• Ferrer cruises, Brown's run ends in Johannesburg

    2/5/10 4:36 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer cruises, Brown's run ends in Johannesburg David Ferrer eases past Somdev Devvarman on Friday afternoon in Johannesburg. Ferrer is joined in the semifinals by Stephane Robert, who dispatched Dustin Brown in straight sets.

    David Ferrer is back in the semifinals of the the SA Tennis Open after racing to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Somdev Devvarman on Friday afternoon in Johannesburg. Ferrer, who lost to Jeremy Chardy in the semis of this event last year, needed just one hour and six minutes to set up a meeting with No. 8 seed Stephane Robert.

    Ferrer jumped out to an early lead by breaking Devvarman's serve in the second game of the match. The 18th-ranked Spaniard saved two break points before holding for 3-0 and ended up fending off all five of the break points he faced in set one. Following another service break at 4-1, Ferrer served out the opening frame of play.

    Devvarman showed signs of life early in the second set, but India's top-ranked player surrendered serve at 2-2 to fall into a major hole. The world No. 162's first break of the afternoon finally came when it was much too late, with his opponent serving for the match at 5-2. Ferrer bounced right back to clinch the win with his fifth break. Johannesburg's No. 2 seed finished with four aces and two double-faults while winning 80 percent of his first-serve points.

    Robert booked his spot alongside Ferrer with a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over Jamaica's only ranked player, Dustin Brown. Neither man had ever reached an ATP semifinal; Brown had never won a single ATP match prior to this week and Robert headed into the SA Open with just three ATP match wins.

    As a result, plenty of nerves were on display throughout a shaky first set. Both players surrendered serve twice before Robert took the ensuing tiebreaker seven points to five. The 29-year-old Frenchman maintained his momentum by breaking for a 2-0 advantage in the second and he just barely consolidated it the rest of the way. Robert saved three break points midway through set two and fought off three more break points while serving for the match at 5-3.

    "Today was very difficult," Robert admitted. "I had big problems with my serve to begin with but I got better at the end of the first set and I produced a big ace at the end. I have had a great beginning to the year and would like this to continue."

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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