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  • Ferrer faces Kohlschreiber in Rome third round

    5/16/13 4:39 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer faces Kohlschreiber in Rome third round David Ferrer remains on course for a quarterfinal collision with Rafael Nadal in Rome. Standing in Ferrer's way on Thursday, however, is Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    David Ferrer and Philipp Kohlschreiber will be doing battle for the 11th time in their careers when they match up in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Thursday.

    Ferrer is leading the head-to-head series 7-3, including 2-1 on clay. Their last meeting on the slow stuff came at the 2010 Monte-Carlo Masters, where Ferrer prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1). They most recently faced each other earlier this season in the Auckland final, with the Spaniard taking the title via a 7-6(5), 6-1 decision.

    Kohlschreiber stumbled thereafter due to a leg injury suffered during first-round Davis Cup action, but he has surged into form on clay. The 22nd-ranked German won two matches in Monte-Carlo, went on a run to the Barcelona semifinals, and he also finished runner-up to countryman Tommy Haas in Munich. So far in Rome, Kohlschreiber has taken out both Milos Raonic and Albert Ramos in straight sets.

    Ferrer earned a first-round bye this week as the No. 4 seed before battling past compatriot Fernando Verdasco 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday. The fourth-ranked Spaniard boasts a 31-8 record for the year, which includes two titles and a runner-up showing in Miami.

    While he continues to play consistent tennis, Ferrer has not been quite as impressive this season as he was in 2012. Kohlschreiber is building confidence with every week, his topspin forehand is working well on this surface, and he is dictating play with his one-handed backhand. As long as the underdog serves well and prevents Ferrer from getting into a groove with his return, look for a three-set upset to take place.

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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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