David Ferrer strains past Milos Raonic in the semi-final clash – Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2012
In a gruelling semi-final battle of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, world number six, David Ferrer, came out victorious against the 25th ranked Canadian tennis ace, Milos Raonic, on Saturday. The third seeded Spaniard
strained for two hours and five minutes to win the two tie-breakers at 7-6(2), 7-6(5).
Being a part of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour 500 clay court swing, the contest was played in Barcelona, Spain. Ferrer and Raonic put up an enthralling competition for the local crowd, exhibiting high
quality tennis throughout the match. The third seed Spaniard sustained his clean sheet against Raonic, registering his fourth successive victory over the 21-year-old booming Canadian to lead 4-0 in the head-to-head series.
It was an evenly poised contest, with both contenders stretching each other to their limits. Both sets went to the wire and were settled in the tie-breaker rounds, depicting the intensity of the competition between the two top
class professionals. Not a single serve break was registered in the entire matchup; with Ferrer frittering away seven and Raonic squandering four break opportunities.
As he is well known for, Raonic belted 15 thudding aces in the contest but coughed five doubles faults as well. Ferrer replied by bagging 47 out of 62 first serve points in the match, whilst the Canadian 11th seed lagged
behind with 40 out of 57 points to finish on the losing side in the end. Raonic crumbled in the both tie-breaker rounds and couldn’t sustain his heroics.
"I feel good; it was a very difficult match but I played very solid and consistent," said Ferrer. "It's my fourth final here which is very difficult to do. Raonic has one of best serves on tour, he's improving a lot and he's still
very young. I was very focussed during the tie-breaks and played better than him in those moments - that was the key to the match."
Ferrer will face off against the world number two, Rafael Nadal, in the final of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Sunday.
"It will be difficult to beat Rafa on clay," conceded Ferrer. "I've lost the last three times to him on clay here, I hope it will be different for me tomorrow."
Nadal continued his blistering clay-season run at Barcelona and defeated his ninth seeded compatriot, Fernando Verdasco, 6-0,6-4, in the semi-final battle of the tournament. He will face Ferrer for the 18th time in his
career and currently leads 13-4 against the number two Spaniard.