The two winless players of Group Ille Nastase faced off in primetime on Wednesday night at the ATP World Tour Finals. Both Stan Wawrinka and David Ferrer were looking to pick up their first win after defeats from Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray respectively.
Big Four members Nadal and Murray took a backseat on the main stage as they witnessed the Swiss take out Nadal’s countryman 7-5, 6-2. The loss officially eliminated Ferrer from semifinal contention. It also means that Nadal has officially clinched the top spot in the group with Wawrinka and Murray set to meet on Friday for the last spot into the final four.
Double Fault While Serving For The Set Dooms Ferrer
Both players started off much stronger than their fellow Ille Nastase Group members with holds of serve to begin. Ferrer held for a 2-1 lead thanks to a beautifully constructed point. The world number four was left dead in his tracks in the middle of the point thanks to a crushing forehand and overhead from Ferrer, and he capped it off a slice into the open court. The world number seven then followed that with a break as he was out-hitting Wawrinka in the early going.
It was a battle for the Spaniard to consolidate the break as he let a 40-15 lead with the Swiss number two winning a 22-shot rally off a cross-court winner to level the game back to deuce. Ferrer, who is one of the biggest fighters on tour, saved the break point which the Swiss earned from a backhand down the line and held for a 4-1 lead. Wawrinka nearly found himself forced to save break points, falling behind 0-30 while serving in the sixth game. A couple of mesmerizing winners from the Swiss leveled the game before rare errors from Ferrer gave Wawrinka his first hold since 1-1.
Both men held until the Spaniard faltered serving for the set. Two double faults, one during set point, gave the Swiss new life. He broke back with a backhand winner down the line as he was fired up. A hold to consolidate the break and another break gave the Swiss a 6-5 lead as Ferrer was imploding. Wawrinka captured the set 7-5 as Ferrer let one this one slip away.
Scintillating Stan Takes It In Straights
Wawrinka made it six straight games on the bounce as he broke Ferrer for a third time in succession to open up the proceedings in the second. He made it seven straight with a hold at 15 with Ferrer’s spirits alll but broken. A couple of drop shots helped Ferrer stop the rot as he put himself on the board in the third game, but the Swiss was duly dominant the rest of the way. The world number four broke Ferrer once again in the fifth game as the Spaniard looked all but finished at that point. Ferrer would go onto hold once more before Wawrinka finished him off 6-2.