• ATP World Tour Finals

Federer battles past Ferrer to reach semi-finals

ESPN staff
November 8, 2012
Roger Federer is through to a 10th semi-final in 11 years at the year-end championships © PA Photos

Roger Federer secured his place in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals as he brought David Ferrer's unbeaten run to an end in London.

Ferrer, who had never beaten Federer in 13 previous encounters, gave the Swiss a run for his money, but the world No. 2 ground out a 6-4 7-6(5) victory at the O2 Arena.

Ferrer came into the match on an 11-match winning streak after back-to-back titles in Valencia and Paris, but the Spaniard was left to rue a number of missed opportunities as he failed to claim his first victory against the 17-time grand slam champion.

Despite earning three break points in the opening game, Ferrer found himself trailing as Federer struck an early blow, and the Spaniard saw another three break points pass him by as Federer moved into a 3-0 lead.

Federer was some way off his best, committing 39 unforced errors in a patchy display, and Ferrer, arguably the most consistent player on the ATP Tour, took full advantage, converting his ninth break point to claw himself back level after six games.

Federer responded with a love service game - the first game he had not faced break points - but some dogged defence kept Ferrer on level terms as he profited from a fortunate net cord to level at 4-4.

However, perhaps conscious of his woeful record against Federer, Ferrer appeared to crack when serving to stay in the opening set, netting a backhand as the Swiss snatched the opening set.

It was a far from perfect performance from Federer, who fended off another two break points in the opening game of the second stanza, but with both players proving impenetrable on serve, a tiebreak decided the match.

Ferrer had an early advantage, but Federer kept his poise to wrap up the match in straight sets, ensuring he is through to the semi-finals at the year-end event for a 10th time in 11 years.

Meanwhile, Juan Martin Del Potro kept his hopes of a semi-final spot alive as he cruised past Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets. The Argentine, who was defeated by Ferrer in his opening match, needed just an hour and 16 minutes to secure a 6-0 6-4 victory.

Del Potro lost just five points on serve as he blazed through the opening set, and Tipsarevic prompted loud cheers from the crowd when he eventually held after a nine-minute opening game in the second stanza. But Del Potro broke for a 3-2 lead before easing to his first win of the round-robin stages ahead of his clash against Federer on Saturday.

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