All Set for Semifinals
After a tightly packed Thursday when most players played two matches, the semifinalists have finally been found and the stage is set for two classic showdowns.
Spanish third seed David Ferrer (pictured left) almost had to play three times yesterday, and perhaps counts himself fortunate that his partner Nicolas Almagro had to withdraw from their Sovereign Doubles match with an arm injury.
Then again, perhaps not. Ferrer is the type that thrives on hard graft. He may not have the pure shot-making talent of some men who are better known for that reason, but his speed and dogged work ethic usually put him in the right place to return whatever they send his way.
On Friday he meets American Mardy Fish, who played four magnificent sets to beat higher ranked Mario Ancic and Juan Ignacio Chela yesterday, 6-4 6-4 against the Croatian second seed and 7-6(3) 7-6(8) against the Argentine.
Fish thought Ferrer had the tougher Thursday, and has beaten him twice before. He is also feeling confident about winning more of the bigger points these days.
The other semi sees Spanish top seed Tommy Robredo take on seventh seed Agustin Calleri of Argentina. Both men played five sets yesterday, Robredo 6-4 6-2 and 6-4 5-7 6-2 against Alberto Martin and Philipp Kohlschreiber respectively, while Calleri went 6-4 6-1 against Florent Serra and 4-6 6-4 6-3 against Juan Monaco.
Calleri is likely to be the one trying to shorten the points, because Robredo plays as deep as anyone in Auckland has ever seen.