No. 1 seed and hometown boy David Ferrer eased into the quarter-finals of the ATP Valencia Open 500 tournament on Wednesday, beating Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-3.
Ferrer, ranked world No. 5, will play Russian veteran Nickolay Davydenko in today’s quarter-final.
Davydenko, currently world No. 36, was due to play Nicolas Mahut on Wednesday in a second-round match, but the Frenchman had to withdraw from the tournament owing to a family bereavement.
Afterward, Ferrer was honest about who he sees as the main threat to him holding on to a title that he won 12 months ago.
“Juan Carlos [Ferrero] is playing at a great level, [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga and [Juan Martin] Del Potro are very good top ten players. Although he is not there yet, Del Potro is a future world No. 1,” he said.
One player he failed to mention is third seed Gael Monfils, who also qualified for the last eight with a minimum of fuss on Wednesday, beating Spaniard Pablo Andujar, ranked world No. 46, 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).
The Frenchman, currently world No. 10, will play the winner of yesterday’s match between Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Croatia’s Marin Cilic for a place in the semi-finals.
The Croatian was one of the final first round winners on Wednesday when he beat Canadian Milos Raonic in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. Del Potro, seeded six, eased through his first round match, beating Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 15 minutes.
The Argentine has two good reasons for wanting to do well in Valencia.
In exactly one month he will spearhead his country’s hopes in another Spanish city, Seville, as Argentina line up against Spain in the Davis Cup Final in search of their first ever title.
On a personal level, Del Potro, a runner-up to Tsonga in the Vienna Open on Sunday, still has an outside chance of qualifying as one of the world’s top eight players for the ATP World Tour Finals in London later this month and a good showing in Valencia will help his cause.