Ferrer Defeats Tommy Robredo to Reach Western & Southern Open Semifinals

David Ferrer is hoping to advance to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in 2014.

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis star outlasted his compatriot Tommy Robredo in a hard-fought match on Friday to reach his first Western & Southern Open semifinal in 11 trips to Cincinnati.

David Ferrer

It’s Ferrer’s third semifinal at the Masters 1000 level in 2014. He lost in the semifinals in Monte Carlo to Stanislas Wawrinka; and he lost to Kei Nishikori in the semifinals in Madrid.

With his 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory, Ferrer denied Robredo – who had defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the round of 16 – his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal in eight years.

Ferrer is also closing in on the 600-win plateau, improving to 590-285 with his win.

Currently ranked No. 6 in the world, Ferrer claimed the 10th encounter (8-2) with the 16th-seeded Robredo in two hours and six minutes, winning 74 per cent of first serve points and breaking serve on four of 11 chances.

Robredo was unable to overcome 51 unforced errors and 19 forehand winners by Ferrer.

“Well, it’s not easy play against a friend,” said Ferrer. “Tommy and I have played a lot of times in our careers. I wish him the best luck for the next tournaments.”

Nadal Defeats Alexandr Dolgopolov to Win the Rio Open Title

Rafael Nadal is back in winning form…

The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star returned from a bothersome back injury to win the Rio Open in Brazil on Sunday, taking down the Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s victory comes four weeks after he lost in the final at the Australian Open to underdog Stanislas Wawrinka after hurting his back during the warm up.

Nadal, who had to fend off two match points in the semifinal against Pablo Andujar, looked more comfortable in the final and improved his record on clay to 298-21, the best in the Open Era.

Dolgopolov has lost all five matches he’s played against Nadal.

It’s the 62nd career title for Nadal, and he extends his record of ATP 500 titles to 15 with the win.

Ferrer Defeats Rafael Nadal to Reach Mubadala World Championship Finals

David Ferrer has taken down the world’s No. 1 tennis player…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star beat his compatriot Rafael Nadal in straight sets during the second day of the Mubadala World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

David Ferrer Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 9.47.53 PM

Ferrer beat Nadal 6-4, 6-4 in the late afternoon match. It was the world number one’s first match since losing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in the final of the World Tour Finals in London on November 11.

Playing ahead of the official ATP season-opener in nearby Doha next week, Ferrer looked like the sharper player from the start, breaking in the ninth game to take the first set.

It was more of the same in the second set as Nadal struggled to find his range against an opponent who already had a match under his belt, having defeated Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

“I think, for a first match to play against a guy who has practiced for a month and who played a match yesterday, on a very fast court, I was happy with how I played,” Nadal told The National newspaper. “I had a few opportunities, break points, but he played well and he converted the chances better than me. I had a few mistakes but in my opinion I was better than I thought I would be right now.”

Ferrer will next face Djokovic in the final on Saturday. The winner will receive $250,000 prize money.

Nadal Cruises to Madrid Open Title

Rafael Nadal is on a roll as we head towards this year’s French Open

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis star won his fifth title since returning from his knee injury by defeating Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday to claim the Madrid Open championship.

Rafael Nadal

Cheered on by the home crowd at the Caja Magica, the fifth-ranked Nadal eased his way to the 55th title of his career and extended his head-to-head record with Wawrinka to 9-0.

Nadal took the first set in just over half an hour and closed out the second after Wawrinka put up a little more of a fight.

It was Nadal’s seventh straight final since recovering from a nagging case of tendinitis in his left knee that sidelined him for seven months.

Nadal flopped on his back and screamed in joy when his Wawrinka’s final volley fell long to end the match in 1 hour, 12 minutes.

“I’m very happy, and maybe this victory is even more special considering how complicated this year has been,” said Nadal. “This tournament couldn’t have gone better for me.

“I think this was my best match of the tournament. This was perhaps the match where I was the most aggressive.”

The local favorite set the tone in the first game by breaking Wawrinka with a vicious flick to land the ball on the sideline.

Nadal, who had won here in 2005 and 2010, roared out to a 4-0 lead in 20 minutes.

