London - Stanislas Wawrinka defeated David Ferrer 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-1 on Friday to
keep alive his hopes of making the last four of the ATP World Tour Finals.
But Swiss will,
however, need a victory from Rafael Nadal in a later concluding Group A match
over Tomas Berdych.
A Nadal loss would give Berdych a spot in the final four alongside the
Spanish world number one.
Wawrinka was pleased with his battling effort against Ferrer in just over
two and a quarter hours after throwing away the first set while leading 5-2 but
losing in a tiebreaker.
"Sure, tonight I will be a big fan of Rafa," said the winner.
"I did my job all the week, did the best I could for all three matches.
"I'll watch and see what happens. Of course I'll be happy if Rafa wins."
Wawrinka committed a massive 30 unforced errors in the 61-minute first set
against the 31-year-old Ferrer.
Even if the Spaniard had nothing to lose, and was out of semi-final
contention, he fought like a terrier to keep Wawrinka off-balance in the first
Ferrer rallied from the depths, breaking in the ninth game and again in the
11th for 6-5 after the Swiss saved four break points.
But a break-back from Wawrinka levelled at six apiece to bring on the
Ferrer sprinted to 3-1 and eventually took the set to Wawrinka's dismay from
a Swiss forehand error.
Wawrinka came back in the second with an early break which was enough to see
him through to one set each.
In the third set, the Swiss sensed the finishing line and earned two breaks
to bolt home after conversions on six of seven break points.
He struck 35 winners and overcame 56 unforced errors.
"What can I say, I'm so happy right now," said Wawrinka, who ended
2-1 in group play.
"David is so tough and playing so well. I had to fight so much to get
the win, but I'm really, really happy. This was so important for me.
"This is my first finals and I had a tough match, I had to focus on my
tennis and that was the most important thing."
Nadal takes a 16-3 record over Berdych into their match, having won the
pair's last 15 meetings.
Results from the fifth day of the ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena on Friday (x denotes seeding):
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt David Ferrer (ESP x7) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-1
Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez (ESP/ESP x4) bt Leander Paes/Radek Stepanek (IND/CZE x7) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 10-8 (match tie-break)