By Florian Heer
(November 1, 2013) PARIS – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Roger Federer have reached the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris on Friday.
It was a very special quarterfinal Friday at the BNP Masters in Paris with all eight players in action, who qualified for next week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
In the opening match on Centre Court of the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, second-seed and 2009 champion Novak Djokovic faced Stanislas Wawrinka. Djokovic has won the past twelve meetings including two epic five-setters at this year’s Australian Open and US Open. Friday it was again the Serbian, who had the better ending but in comparison to the encounters at the Grand Slams, quite effortless. Djokovic beat the Swiss No. 2, who qualified for the season finale for the very first time, in only 84 minutes winning 6-1, 6-4. “I am very satisfied with my great intensity from the start of the match. I tried to be as aggressive as possible when I had a shorter ball,” Djokovic said. “It tells a lot about the quality of this tournament when you see all the players in action today, who are going to London,” the world number two told about the field in Bercy.
In the next match, fifth-seeded Roger Federer took on world No. 4 Juan Martin Del Potro in a repeat of Sunday’s Basel final in which the Argentine won in three sets. Five days ago in Basel the spectators had to wait thirty minutes for the first break point opportunity. Today, the Swiss broke serve after only twelve minutes in the fourth game. Federer started aggressively trying to make his way to the net as often as possible, served big and took the first set in the ninth game. Although the 2011 Paris champion remained untroubled on most of his service games, Del Potro capitalized on his one and only break point chance on set point in the tenth game of the second frame. The final set became more even but it was Federer, who was able to gain the decisive break in the ninth game to earn a fully-deserved win by 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in one hour and 43 minutes. “I was very happy with today’s match,” commented Federer. “I think it was a particularly good first set and a bit of a pity I couldn’t break early in the second. I think I did well today to start stronger this time around in the third set. It was something I couldn’t quite do in Basel. I think I was just overall hitting a better ball again today and moving well and taking good decisions time and time again, so I was very happy with my level of play today,” Federer analyzed afterwards.
For Federer it was his first win over a top ten player since January.
In the evening session more than 13,000 spectators in a fully-packed arena were watching how world No. 1 Rafael Nadal improved his head to head record against local hero, Richard Gasquet, to 12-0. The Spaniard, who has never won the ATP Masters in Paris, only needed 64 minutes to advance into the semis winning 6-4, 6-1. “I’m sorry for Richard tonight but I think I played my best match here this week,” the top-seed said. “For most of the time during today’s match, I was in control of the point. I played with a lot of confidence from the baseline. I also remained calm and patient to wait for the right moment and then I was able to hit some forehand winners down the line, a shot which has given me a lot of points during the entire season,” Nadal analyzed his game. With this result, it has been the first time since Roland Garros in 2012 that the “Big three – Nadal, Djokovic, Federer” will be in a line-up for a semi-final on the ATP World Tour.
In the last match on, third-seeded and reigning champion in person of David Ferrer took on sixth-seed Tomas Berdych. The Czech is the only player in the top ten without a title this year and his only chance to improve this stat will be by capturing the title at the season finale in London. Although Ferrer had a very bad start into today’s encounter by losing his service in the very first game, it was the Spaniard having the better ending when the match went the distance. After two hours and four minutes, Ferrer closed the match out winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to book his spot for an all-Spanish semi-final tomorrow.
RESULTS – FRIDAY, 1 NOVEMBER, 2013
Singles – Quarterfinals
 R Nadal (ESP) d  R Gasquet (FRA) 64 61
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  S Wawrinka (SUI) 61 64
 D Ferrer (ESP) d  T Berdych (CZE) 46 75 63
 R Federer (SUI) d  J Del Potro (ARG) 63 46 63
Doubles – Quarter-finals
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d  A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 36 63 10-5
 A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) 36 63 10-5
M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) d  M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 63 64
 I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) d  R Bopanna (IND) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 76(5) 36 10-4
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 2 NOVEMBER, 2013
COURT CENTRAL start 11:45 am
M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) vs  A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
Not Before 2:30 pm
 R Federer (SUI) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 5:00 pm
 R Nadal (ESP) vs  D Ferrer (ESP)
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs  I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA)