Spaniards Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer comfortably advanced to the semifinals of the Shanghai Tennis Masters Cup on Thursday. The World No. 2 Nadal had his way with Novak Djokovic, posting a 6-4, 6-4 win, while Ferrer ripped Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-1.
Playing in his first Masters Cup, Ferrer’s win earned his the top spot in the Gold Group with a 3-0 record and a date with the No. 2 player from the Red Group on Saturday. Nadal finished second at 2-1. He’ll face the No. 1 Red Group player.
Ferrer dominated the Frenchman, hitting 18 winners to five and won more than double the number of points (54 to 25) as he limited Gasquet to a winning percentage of just 33% on his first serve.
“Of course, I (am) not the favorite,” said Ferrer after the 59-minute mauling.”Rafa is No. 2 of the world, Djokovic is No. 3. But the tennis every week have a surprise, no?”
No? Yes? Ferrer is trying to become the first player to win in his Masters Cup debut since countryman Alex Corretja did so back in 1998.
Nadal earned his second consecutive Shanghai semifinal berth defeating the lackluster Djokovic.
“I play very, very good match – the best match here, and one of the best matches of the indoor season,” said Nadal. “I play very, very complete match.”
Added Djokovic,who never won a set at the event: “I wasn’t trying to play for anybody. I knew before the match I didn’t have any chances for the semifinals. But, of course, I always try to win whenever I get to the court.”
On Friday, the Roger Federer and Andy Roddick meet for a 16th time and Fernando Gonzalez will look to catch fire again against Nikolay Davydenko. Roddick’s already clinched a semifinal spot.
As for the semifinal scenarios, if Davydenko (who cannot qualify whatever happens) beats Gonzalez, then Federer goes through to the semifinals. If Gonzalez beats Davydenko and Federer beats Roddick, Federer gets the nod (3-way tie). For Gonzo to get in, he needs to beat Davydenko and hope that Roddick beats Roger.
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