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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 November 2007, 12:42 GMT
Nadal and Ferrer into semi-finals
Rafael Nadal
Nadal finishes behind his compatriot in the Gold Group
Spanish duo Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer booked their places in the semi-finals of the Masters Cup with straight-sets wins on Thursday.

Nadal was too strong for Novak Djokovic, his 6-4 6-4 victory leaving the Serb without a win in Shanghai.

Ferrer, making his Masters Cup debut, routed an out-of-sorts Richard Gasquet 6-1 6-1 to finish top of the group.

Gasquet, who needed to win to have any chance of progressing, won just one point on serve in the first set.

It was a pitiful effort from Gasquet, but Ferrer, as he had been in his win over Nadal, was impressive, never once losing focus against an error-strewn opponent.

GOLD GROUP STANDINGS
Ferrer P3 W3 L0 F6 A1 Pts 3
Nadal P3 W2 L1 F5 A3 Pts 2
Gasquet P3 W1 L2 F3 A4 Pts 1
Djokovic P3 W0 L3 F0 A6 Pts 0

Ferrer and Nadal must now wait until the conclusion of the Red Group matches on Friday to discover their semi-final opponents.

Andy Roddick, who is definitely through, faces world number one Roger Federer in Friday's second singles match.

If the American wins he will top the group and face Nadal in the semi-finals, while a straight-sets victory for Federer would see the Swiss go through to meet the Spaniard.

If Federer loses, he could be overtaken by the winner of the match between Fernando Gonzalez and Nikolay Davydenko and go out of the tournament altogether.

RED GROUP STANDINGS
Roddick P2 W2 L0 F4 A1 Pts 2
Federer P2 W1 L1 F3 A2 Pts 1
Gonza'z P2 W1 L1 F2 A3 Pts 1
D'denko P2 W0 L2 F1 A4 Pts 0

Gasquet and world number three Djokovic are already on the flight home but the Serb at least leaves Shanghai with his pride restored despite losing all three of his group matches.

The 20-year-old put his lacklustre displays in his opening two matches down to mental and physical exhaustion after a breakthrough season, but he put up a decent fight against Nadal.

World number two Nadal broke once to clinch the first set and then again at 1-1 in the second to take control.

But at 3-4 in the second set, Djokovic threw everything at Nadal, earning two break points with some dazzling shot-making.

606: DEBATE

But the Spaniard, who lost in three sets to Ferrer in his last match, eventually ground down his opponent and Djokovic was unable to muster a recovery.

"I am very happy about my game today," said Nadal.

"I play very, very good match, the best match here, and one of the best matches of the indoor season.

"My calendar is tough because I have to play a lot of matches in the clay season. It's good news if I play a lot of matches but sometimes it's tough."

Djokovic, who has played more than 100 singles and doubles matches this season, said he was looking forward to a break.

"Rest is something which is necessary for me and the most important thing in this moment. I'm going to go somewhere far, far away from everybody," he said.


ATP Masters Cup, Shanghai, 11-18 November:

Red Group:
Roger Federer (Swi)
Andy Roddick (US)
Nikolay Davydenko (Rus)
Fernando Gonzalez (Chi)

Gold Group:
Rafael Nadal (Spa)
Novak Djokovic (Ser)
David Ferrer (Spa)
Richard Gasquet (Fra)


SEE ALSO
Tireless Ferrer overcomes Nadal
13 Nov 07 |  Tennis
Masters Cup photos
12 Nov 07 |  Tennis


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