DOHA, Qatar (AFP) – David Ferrer, who has played much of his career in the shadow of Rafael Nadal, earned himself the chance to atone for his compatriot’s first round loss by reaching the final of the Qatar Open.
Ferrer goes on to face Tomas Berdych for the title after a victory in three tie-break sets against Ivo Karlovic ended a remarkable sequence from a unique opponent.
The giant Croatian became the first active player to pass 9,000 aces on Wednesday, knocked out the world number one Novak Djokovic on Thursday, and delivered 30 aces which carried him past the former US Open champion Andy Roddick’s total of 9,074 on Friday.
Karlovic is stil1 1,111 aces behind Croatian compatriot Goran Ivanisevic’s 10,183, which is the all-time record, but he allowed two tight chances of reaching the final to slip away in the second and third sets.
That though had much to do with Ferrer’s stubbornness and courage in a 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4) win in which there were no breaks of serve. Some of them occurred in a second set tie-break which was a tale of two forehands, and in which Ferrer was twice within two points of winning the match after reaching 5-4.
The first forehand was Ferrer’s who made a geometry-defying passing shot to reach 3-3 just when it seemed certain Karlovic would make the first mini-break for 4-2.