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Spaniards Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer set up yet another clash on the 'red dirt' as the two racked up tough quarterfinal victories over Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet respectively. Nadal and Ferrer, who clashed in the 2010 final at the event, will meet in Saturday's semi-final to determine who goes into the final showdown.
Nadal, who had been demoted to World No.3 following his well-documented early exit on the blue courts of Madrid last week, looked to be back to his best on the vastly more familiar red clay and produced yet another top performance to edge out Berdych 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and five minutes. The Czech, who is in impressive form himself, having reached the semis in Monte Carlo and the final last week in Madrid got off to a terrible start, losing serve in the very first game of the match. Nadal does not need second chances, especially on clay, and seized the advantage to take the first set. The second set though was far from easy for the 5-time Rome champion as Berdych raced out to a 4-2 lead. The Spaniard though reeled off five of the next six games to win the match and stay in the hunt for a record 21st ATP Masters Series 1000 title.
Rafa's Davis Cup teammate David Ferrer also had to struggle a bit before finally overcoming talented Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6(4), 6-3 in the second quarterfinal. Gasquet had put in an inspiring performance yesterday to dispose of World No.4 Andy Murray and competed hard against his higher-ranked opponent, but was found wanting when it mattered most, as Ferrer converted three out of six break points to reach the semifinals. The 30 year-old Spaniard is chasing his fourth title of the year and third on clay, having most recently reached the final in Barcelona where he fell to Nadal. Rafa will bring a 14-4 record against Ferrer into that match.
(3) Rafael Nadal(ESP) defeats (7) Tomas Berdych(CZE) 6-4, 7-5
(5) David Ferrer(ESP) defeats Richard Gasquet(FRA) 7-6(4), 6-3
- 19/05/2012 01:38 - Federer thrashes Seppi to earn semi-final showdown with Djokovic
- 19/05/2012 01:02 - Sharapova downs Venus, Kerber shocks Kvitova in Rome Quarters
- 18/05/2012 22:28 - Djokovic drubs Tsonga to seal Semi-final berth in Rome