Joao Sousa (Player Profile) hopes to make his second straight ATP semi-final but he has an almighty task on his hands against the World No.4 David Ferrer (Player Profile). By his very high standards, the Spaniard has seen somewhat of a dip in form since the French Open. Despite making the quarter-finals at the US Open and Wimbledon, he will be disappointed not to have defeated either Richard Gasquet or Juan Martin Del Potro in either tournament respectively. This will be the first meeting between Ferrer and Sousa.
Otherwise, early exits to the likes of Dmitry Tursunov and Xavier Malisse were highly surprising for a player who has carved out a reputation as a steady and consistent player. He defeated Matteo Viola in round one although the Italian spends much of his time on the Challenger Tour.
Sousa has been highly impressive over the latter part of the summer with a US Open third round followed by a semi-final in St Petersburg. Generally preferring clay, the Portuguese has shown he is capable of performing well on faster surfaces too with wins over the likes Dmitry Tursunov and Grigor Dimitrov in the aforementioned tournaments.
It looked like he had run out of gas in the last round after finding himself down 6-4 *5-4 down against Pablo Cuevas in the last round. However, Sousa fought back to take the last nine games of the match to avoid a shock defeat. If Sousa finds himself in a similar spot against Ferrer, the Spaniard won’t be so generous.
Prediction: David Ferrer in straight sets