• Ferrer, Youzhny aim for Kuala Lumpur final

    10/1/10 11:24 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer, Youzhny aim for Kuala Lumpur final David Ferrer and Mikhail Youzhny are the favorites to reach the Kuala Lumpur title match. They will take on Andrey Golubev and Igor Andreev in Saturday's semifinals, respectively.

    (8) Andrey Golubev vs. (5) David Ferrer

    Golubev and Ferrer will be squaring off for the second time in their careers when they meet in the semifinals of the Malaysian Open on Saturday. Their only previous encounter came earlier this year on the clay courts of Monte-Carlo, where Ferrer prevailed easily 6-3, 6-2. The 11th-ranked Spaniard was on fire during that clay-court swing and he has continued to play well on hards. Ferrer reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open and is 48-17 for his 2010 campaign following wins over Bernard Tomic, Yuki Bhambri, and Tomas Berdych.

    While Golubev's best result of his career came on clay (he won the Hamburg title this year), hard courts will give him a much better chance against Ferrer. The 41st-ranked Kazakh showed his potential on a fast surface when he stunned No. 1 seed Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-2 on Friday. Enjoying by far his best season on tour, Golubev owns a 21-15 record having also defeated Yen-Hsun Lu and Kevin Anderson this week. Kuala Lumpur's No. 8 seed has a good chance if he plays like he did against Soderling, but Ferrer in three sets is the pick.

    (4) Mikhail Youzhny vs. Igor Andreev

    It will be an all-Russian affair when Youzhny and Andreev battle for a spot in the final on Saturday. They have met on three previous occasions, with Youzhny leading the head-to-head series 2-1. He earned both of his victories on hard courts, while Andreev's lone win came via retirement at the 2008 Monte-Carlo Masters. Andreev may need some more luck in this one, as Youzhny is in impressive form this season. Up to No. 9 in the world, Youzhny is 37-15 following three-set wins over Aleksandr Dolgopolov and Marcos Baghdatis.

    Andreev has not enjoyed one of his best years and he currently registers outside of the Top 100 at No. 102. However, he is back in business this week. After qualifying for the main draw, Andreev took out Go Soeda, No. 2 seed Nikolay Davydenko, and fellow qualifier Milos Raonic to set up this semifinal showdown. The underdog has had a great week, but look for Youzhny to prevail in straights.

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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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