Ferrer survives Almagro scare
Melbourne - David Ferrer clawed back from two
sets down to overhaul his Spanish Davis Cup team-mate Nicolas Almagro in
five sets and reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
the 10th seed, served for the match three times in the third set only
to blow his chance to reach his first ever Grand Slam semi-final as
fourth seed Ferrer charged back to win the 3hr 44min rollercoaster.
Ferrer finished too strongly for Almagro with two more service breaks in the fifth set to win 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.
never-say-die Spaniard will now take on the winner of the quarter-final
between defending champion Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych, which will
take place later on Tuesday.
It will be Ferrer's second
semi-final appearance at the Australian Open after beating celebrated
compatriot Rafael Nadal in the 2011 quarter-finals, while his victory
over Almagro was his 500th Tour-level career match win.
was poised for his first victory over Ferrer in 13 meetings, and first
Grand Slam semi-final in 34 attempts, before he tightened as he
attempted to serve out for the match.
He was broken for the first
time in the match and again in his next service game to lose the set and
give Ferrer a way back into the quarter-final.
There were eight
service breaks in the fourth set before Ferrer levelled the match in the
tiebreaker and then polished off the cramping Almagro in the fifth set
to complete a fighting victory.
"It was a miracle that I won this
match. Nicolas had a lot of chances to beat me and I tried to fight for
every point," Ferrer said.
"That's my game, I always try to fight and do my best. I know in the important moments I played more consistently.
"I could see that he was cramping in the fifth set and he played with little power and I was focused on every point."
were a total of 15 service breaks in the match with Ferrer getting
eight of them, and both players made more errors than winners.
was further anguish for Almagro who played in the deciding rubber as the
Czech Republic beat Spain in the Davis Cup final in Prague last