• Ferrer squares off against Seppi at Portugal Open

    5/4/13 7:12 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer squares off against Seppi at Portugal Open David Ferrer is set for a showdown against fellow veteran Andreas Seppi on Saturday in Oeiras. The winner will battle either Stanislas Wawrinka or Pablo Carreno-Busta for the title.

    David Ferrer and Andreas Seppi will be going head-to-head for the fifth time in their careers when they collide in the semifinals of the Portugal Open on Saturday. Ferrer has dominated all four of their previous encounters in easy straight sets, including three on clay. They most recently faced each other at 2011 Nice event, with Ferrer cruising 6-3, 6-2.

    Seppi, however, is a completely different player now. The 29-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career in 2012, when he won two titles, reached another final, advanced to the Rome quarters in dramatic fashion, and took Novak Djokovic to five sets in the fourth round of the French Open. Seppi, currently registering at a career-high mark of No. 18 in the world, has defeated Alejandro Falla and Tommy Robredo this week to improve his 2013 record to 14-10.

    Both Seppi and Ferrer struggled at the start of this clay-court swing. The Italian lost his openers in Monte-Carlo and Bucharest, while Ferrer skipped Monte-Carlo and was upset by Dmitry Tursunov right off the bat in Barcelona. Oeiras' top seed, however, may be back on track following victories over Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Victor Hanescu. Ferrer, who owns two titles this year plus a runner-up trophy from Miami, is 27-6 for the season.

    Seppi is not quite as on fire now as he was in 2012, but this should still result in by far their most competitive encounter to date. Ferrer needed three three sets to get past Roger-Vasselin and barely won the second against Hanescu, so he is clearly not up to his early-season standard right now.

    Their past history, however, is glaring in Ferrer's favor so look for the favorite to get the job done in three tight sets.

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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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