_
_
_
_
FRENCH OPEN

Ferrer fast-tracks to semifinals

Fourth seed will play home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in final

David Ferrer salutes the crowd after beating Tommy Robredo on Tuesday.
David Ferrer salutes the crowd after beating Tommy Robredo on Tuesday. CHRISTOPHE KARABA (EFE)

David Ferrer wasted little time in securing his place in the French Open semifinals on Tuesday while maintaining his perfect record thus far in the tournament of not dropping a set.

Tommy Robredo had earned the right to attempt to blot Ferrer's score card by recovering from two sets down to win each his last three matches — an Open Era benchmark. But that Herculean effort told as the world number 34, who had slipped to 471 at the nadir of his injury-plagued 2012 season, slumped to a 2-6, 1-6, 1-6 loss to fourth seed Ferrer in just an hour and 25 minutes on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

If he was quick, Ferrer could have nipped over to Philippe Chatrier to determine who his semifinal rival was to be. In another brief encounter, lasting an hour and 51 minutes, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dispatched Roger Federer in straight sets, ending the Swiss' flirtation with a 18th Grand Slam title and a second on the Parisian clay. Ferrer has yet to reach a Grand Slam final in the course of his career and Tsonga will have to display the same level as he did against Federer to prevent the feisty Spaniard from doing so on his sixth semifinal attempt.

In a digital interview with EL PAÍS, Toni Nadal opined that the world number four would not be handing in his hotel key card before next Monday.

Tsonga, although contesting just his second clay-court semifinal, has improved significantly on the surface so beloved of Spain's traveling Armada and will certainly provide Ferrer with his sternest test of the tournament to date. The Frenchman, a 2008 finalist at the Australian Open, carries the weight of a nation on his shoulders, which could work either to his advantage or detriment. Tsonga has also not dropped a set en route the last four.

Ferrer has little to lose and everything to gain by maintaining the aggressive game plan unleashed on Robredo in his second successive French Open semifinal. The two have played three times before, on hard, grass and clay, with Ferrer holding a 2-1 record. In the most recent match, the Spaniard ended Tsonga's run at his home Masters tournament in Paris, where Ferrer went on to win his only top-tier event to date.

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
_
_