Ferrer overcomes Tipsarevic in dead rubber
Spain’s David Ferrer overcame a sluggish start to beat Janko Tipsarevic 4-6 6-3 6-1 in a dead rubber in Group B at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London.
With Juan Martin Del Potro having beaten Roger Federer earlier in the day, neither Ferrer nor Tipsarevic stood any chance of progressing to the semi-finals irrespective of the result in the final group match of the tournament.
It clearly angered Ferrer, who had beaten Del Potro on Tuesday, in the early stages of the match, muttering to himself and dumping his racquet as he quickly went 4-0 down.
But the dependably tenacious Spaniard managed to get control of his emotions and, although he went on to lose the first set, came back to win in three to send the Serb home without a win from the week.
Ferrer, however, still cannot rest as he will now travel to Prague for next weekend’s Davis Cup final where the defending champions Spain take on Czech Republic.
With Tipsarevic having had to play a number of extra tournaments in order to get the points to qualify for the tournament, and with Ferrer having won back-to-back tournaments in Valencia and Paris in the two weeks immediately preceding London, there was always a risk the encounter would be a low-energy affair.
But the last thing the crowd, or Tipsarevic, would have been expecting was Ferrer’s lacklustre start to the match that saw him win just six points in the first five games as the Serb ran away with the early proceedings.
The Spaniard could barely get a ball in play for the first half of the first set but was suddenly helped by a let up in momentum from Tipsarevic as the Serb gifted him a break in the sixth game, only for Ferrer to concede the break once again in the very next game.
Another exchange of breaks left the crowd in no doubt that both men were now struggling and, as a result, the atmosphere at the O2 was nowhere near its usual level as even hawkeye challenges and a set point failed to raise much excitement.
Tipsarevic took the first set at his second attempt but the Spaniard was beginning to rediscover the admirably dogged style of play that has seen him enjoy his most successful year on tour so far in 2012 with a whopping seven titles to his name, more than any other player.
Ferrer opened the second set with a hold before breaking a rapidly tiring Tipsarevic - who has suffered with illness recently - in the second.
But just when it appeared that the Spaniard had exorcised his first-set demons, he handed the break back to his opponent and began to mutter to himself again.
However, Tipsarevic’s time had passed. He had nothing left in the tank and laboured around the court, breathing heavily even at the beginning of a game and taking an age between points.
Ferrer quickly re-established his break lead before going on to level the match with an unreturnable serve sealing the set in the ninth game.
The final set was even more one-sided as Ferrer broke in the third and fifth games before going on to serve out the match in the seventh, strolling to the net with a muted celebration knowing that - despite departing London with two wins and just the one loss to his name - he could still not secure a semi-final berth.