David Ferrer of Spain, the 11th seed in Paris, played his third round match of the French Open on Court 1 on Saturday afternoon. His opponent was his compatriot Feliciano Lopez. The higher-seeded Ferrer struggled in the first two sets but managed to win both and he blasted through the third set, winning four games in a row from 2-1 when the match resumed from a two-hour rain delay. In the fourth round, he will face the seventh seed, Czech Tomas Berdych, who beat Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
Ferrer Prevails in the Tight First Set
The first five games of the first set went with serve. Then, in the sixth game, the pressure finally got to Lopez and he was broken by Ferrer. At that point, leading 4-2, the 11th seed committed a couple of unforced errors and gifted Lopez with three break points; Lopez only needed the one and grabbed the break with a great forehand winner and we were back on serve in the first set. The 21st seed held in the eighth game and leveled the set to 4-4. The momentum does not stay with Lopez for long though and Ferrer takes the next two games to win the set 6-4.
We saw nine winners from each player in this set. We also saw three unforced errors from Ferrer versus only two from Lopez. These very close statistics are fitting with what we have watched unfolding on the court in that set.
Ferrer Clinches the Second Set in a Tiebreaker
In the beginning of the second set, we saw more unforced errors flying from the 11th seed racket and Lopez was the more precise in his shots and consequently, Lopez got the early break to lead 2-0. The next five games were all won by the server and the scoreboard showed it was 4-3 for the 21st seed, with the break. At that point, we were displayed the winners' count that showed 12 winners for Lopez to only five from Ferrer in that set so far.
Lopez was playing more aggressive in the second set and it was paying off but it was still only the one break and at 5-4 Lopez had a lot of pressure on his shoulders, trying to serve for the second set, to level it to 1-1 in sets. The lower-seeded Spaniard was struggling and gave Ferrer chances to break back; Ferrer squandered two break-point opportunities but took the third offered and it was all square again, 5-5.
Has Lopez missed his shot? It certainly seemed so when Ferrer went up 40-0 in the 11th game but Lopez won the next four points and got a break-point chance which Ferrer saved with a powerful first serve and then held to make it 6-5. Was the set heading into a tiebreaker? Yes, it was. Lopez won the first three points and went up 3-0 but Ferrer clinched the next five points and was now leading 5-3 on the scoreboard.
Lopez succeeded in taking the next two points to level the tiebreaker to 5-5 but it was the higher-seeded Spaniard with the first set point at 6-5, on his serve; Ferrer double faulted and kept the 21st seed in the tiebreaker and the second set. A Very tight affair, that tiebreaker was, and at that point, no one could predict who was going to have the upper hand. However, we soon got the answer; A backhand unforced error from Lopez after the changeover at 6-6, handed Ferrer a second set point which he won after Lopez's forehand hit the net. Ferrer takes the second set 7-6(6).
The statistics show it was a very close set, just as the scoreline suggests and it was just a matter of a point or two in the tiebreaker that made all the difference. Lopez should feel very disappointed because he was so close to leveling the match and instead of the scoreboard showing 1-1 in sets, he had found himself trading two sets to love down.
Ferrer Blasts through the Third Set
The two 34-year-old players held in their first service game of the set and Ferrer broke in the third game, taking his third break-point chance after a long game that lasts over eight minutes. Ferrer was now with a commanding lead of 2-1 in sets and 2-1 in the third set.
Play stopped at that point due to heavy rain and when play resumed, Lopez couldn't manage to win a single game and Ferrer wrapped the set 6-1. Ferrer goes through to the fourth round after a 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-1 win in two hours and 25 minutes.
In the last set, the 11th seed did everything better; served better, returned better, had more winners and less unforced errors (only two). It was a one-man show in that set.
A Look at the Final Match Statistics
Ferrer finished the match with four aces and five double faults as opposed to six aces and only the one double fault from Lopez and had 63 percent first serves in versus 64 percent from Lopez. However, he won more points on his first serve; 77 percent first serve points won for the 11th seed versus only 61 percent for the 21st seed. In addition, he won six of 13 break-point chances as opposed to only two of three for Lopez. Finally, Ferrer won 111 points, 16 more than his opponent.