Ferrer Strengthens London Chances, Reaches Vienna QFs
Kevin Anderson sets up all-NCAA clash
David Ferrer further improved his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the seventh time Thursday when he reached the Erste Bank Open quarter-finals. The Spaniard, who is currently No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, added 45 points after he defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-1 in 63 minutes.
Ferrer, who recorded the 650th match win of his career with victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round, is now 49-12 on the year by reaching his 12th quarter-final (or better). He has won four ATP World Tour titles in 2015. The top seed will next challenge eighth seed Fabio Fognini, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Radek Stepanek earlier in the day.
Kei Nishikori and Ferrer are both on course to clinch the final two spots that are up for grabs at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 15-22 November.
No. 2 seed Kevin Anderson survived the loss of the first set to eliminate Jiri Vesely 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-5. Anderson held two set points on his opponent’s serve in the opening set, but was edged by the Czech in the tie-break. The South African rallied to even the match, then broke serve on the final point of the match to secure the win.
Anderson served 15 aces to move to 980 for the year. He has never fired 1,000 aces in a season, but is now within reach of becoming the third player to reach the milestone in 2015, following Ivo Karlovic and John Isner. Since Infosys ATP aces statistics were first kept in 1991, there has never been a season in which three players topped 1,000 aces in a year.
“It was a very tough match,” noted Anderson. “I’ve played Jiri a couple of times so I knew what to expect. I missed my chance in the first set but took really good care of my serve. I dug deep to save break points at five-all in the third.”
With the win, Anderson set up a quarter-final clash against American Steve Johnson.
“Our college careers never overlapped, but [Steve] was one of the best collegiate players in history and we’ve had the chance to face each other on the [ATP World] Tour a few times,” noted Anderson, who was a standout in NCAA Division I tennis for the University of Illinois before turning pro. He holds a 4-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the USC alumnus.
Johnson battled hard to beat Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4, striking 20 aces to Janowicz's 23. He also lost just four of his service points and saved both break points he faced.
Murray/Peers Advance To Doubles SFs
Second seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers, who will compete in the English capital next month, saved eight of nine break points to beat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 6-2, 6-3 in 59 minutes. Murray will team up with Soares in 2016. Murray and Peers will next face Fognini and Max Mirnyi, who beat Julian Knowle and Daniel Nestor 6-3, 6-2. Nestor, 43, has 997 doubles match wins.