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Ferrer looks to crack tennis' elite

June 7, 2012 at 7:23 AM   |   Comments

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PARIS, June 7 (UPI) -- David Ferrer cracked one tennis barrier by advancing to Friday's French Open semifinals and moving another round would mark a career first for Ferrer.

The Grand Slam events have been dominated by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the last two years. In the last eight major tournaments, counting the current French Open, those four have taken 27 of the 32 semifinals slots and -- going into Friday's semis -- the 12 finals spots in the last six majors.

All that consistency creates a lot of record-breaking opportunities and the last three matches of the French Open will be no different:

Djokovic, the world No. 1, is shooting for the personal Grand Slam and if he wins Sunday he would hold all four major tournament titles at one time.

Nadal, ranked No. 2, hasn't lost a set this year as he goes for a third consecutive and record seventh overall French Open championship. He is 50-1 at Roland Garros.

Federer, No. 3, owns the record with 16 major tournament titles. That includes the 2009 French Open title. He's won a record 237 matches in Grand Slam events.

That leaves Ferrer, who is looking for his first trip to a major tournament final. He's No. 6 in the rankings and made inroads this year with his 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal win Wednesday over Murray.

He's dropped just one set this tournament and has had only two other sets in which he lost as many as four games.

Ferrer has a big test versus Nadal, considered the best player on clay. Nadal is 15-4 lifetime against Ferrer, including 11-1 since 2008.

The Djokovic-Federer semifinal is a rematch from 2011, when Federer won in four sets. Djokovic hasn't lost a major tournament match since. Federer is 15-11 against Djokovic but Djokovic has won five of the last six meetings, including a five-set battle in the U.S. Open semifinals.

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