The semifinals of the 2013 Paris Masters was exciting to watch, as four of the top names in men's tennis competed for the chance to compete in the finals of one of the last tournaments of the year.
Defending tournament champion David Ferrer and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal faced off in one-half of semifinals play, while Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer—two former world No. 1 players—squared off in the other match of the day.
Given the talent of the four players, to say that the results were shocking wouldn't be fair. All four players were perfectly capable of ousting the other and making it to the finals. Each match was close, and it took clutch plays from clutch players to decide the outcomes.
Here's the breakdown of the results from the two matches.
David Ferrer defeats Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal never had a chance against defending champion David Ferrer.
This semifinal bout went just two sets, as Ferrer ousted Nadal 6-3, 7-5. Ferrer hadn't beaten Nadal in 10 matches, and the win marked just the fifth time in 25 career meetings that Ferrer was able to take down arguably the best tennis player in the world.
Ferrer broke early for a 3-1 lead. He capitalized on a wide forehand from Nadal to take a 2-1 lead in the second set and never looked back from there.
He saved five break points in that set, but Nadal's resilience gave him the opportunity to break back. An eventual forehand smash from Ferrer was enough to move past the world's No. 1.
Ferrer is riding all the momentum into the finals. After struggling in recent matches against Nadal, he was able to outlast him for a decisive victory at a tournament that he plays well in. He should be considered the favorite for the final after this win, but take that with a grain of salt.
After all, many considered Nadal the favorite in this match before the action unfolded.
Novak Djokovic shocks Roger Federer
In the match prior to Ferrer's defeat of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer played arguably the most exciting match of the entire tournament. Djokovic came out on top in the end, but it certainly wasn't easy.
Djokovic dropped the first set 6-4 before coming back to win the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Coming back against one of the best players to ever set foot on a tennis court is no easy feat, but Djokovic showed resilience and heart in bouncing back from a tough first-set loss.
Federer played well at the onset of the match, breaking for a 2-1 lead in the first set. He ended that set in the 10th game in large part to four break points.
Federer also took the early lead in the second set, but Djokovic rallied to win five of the next six games to even the match at one set apiece. The final set, however, was not so close.
Djokovic lost just five points on serves in that deciding set, giving him the victory and finals appearance against Ferrer.
The win keeps Djokovic's hopes of finishing as the world's No. 1 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings alive. Should he win on Sunday against Ferrer—something that will not be easy to do given Ferrer's momentum—Djokovic will also have to play exceptionally well in next week's Barclays ATP World Tour Finals to earn the No. 1 spot.
Sunday's final has all the makings of a classic given how difficult it's been for each player to get there.
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