Top seed David Ferrer reached the Portugal Open semi-finals on Friday, rallying from 4-2 down in the second set to see off gritty Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
Joining Ferrer in the last four was second seed Stanislas Wawrinka. The Swiss reached the semi-finals for the second year running through his defeat of Portuguese wild-card, and crowd darling, number 113-ranked Gastao Elias, 6-4, 6-4.
Andreas Seppi also joined the party as the Italian beat Spain’s eighth seed Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3 to next take on Ferrer.
Qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain belied his 229 ranking by eliminating Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. He was due to face Wawrinka after winning the first ATP quarter-final of his career.
Ferrer beat Hanescu in one hour, 39 minutes, helped by three breaks of serve.
“It was a very tough match, Victor played very well and, despite being better than the first day, I was lucky in the second set in some important moments,” Ferrer said.
Meanwhile, Russian third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova fought back from a first-set whitewash to beat unseeded Romina Oprandi 0-6, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the women’s final.
The 19th-ranked Russian was due to bid for her second trophy of the season against fourth seed and last year’s finalist Carla Suarez Navarro, who beat defending champion Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-4, 6-1 in 66 minutes.
Pavlyuchenkova said that, after winning a quarter-final the day before which took almost three hours, she was not fully recovered — especially with a morning start.
“I don’t like to complain, but it was tough to start the match. I didn’t recover well, but I’m happy with how I responded,” she said.
“I turned it around, kept believing and kept playing my game,” she said.
In the semi-finals of the women’s doubles, Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching and Kristina Mladenovic of France defeated Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia, 6-3, 6-4. The No. 2 seeds were due to play Croatia’s Darija Jurak and Katalin Marosi of Hungary in yesterday’s final.
Additional reporting by staff writer