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By Chris Oddo | Friday October 23, 2015

 
ferrer Vienna

David Ferrer maintained his domination over Fabio Fognini with a straight-sets victory over the Italian in Vienna on Friday.

Photo Source: Erste Bank Open

There is one Spaniard who has been able to maintain complete and utter dominance over Fabio Fognini this season, and his name is David Ferrer. Ferrer's compatriot, Rafael Nadal, has lost three times to Fognini in 2015 to much consternation, but Ferrer apparently did not get the memo on the Italian's new world-beating status. The World No. 8 raced past the Fognini for a ninth straight time on Friday at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, 6-4, 6-2, to set up a semifinal clash with Gael Monfils.

More: Monfils Rejects Fan's Flower

Ferrer, who is closing in on a spot for this year’s World Tour Finals in London, has now won eight consecutive sets vs. Fognini. He broke serve four times on five opportunities to close out Fognini in 74 minutes.

Monfils had to take the scenic route to the semis after dropping the opener to Lukas Rosol. But the flamboyant Frenchman claimed a wildly entertaining second set with two breaks to force a decider.

Monfils, who connected on several highlight-reel shots in this match in addition to doing quite a bit of showboating for the crowd (who loved every minute of it), grabbed the early break in set three and held his nerve to knock off Rosol for the third straight time, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3.

Serving at 5-3, 30-all, second serve, Monfils threw in a perfect dropper from the baseline to bring the crowd to a frenzy, and he sealed his victory on the next point.

Monfils owns a 3-2 lifetime edge over Ferrer but the Spaniard has won their last two meetings.

In the lower half of the draw, a pair of unlikely semifinalists emerged. Ernests Gulbis reached his first tour-level semifinal in over a year with a 7-6(4), 7-6(5) victory over Ivo Karlovic, while American Steve Johnson upset second-seeded Kevin Anderson, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4, to reach his fourth career semifinal and third of this season.

Johnson has won more matches in 2015 (32) than in the previous three years combined (26). Gulbis, meanwhile, has dipped outside of the Top-100 after reaching the Top-10 for the first time last year.

The Latvian hit 12 aces and saved all five break points he faced to get past Karlovic.

Johnson owns a 2-0 lifetime record vs. Gulbis.

 

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