By Florian Heer
(November 2, 2013) PARIS – Super Saturday at the BNP Paribas Masters featured the top three players in the ATP World Tour Rankings. Three of the semi-finalists are former champions of Bercy and the other is a runner-up. It is the first time at the Palais Omnisports de Paris since 1989 that the top-three seeds are in the semis. Back then, the names were Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and John McEnroe.
In the first singles match of the day fifth-seed Roger Federer, and the tournament’s No. 2 in person of Novak Djokovic, met for the 30th time. The Swiss was holding a 16-13 head to head advantage and it was their first meeting since last year’s encounter at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London with the Serb winning in straight sets. Djokovic gained his first break point in the opening game of the match after only two minutes but couldn’t capitalize on it. Federer was backed by the majority of the spectators, dictated the encounter in the first frame and took the first set after 46 minutes in the tenth game. It was also the Swiss, who broke serve in the opening game of the second set but this time Djokovic was able to gain the re-break. The world number two found his groove, broke serve in the sixth game and took the second frame in the ninth game. From then on Djokovic was in command of the match. The Serb broke Federer’s serve twice the third and seventh game of the final set to finally close the match out winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 after two hours. After the encounter, Djokovic gave some tennis lessons to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, famous football player of local club Paris St. Germain, who attended the tennis match. “No pressure, there are only 15.000 people watching you,” Djokovic encouraged the Swede to participate. “The key was just to hang in there and stay with Roger in the match,” said Djokovic about today’s semi-final. “I knew that he (Federer) was going to be very aggressive from the start coming to the net. He used his opportunities really well. He was very efficient at the net. Then I tried to decrease the number of unforced errors and step in when it’s needed. I did pretty well in the second and the third,” the Serb concluded.
In the second semi-final, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal brought a 20-4 head to head record against defending champion David Ferrer. However, today it was the man from Valencia dictating the match right from the beginning. Ferrer broke serve in the third game, hitting great groundstrokes with a good angle and eventually took the opening frame in the ninth game. Ferrer saved four break points in the second game of the second set and refused letting Nadal settle any sort of rhythm. The world number three won more points from the baseline, avoided Nadal’s forehand as much as possible and had the opportunity to serve for the match in the tenth game of the encounter. Nadal broke service but wasn’t able to hold his serve on his own and eventually Ferrer closed the match out in the twelfth game winning 6-3, 7-5 in 98 minutes. It was Ferrer’s first win over Nadal since the Australian Open in 2011 and probably his best performance of the season. Moreover, Ferrer has reached a positive record on hard court against the Spanish number one, leading 4-3. “I’m very happy. I’m in the final again in Paris Bercy,” said Ferrer. “It was a very good match for me. I played maybe my best match this season. I was very aggressive with my forehand and with my shots. Paris is very special for me. I made my first final of a Grand Slam in Roland Garros and last year I won my first Masters 1000 title. Now I’m in the final again in Paris,” the 31-year-old Spaniard said.
RESULTS – SATURDAY, 2 NOVEMBER, 2013
Singles – Semi-finals
 D Ferrer (ESP) d  R Nadal (ESP) 63 75
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  R Federer (SUI) 46 63 62
Doubles – Semi-finals
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d  I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) 64 75
 A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) 36 62 10-3
SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 3 NOVEMBER, 2013
COURT CENTRAL start 12:15 pm
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs  A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
Not Before 3:00 pm
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)