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December 4, 2021
SPORTS

Australian Open: Ferrer ends Nadal’s Grand Dream

MELBOURNE – Seventh seed David Ferrer advanced to his second Grand Slam championship semi-final at the Australian Open on Wednesday, after he ended World No. 1 Rafael Nadal’s quest to capture a fourth straight major title. Ferrer beat his fellow Spaniard, who was hindered by a left thigh strain, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 during the night session, according to atpworldtour.com. A leg injury suffered early in the match made the world number one’s bid to become only the third man, and first since 1969, to achieve the feat almost impossible.


Ferrer, who reached the 2007 US Open semi-finals, will next face fifth-seeded Scot and last year’s runner-up Andy Murray on Friday.


Andy Murray is one victory away from reaching his third Grand Slam championship final after the fifth-seeded Scot ended the fairytale run of Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 win on Wednesday for a place in the Australian Open semi-finals.


Murray hit nine aces and 33 winners past Dolgopolov, who had beaten 2008 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling in previous rounds, for victory in three hours and five minutes. Dolgopolov, by contrast, hit 16 aces but won 35 per cent of points on his second serve. The Australian Open debutant recorded 57 winners, but committed 77 unforced errors.


The Belgian Kim Clijsters, overcame No 12 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 7-6 on Wed­nesaday and she will now take on Vera Zvonareva in the semi-final after the world No 2 saw off Petra Kvitova. Clijsters match was interrupted during the second set by a fly past six jets as part of Australia Day celebrations. But the No 3 immediately converted a break point chance to bring the score back to 5-5 – and then took the tiebreak. Clijsters jokedd:”I think the planes kind of took me up higher!”


The triple US Open champion is now the only Grand Slam winners left in the draw with world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki and China’s Li Na meeting in the other semi.


“I hope the experience can help me a little bit,” said Clijsters, the 2004 finalist. “But there are some tough players out there, we have Nos. 1, 2, 3 still in and Li Na has been playing really well. So it is going to be really tough”.


HORIA TECAU IN MIXED DOUBLES SEMIFINALS


Romania’s Horia Tecau and America’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands have qualified for the mixed doubles semifinals at the Australian Open Grand Slam after defeating Australia’s Sally Peers and Carsten Ball, score 7-5, 6-4. The mixed pair will next play against the winner of the game that pits Taiwan’s Yung-Jan Chan and Australia’s Paul Hanley against Taiwan’s Chia-Jung and Belgium’s Dick Norman. America’s Bethanie Mattek Sands and Romania’s Horia Tecau will receive a check for USD 33,900.

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