Federer sinks Ferrer to reach Madrid semis
David Ferrer's long winless run against Roger Federer now stands at 13 after the Swiss legend beat him to book a place in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.
Federer, who will rise to the world No. 2 ranking ahead of Rafael Nadal if he wins the tournament, helped himself to a routine 6-4 6-4 triumph.
He will now play Janko Tipsarevic, who surprisingly beat Novak Djokovic earlier in the day, in the last four of the blue-clay event. Juan Martin del Potro meets Tomas Berdych in the other semi.
The scoreline makes the contest look closer than it actually was: there was never a period when Ferrer was in control, and it only ever looked a matter of time before Federer put his foot down in each set.
Federer survived a scare against Milos Raonic earlier in the tournament, but there was no sign of a repeat against an opponent he has only fond memories of facing.
Ferrer, watched by several Spanish international footballers and heavily favoured by the crowd, tried to employ an aggressive strategy, particularly on his second serve. It backfired spectacularly: he won just 38% of the points there in the first set, and coughed up a handful of costly double faults.
Federer broke in the third game of the opening stanza and, while never hitting his top level, was ruthless when it came to capitalising on Ferrer's shortcomings.
The Spaniard had his best spell early in the second set, moving fluidly and showing why he is regarded as a clay-court specialist, but he gave away a break in the ninth game - and from that point there was only one winner.
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