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Ferrer tames outstanding player of the year Djokovic

Last updated on: November 24, 2011 10:52 IST

Ferrer tames outstanding player of the year Djokovic

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David Ferrer, the lesser known Spaniard in the ATP World Tour Finals, burst out of Rafa Nadal's shadow to reach the last four on Wednesday with a demolition job on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the O2 Arena, in London.

- Ferrer stuns Djokovic

While Nadal's place in the semi-finals is still in doubt after his thrashing at the hands of Roger Federer on Tuesday, the World No. 5 Ferrer made sure he will be around at the weekend with a 6-3, 6-1 defeat of the year's outstanding player.

In the day's other match, Czech Tomas Berdych saved a match point against Djokovic's fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic to seal a 2-6, 6-3 7-6 victory which means the calculators may be needed to decide who finishes runner-up in Group A on Friday.

The complications mean Djokovic could beat Davis Cup team-mate Tipsarevic, a stand-in for injured Briton Andy Murray, and still fail to go through while a defeat, providing Ferrer beats Berdych, would see him survive.

 


Image: David Ferrer (left) greets Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Getty Images
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I need to play 50 percent better in next match: Djokovic

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Whatever the maths, Djokovic said he would need to play "50 percent" better in his next match.
"I have no words to explain this match," Djokovic, who went on a 41-match winning rampage at the start of the year and claimed three of the year's four majors, said.
"Nothing was going well. I don't play at least 50 percent better than I did tonight, I don't think I'll have any chance. You always hope that tomorrow will bring something better."
In front of another sell-out crowd in the 17,500-capacity arena, Djokovic began solidly enough as the first six games of the match went with serve.


Image: Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Getty Images
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'I'm embarrassed to look at the stats'

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However, when the terrier-like Ferrer raced across court on break point to whip a forehand down the line that caught his opponent flat-footed at the net, the match ceased to become a real contest as the 29-year-old from Valencia ran way with it.

Ferrer broke the Djokovic serve again to win the opening set and he needed nothing spectacular in the second set as Djokovic offered little resistance. The Serb's mounting unforced error tally spoke volumes.

"I'm embarrassed to look at the stats," Djokovic, who made 33 unforced errors, said. "All credit to my opponent, he played a great match but, you know, I wasn't there."


Image: Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Getty Images
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Skewed volley proves costly for Tipsarevic

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World No. 9 Tipsarevic, one of the year's most improved players, can no longer reach the semi-finals after his defeat by Berdych although he can content himself with his $70,000 fee for being an alternate and the $120,000 participation fee after replacing the injured Andy Murray.

He should also have banked another $120,000 for a round-robin victory but a skewed volley on match point in the deciding set tiebreaker proved extremely costly.

Berdych looked set for a second consecutive defeat, after his three-set loss to Djokovic on Monday, when Tipsarevic turned the breaker round to lead 6-5 on serve.

He struck lucky though as Tipsarevic let him off the hook.

First the bearded Serb's backhand volley went inches wide of the sideline on match point.

He followed that with a crazy double fault and the match ended painfully when he stumbled over trying to return a Berdych serve. In trying to get to his feet he fell again and ended up in a heap as a relieved Berdych played the ball away into an empty court.

Tipsarevic hobbled off after whacking his knee on the court although he said he would be okay to play Djokovic.


Image: Janko Tipsarevic
Photographs: Getty Images
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Berdych happy to be still in the hunt

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"If I have gotten the chance one more time, I would still take that ball early and go to the net and play the volley," said the Serb who began the year ranked 49th in the world.

"I am not honestly at all disappointed because of the way I played on the match point.

"My feeling now is that I will be ready for practice tomorrow afternoon."

Berdych was just happy to still be in with a shout.

"I was a bit unlucky on Monday but I got luckier here," he said. "There is still a good chance to qualify and go through. So we will see."

In Group B Federer has already guaranteed a top-two place and he will be joined in the semis by the winner of Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who face off on Thursday evening.


Image: Tomas Berdych
Photographs: Getty Images
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