Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Paradorn Srichaphan 6-4, 6-2 Friday to reach the semifinals at the Tennis Masters Madrid and hold onto his world No. 1 ranking.
The top-seeded Spaniard broke for 4-3 and held on, taking the first set with a forehand winner.
Ferrero broke for 2-1 and 4-1 leads in the second set, winning the match when Paradorn netted a return after the French Open champion had double-faulted on his first match point.
Had Ferrero lost, Roddick would have taken over the No. 1 ranking on Monday. Roddick leads the Champions Race, but Ferrero will close in on the American this week.
"It's very important for me to keep being No. 1 in the world and also because I'm in Spain I try to show everybody I'm in great form," Ferrero said.
"But when I get on court I try to forget I have to keep my No. 1."
Last year, Ferrero was a quarterfinalist in Spain's biggest tournament, losing to eventual champion Andre Agassi.
Ferrero has won three Tennis Masters Series in his career, Rome in 2001 and Monte Carlo in 2002 and this year.
On Saturday, he'll play Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, who came from behind to beat Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the last quarterfinal.
After splitting the first two sets, Federer broke the Spaniard at the start of the third and that was all he needed. Lopez had two chances to break back in the eighth game when the Swiss was 15-40 on serve. But Federer got back to deuce, then aced Lopez and finally held to 5-3 after a brilliant display of volleying.
Earlier, Younes El Aynaoui and Nicolas Massu both rallied from a set down to reach their first career Tennis Masters Series semifinals at the US$2.9 million tournament.
Aynaoui, at 32 the oldest player in the tournament, outlasted Sebastien Grosjean 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2, while Massu beat his good friend Juan Ignacio Chela 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 in an all-South American quarterfinal between two unseeded players.
Massu, a Chilean who upset second-ranked US Open champion Roddick in the third round Thursday, will play El Aynaoui in the final four Saturday.
Massu avenged a defeat to Chela last week in the first round in Vienna, Austria.
The two baseliners, who share the same coach, Gabriel Markus, battled for nearly three hours before Massu won the match on his first match point when the Argentine's forehand went wide.
"I had lost the last two matches against Chela," Massu said. "So it was not an easy situation. For him, I think it was one of the most important matches of his life and it was the same for me. I'm really happy I won."
Grosjean had not lost a set on his way to the quarterfinals, but the sixth-seeded Frenchman was outplayed by his Moroccan opponent in the third set, after losing a tight second-set tiebreak 8-6.
"It was close," El Aynaoui said. "My serve helped me a lot in the tiebreak.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there