• Ferrer holds off Falla, to face Verdasco

    1/13/12 1:28 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer holds off Falla, to face Verdasco David Ferrer survives Alejandro Falla in three sets on Friday in Auckland. Ferrer will go up against Fernando Verdasco later in the day.

    David Ferrer kicked off a long Friday at the Heineken Open with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 quarterfinal win over Alejandro Falla. Ferrer came back from a break down in the third set and advanced after two hours and seven minutes to set up a showdown with Fernando Verdasco.

    Ferrer and Verdasco have faced each other on 12 previous occasions, with Verdasco leading the head-to-head series 7-5. One of their more memorable encounters came in round four of the 2010 U.S. Open, a 5-7, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(4) Verdasco win. Ferrer, though, has taken their two other hard-court meetings.

    Seeded first and attempting to defend his Auckland title, Ferrer earned a first-round bye before rolling over Lukas Rosol. Verdasco also got an opening-round bye as the No. 3 seed. The Spaniard has a pair of straight-set victories over Carlos Berlocq and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    Interestingly, Verdasco actually played longer in his first match on Friday (two hours and 25 minutes) than Ferrer. That won't help his upset bid, but it also won't completely seal his fate. Ferrer in another tight three-setter is the pick.

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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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