ATP year-end candidate David Ferrer has moved closer to a place in November’s season finale after dispatching Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the Austria Open on Friday.
The Spanish top seed is fighting for one of the two remaining spots at the World Tour finals in the English capital and spent only 74 minutes in his win over the listless Italian.
Ferrer stands provisional eighth, trailing seventh-placed Kei Nishikori of Japan who is currently sidelined with a recurring shoulder injury.
“It was a close first set, I was a break up but he played well,” said the 33-year-old winner after beating Fognini for the ninth time without a loss.
The Spaniard will play Gael Monfils on Saturday after the sixth-seeded Frenchman recovered to defeat Czech Lukas Rosol 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-3 with 18 aces and 40 winners as he continues to impress in his first tournament return from injury.
South African Kevin Anderson lost 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to Steve Johnson of the United States in a gruelling two and three-quarter hour duel.
The result did nothing to help his outside chances of snatching one of the two remaining places in the eight-man London field.
Anderson, 29, entered Friday’s match in provisional 11th place, but standing more than 1100 computer points shy of a theoretical spot in the field.
World No.47 Johnson will be competing in his third semi-final of the season where he will face Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis who knocked out seventh seed Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5).