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Saturday September 29, 2012
By SHAMSHUL FITRI
KUALA LUMPUR: Top seed and world No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain endured a marathon match against Igor Sijsling of Holland before prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a highly entertaining quarter-final of the Malaysian Open tennis championships yesterday.
Ferrer needed two hours and three minutes to subdue Sijsling for his third win against the Dutchman in three meetings this year.
World No. 97 Sijsling took the first set with brilliant drop at the net. Ferrer, however, responded with his own trickery to grab the second.
Fatigue and tension got the better of Sijsling in the decider and his play was peppered with errors, giving Ferrer a spot in the semi-final today against Julien Benneteau.
“It was a difficult match and he has played well this season thus far,” said Ferrer, who last played against Sijsling at the US Open. Their other meeting was in Hertogenbosch, Holland.
“It is now towards the end of the season and I’m quite tired but I will try to do my best for the remaining of the season.”
Meanwhile, Japanese sensation Kei Nishikori eased into the quarter-finals when 2009 champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia retired after losing the first set 4-6.
Davydenko retired after pulling a groin muscle late into the first set.
The Russian had also retired at the same stage of the tournament last year against eventual champion Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.
Nishikori will face Argentina’s Juan Monaco in the semi-final today.
Interestingly, Nishikori will be partnering Monaco in the doubles of the Japan Open in Tokyo next week.
“We’re good friends and my coach is also an Argentine. So that is the connection. I’ll have to play very well against Monaco because he likes to hit it strong from the baseline,” said Nishikori.
Monaco, meanwhile, has set his sights on winning the tournament as he is seeking to qualify for the World Tour Finals in London in November.
The Argentine is currently 12th in the World Tour Finals rankings. Only the top eight will make the cut.
“My objective is to qualify for London. I know it is difficult but I have four more tournaments left to do it. I have to work hard and let my game do the talking. As long as I’m working hard and staying fit, the possibility is always there,” said Monaco, who made short work of Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.
In another quarter-final match, seventh seed Bennetau of France foiled Colombian Alenjandro Falla’s hopes of going any further.
Falla, who beat fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the second round on Thursday, was outclassed by the Frenchman 6-2, 6-2.
Quarter-final: Juan Monaco (Arg) bt Vasek Pospisil (Can) 6-3, 6-4; Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) 6-4 (rtd); Julien Benneteau (Fra) bt Alejandro Falla (Col) 6-2, 6-2; David Ferrer (Spa) bt Igor Sijsling (Ned) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Semi-final: Colin Fleming-Ross Hutchins (Bri) bt Mariusz Fyrstenberg-Marcin Matkowski (Pol) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
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