Nadal defeats Ferrer to book Madrid Open semi-finals

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Rafa Nadal wins a three-setter against Ferrer to set up an all-Spanish Mutua Madrid Open 2013 semi-final against Pablo Andujar.

A two-time Madrid Open Champion Nadal came back after a set down against his fourth-seeded countryman David Ferrer. In the opening set both players dropped one serve by 4-4 before Ferrer broke Rafa again when the latter was serving to keep the set alive. The set number two was not going according to the fifth-seeded Nadal’s plans either as he went 2-4 down, yet he responded with two breaks in a row and served for the set at 5-4. However, the second set drama was not about to end just yet as resilient Ferrer clawed back and eventually forced a tie-break. In the thirteenth game Nadal escaped to 5-2 and converted his first set ball a few rallies later. Ferrer could not recover from the second set defeat and was merely a spectator in the decider with the king of clay delivering him a bagel in the end. Nadal thus needed two hours and thirty eight minutes to claim a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0 quarterfinal victory and to extend his head-to-head lead against Ferrer to 18-4.

113th-ranked domestic player Andujar took out seed number fourteen Kei Nishikori of Japan who won their only previous meeting. In the opening set the unseeded Spaniard broke the deadlock in the eighth game to make it 5-3 and was now serving for the set – in the longest game of the match the Japanese produced seven re-break points before allowing Andujar to seize the opener with his fourth set ball. The two-time time ATP winner Spaniard came close to wrapping up the clash in the tenth game, yet Nishikori broke back to make it 5-5. However, he gave away another serve in the follow-up game and allowed Andujar to ultimately secure his semifinal ticket next. The result: 6-3, 7-5.

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