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   Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 12:45 GMT
Ferreira storms into semis
Wayne Ferreira
Ferreira made the last eight last year

Wayne Ferreira made it to the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time in 11 years with a stunning victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

The unseeded South African beat the fourth seed 7-6 7-6 6-1 to set up an unexpected meeting with Andre Agassi in the last four.

Mentally and physically he was throwing in the towel

Ferreira on Ferrero
Ferreira came back from a break down in each of the first two sets but was much the stronger in both tie-breaks.

The decisive moment came when Ferrero failed to capitalise on a break in the ninth game of the second set.

Ferreira staved off three set points at 4-5 before breaking back and going on to win the tie-break.

And Ferrero was a forlorn figure in the closing stages, dropping serve three times with a succession of double faults and baseline errors as Ferreira closed out the match with ease.

Juan Carlos Ferrero
Ferrero could not find top form
"In the first game he played in the third set, that pretty much showed me the wind had gone out of his sails and he was done," said Ferreira.

"Mentally and physically he was throwing in the towel.

"That was a great feeling to see that. I worked so hard to win that second set and it really paid off."

The last time Ferreira made it to a Grand Slam semi he did so by beating John McEnroe in straight sets at the same venue, before losing to Stefan Edberg.

And he insisted that after beating one of the game's rising stars, he will not be worried about the prospect of facing Agassi.

"I have nothing to lose," said Ferreira. "This is my greatest achievement in the last six or seven years.

Ferrero came into the match in excellent form and had won all three previous encounters with

"Today I played bad," said Ferrero. "I didn't feel very good. I lost the first two sets and my confidence broke down.

"I had so many chances (set points) in the second set and after I lost that set mentally I was very down.

"He hit so many winners with his service and forehand. He played a really good solid match."

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