Ferrer sets up Ferrero final

Reuters - Sun, 21 Feb 15:39:00 2010

Top seed David Ferrer crushed compatriot Albert Montanes 6-1 6-1 and is favourite to beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in an all-Spanish final at the Buenos Aires Open.

Ferrer of Spain returns the ball to compatriot Montanes during their tennis match at the ATP Buenos Aires Open - 0

The title will remain in Spanish hands after Tommy Robredo's victory at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club last year and Ferrero will be looking for a second successive crown in South America after winning the Brasil Open last week.

Ferrer's semi-final victory came in his second match of the day. He beat Russian sixth seed Igor Andreev 7-5 6-2 in their afternoon quarter-final, postponed due to torrential rain at the claycourt event on Friday.

The world number 19 has a 5-1 record against second seed Ferrero and was in devastating form against Montanes, who only managed to check the former world number four's progress for a few face-saving points at the end of each set.

Montanes had a bye into the semi-finals after home favourite David Nalbandian withdrew with a leg muscle tear on Thursday, having won his first two matches in his comeback tournament from hip surgery nine months ago.

"I'm happy to be in my first final of the year (and) happy there are two Valencians in the final," Ferrer said, referring to his and Ferrero's home province of Valencia.

Former world number one Ferrero, who will be seeking his 14th title, beat Argentine Juan Monaco 6-2 7-6 in the first semi-final, which was also the home player's second match of the day.

Monaco, the 2007 champion and runner-up last year, had earlier completed a 7-5 6-1 quarter-final win over fellow Argentine Horacio Zeballos.

Ferrero, the fresher man having played his quarter-final on Friday before the rainstorm, fought back from 5-2 down in the second set. He relinquished a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak before winning it 9-7 on his third match point.


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