• Ferrer faces Hanescu, Fognini battles Carreno-Busta

    5/2/13 8:05 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer faces Hanescu, Fognini battles Carreno-Busta David Ferrer and Fabio Fognini will continue their Oeiras campaigns during quarterfinal action on Friday. They are set for respective meetings with Victor Hanescu and Pablo Carreno-Busta.

    (1) David Ferrer vs. Victor Hanescu

    Ferrer and Hanescu will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in the quarterfinals of the Portugal Open on Friday. They first faced each other nine years at Wimbledon, where Ferrer prevailed 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5. The Spaniard also won their only previous clay-court encounter; 6-3, 6-2 at the 2011 Barcelona event.

    Hanescu is by no means favored to turn the tide, but he at least seems to be heating up at the moment. The 54th-ranked Romanian, still just 8-10 for the season, reached the quarterfinals last week in Bucharest and so far in Oeiras he has taken out both Rui Machado and Benoit Paire in straight sets. Ferrer, who skipped Monte-Carlo and lost his Barcelona opener to Dmitry Tursunov, scraped past Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Wednesday. The world No. 4 is far from at his best right now, but he should have too much for Hanescu on this surface.

    (Q) Pablo Carreno-Busta vs. (4) Fabio Fognini

    Lopsided as it may be on paper, Friday's showdown between Fognini and Carreno-Busta should not disappoint. Both players are in outstanding form at the moment, especially on clay. Fognini, a semifinalist in Acapulco earlier this year, went all the way to the Monte-Carlo semifinals last month. Up to No. 25 in the world, the Italian upset Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych in straight sets before falling to Novak Djokovic.

    Carreno-Busta, virtually unheard of at the start of 2013 with a ranking of 654th, is positively on fire. The 21-year-old Spaniard has captured seven Futures titles this season, including six on clay. He qualified for the main draw this week and is through to his first ATP quarterfinal following victories over Julien Benneteau and David Goffin. Unless Fognini plays with the same interest he showed in Monte-Carlo (which is far from a guarantee), Carreno-Busta should be in line for another big win.

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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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