David Ferrer is the last Latino standing at the Australian Open…
The 30-year-old Spanish tennis star, who will take his injured compatriot Rafael Nadal‘s place at World No. 4 in the rankings next week, pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat Nicolas Almagro 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.
Three times in the first four sets, Ferrer faced the prospect of being ousted by a fellow Spaniard who’d never beaten him in a dozen competitive matches.
The No. 4-seeded Ferrer survived once in the third set and twice in the fourth when No. 10 Almagro was serving for the match, but held firm and finally advanced to his fourth semifinal in six Grand Slam events.
“It was a miracle I won this match,” said Ferrer afterwards. “I tried to fight and do my best, but I need to play better than today in the next round.”
Ferrer, an indefatigable workhorse, played two tournaments in the build-up to the year’s opening Grand Slam event.
“Of course I am tired,” he said. “I ran a lot against Nico. Now I will need to rest, but I have a day and a half.”
Ferrer’s victory sets up a semifinal meeting with Novak Djokovic. He’s played in four semifinals in Grand Slams and lost them all.
“In the important moments, I played more consistent in my game,” Ferrer said. “Of course, in the next round, the semifinals, I need to play my best tennis, better than today.”