By Erik Gudris / November 1, 2013
In a rematch of the Roland Garros finals, Spain's Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer will square off under the lights at the Paris Masters semifinals.
Photo Credit: AP
Both David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal will seek to accomplish a rare feat in both their careers if they reach the finals of the BNP Paribas Masters. But first they have to face off against each other in Saturday's semifinals.
Nadal booked his spot in the final four after yet another victory against France's Richard Gasquet. Despite Gasquet enjoying local support, it was Nadal who entered this quarterfinal with a perfect 11-0 record against the Frenchman.
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Both men traded early breaks of serve in the opening set. But Nadal secured the vital break in the sixth game before going on to take the set 6-4. Gasquet didn't help his cause in the second set by both failing to hold a break point against Nadal and by dropping his own serve three times.
The result - Nadal clinched the 6-4, 6-1 win in just 67 minutes with a forehand winner.
Nadal is still bidding to become the first player to claim six ATP Masters events in a single season. The Paris Masters is one of the few ATP 1000 tournaments Nadal has yet to win during his career.
Ferrer Grinds Past Berdych in Three
David Ferrer is not only hoping to claim a second title in Paris, but also become the first defending champion to repeat as the winner since 1971. His quest got more difficult as he took on No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych in the last quarterfinal of the day.
Even more so after Berdych, who saved both break points against him in the opening set, soon won the set 6-4.
Ferrer recovered in the second set by jumping out to a 3-0 lead. But Berdych rallied himself to not only break back but push things to 5-all. Serving to force a tiebreak at 6-5, Berdych found himself down set point. Berdych carved a backhand slice a bit too fine on the next point and sent it just wide.
That gave Ferrer new life and the set 7-5.
With a looping forehand down the line winner, Ferrer broke Berdych at love to go ahead 3-1 in the final set. Using the same trademark defense that took him to the French Open finals earlier in the year, Ferrer forced Berdych to hit long giving Ferrer a 4-1 lead.
That lead was enough for Ferrer down the stretch as he closed out the 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory.
Ferrer struck 30 winners and 26 unforced errors while Berdych hit 39 winners to 39 unforced.
Ferrer now faces Nadal in Saturday's semi with Nadal holding a commanding 20-4 lifetime edge. That includes Nadal winning their last meeting in the French Open finals back in June.
The second semi will feature Novak Djokovic against Roger Federer.