at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Defending champion David Ferrer reached the finals of the Copa Claro with a 6-3, 6-2 victory Saturday over fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo.
Ferrer is the heavy favourite to take the title again and improved his head-to-head record against Robredo to 6-2.
“It was a tough match physically,” said Ferrer, who has played three straight days and will make it four in the final. “Maybe it was my best match of the week.”
Robredo, who won this tournament four years ago, broke Ferrer in the first game of the first set, and momentarily it looked like an upset might be brewing. But Ferrer held on and broke Robredo in the sixth game to level at 3-3 and then broke again to make it 5-3.
Ferrer broke again in the third game of the second set, capitalising on Robredo's rush to go for winning shots and his own ability to return almost everything that Robredo put in play.
“I started slowly,” Ferrer said. “I was a bit nervous and Tommy was right in the groove.”
The fourth-ranked Ferrer will meet either fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro or Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in Sunday's final on clay at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
Ferrer won the Heineken Open last month in Auckland, New Zealand, and will be going for his second title in two months and the 20th of his career.
Attendance has been hurt at the event by rainy weather the first few days, and later by the failure to any Argentines to get past the quarterfinals.
Seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal skipped this event on his Latin American tour, after making his comeback from a long-term knee injury by playing in Chile and Brazil. He will play next week in Acapulco, Mexico. – Sapa-AP