The 15th-ranked Wawrinka recovered in the second set and managed to get Nadal’s service game to deuce. But Nadal returned two line-drive shots by Wawrinka at the net before he fired the third try long. Nadal then drove in an ace to end Wawrinka’s challenge.

“Nadal showed again that he is the best on clay,” said Wawrinka, who also congratulated Nadal’s coaching staff for helping him back from his layoff.

“Since he has come back he has shown that it is really tough to beat him.”

Ferrer Reaches Portugal Open Final; Carreno-Busta’s Cinderella Run Ends

David Ferrer is one step closer to earning his next title…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-4 in 70 minutes to reach the finals of the Portugal Open.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, who will be playing in his 37th final, will face off against Stanislas Wawrinka for the clay title after the Swiss player ended the run of Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

Ferrer was the picture of efficiency in the defeat of his Italian opponent, with the Spaniard now in the hunt for his 21st career trophy.

“It’s good to get to the final here, I’ve always dreamed of winning this title, there is so much history at this tournament,” said Ferrer, who leads the ATP this season with match wins on 28 with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal trailing behind with 26.

Ferrer, currently ranked No.  4 in the world, holds a 5-0 match record over Seppi, who didn’t hold his serve until the second set. He’s won two titles already this season, in New Zealand and Argentina.

Pablo Carreno-Busta

Meanwhile Wawrinka ended the Cinderella run of Carreno-Busta, the 21-year-old Spaniard player currently ranked No. 228.

Carreno-Busta has had a solid run on the lower-level Futures and Challenger circuits and has won 50 matches already this season. He was playing his first semi-final at the ATP level at his fourth tour-level event.

Nadal Defeats Federer in First Real Comeback Test

In a battle of two injured titans, Rafael Nadal has come away with a big win…

The 26-year-old Spanish tenista downed rival Roger Federer 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells to record the biggest win so far in his comeback to the ATP Tour.

Rafael Nadal

The 29th meeting in one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history didn’t live up to the hype, as Federer struggled throughout Thursday night’s contest with a back injury that limited his normally fluid movement.

Nadal, the world No. 5, played aggressively from the get-go and earned his first break point with Federer serving at 2-2 in the first set. Although he missed out on that opportunity, Nadal converted another chance two games later and never looked back.

“I played a fantastic first set, in my opinion. The second set was strange,” Nadal said in the post-match press conference. “The second set, I think Roger didn’t fight as usual. He probably had some problems and he didn’t feel enough comfortable to keep fighting.”

“Both of us tried to play our best. I played much better than yesterday (a three-set victory Wednesday night over Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis). My movements today were much, much better than yesterday, so I’m very happy for that, especially after a long match yesterday, to be able to compete well the next day,” said  Nadal.

Federer, meanwhile, said the injury was no worse than in his round-of-16 match Wednesday against countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, which he pulled out 7-5 in the third set.

“(It was the) same as against Stan. I mean, I could play,” Federer said. “I’m happy to be out there and able to compete. But it’s obviously a small issue.”

Nadal, who was forced to pull out of last year’s 2012 London Games and U.S. Open and this year’s Australian Open, started his comeback early last month at a small clay-court event in Viña de Mar, Chile, losing in the final there to Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos.

But he hasn’t lost a match since, winning two other Latin American clay-court events in Sao Paulo and Acapulco, Mexico, and making a smooth transition to hard courts with three match victories so far in Indian Wells.

Ferrer Wins Second Title of the Year…

David Ferrer has claimed his second title of the season…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis pro defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Sunday to defend his Copa Claro title in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, the top seed in the tournament, broke his opponent six times — including three in the final set — to earn the 20th title of his career.

He won the Heineken Open last month in Auckland, New Zealand.

Wawrinka was looking to win for his fourth ATP title, but couldn’t match Ferrer’s consistency on the outdoor clay court.

Ferrer won 11 straight points during one stretch in the third set, a slump from which Wawrinka just couldn’t recover.

Ferrer won this tournament last year, beating Nicolas Almagro in an all-Spanish final. Backed by strong support from the Argentine crowd, Ferrer promised to return.