The 2012 Madrid Masters continue on Friday and an early result from the event has already seen Juan Martin Del Potro advance to the semifinals as the Argentine defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets. Another match that will take place in the evening from Madrid will feature Roger Federer against Spain's David Ferrer.
Federer enters that match with a 12-0 record against Ferrer and certainly the Swiss maestro will be the favorite in the minds of many pre-match. However, Madrid's blue clay has already produced one shocking upset as Fernando Verdasco was 0-13 against Rafael Nadal before action on Thursday. Verdasco is 1-13 now following a surprise victory that saw him come back from a two-break deficit against the World No. 2 in the deciding set.
The last time Ferrer and Federer met on clay was in Madrid and the match was moderately competitive. Ferrer was able to take a set off of Federer before falling in the third. Their other clay-court meetings are from 2007 and earlier with Federer only dropping one set in those three meetings combined.
Both players have dropped sets in their efforts to make the Madrid quarters. However, both have faced strong competition. Federer held off a surging Milos Raonic in the second round with the World No. 3 winning by just three points in a deciding set tiebreaker. Ferrer also faced a scare in the round of sixteen as he went to a third set tiebreaker against Nicolas Almagro and only won by the minimum two points.
A victory for Ferrer would be a career highlight and he'll be playing in front of a partisan Spanish crowd. For Federer, the win would help him get closer to regaining the World No. 2 ranking as Nadal stands to lose a moderate amount of ranking points following his early exit in Madrid—a tournament the Spaniard made the final in last season.
This match is the final one to be played on Manolo Santana court on Thursday and it follows the match between Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic which starts not before 7pm local time.
Prediction: Federer to win