 in just one hour and 17 minutes at the Western & Southern Open, moving into the Cincinnati semis for the second time in four years. A finalist in 2014, Ferrer improved to 21-12 at the hard-court event.
It marks Ferrer's first semi-final appearance at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament since the 2015 Rolex Paris Masters. The 35 year old, who has seen his position in the Emirates ATP Rankings fall to No. 46 earlier this year, is back in the spotlight after a title in Bastad and resurgent run in Cincinnati. He is projected to return to the Top 25 on Monday.
Ferrer was a warrior from the back of the court in dismissing Thiem in straight sets. The opener went by in a flash, as the Spaniard won all seven points that lasted more than five shots and dominated the second serve points won category by a margin of 92 to 17 per cent.
Having won 11 of his last 12 matches after claiming the opener, Ferrer would not relinquish the lead. He snatched an immediate break to open the second set after a marathon 17-point game and broke twice more to take the encounter after just over an hour.
It was clear how much the victory meant to the Spaniard as he leapt in the air as Thiem struck a forehand wide on match point. A flurry of fist pumps towards his box would follow, as Ferrer scored his first Top 10 win since 2015 at Roland Garros (d. Cilic). On 17 July, he fell to his lowest ranking in 12 years, but is now 12-2 since then.
Ferrer will next face either countryman Rafael Nadal or Aussie Nick Kyrgios with a spot in the Cincinnati final on the line.