David Ferrer runs down everything. Swing him 20 feet off the court, he'll get it. Drop shot him when he's 10 feet behind the baseline, he'll get it. Run him side to side for 20 strokes, he'll get every one of them. On his tennis bag, his racket handle, his shoes there should be this motto: "Ferrer is There.''
For more than 41/2 hours Thursday Ferrer was there, running down everything the fiercely competitive Janko Tipsarevic could throw at him. In a completely compelling and entertaining U.S. Open quarterfinal, Ferrer in the end outran and outlasted Tipsarevic, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
The Ashe Stadium crowd, which paid Federer-Djokovic prices, got their money's worth from Ferrer-Tipsarevic. They gave the pair a standing ovation at the start of the deciding tiebreaker. There were continually chants of "Let's go Janko'' and "Daveeed, Daveeed, Daveeed."
"The match, it was very emotional,'' Ferrer said. "My opponent, he deserved also to win this match, no? In one tiebreaker it's a lottery, and I had luck in important moments. My respect to Janko Tipsarevic because he's playing really good and having a really good season.''
Ferrer reached the Open semifinals for the second time and will face Novak Djokovic, a 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4 winner over Juan Martin del Potro in a match that featured an arduous 84-minute second set. It took more than 17 minutes and 22 points for del Potro to hold serve in the 12th game to send the set to the tiebreaker. The set took 11 minutes longer than Djokovic's opening win against Paolo Lorenzi.
In the Ferrer-Tipsarevic match, both players needed medical timeouts to attend to blisters on their toes. With Ferrer down 4-1 in the fifth set, the sixth game ended when Tipsarevic slipped and took a heavy fall on his left side, losing the point and allowing Ferrer to hold. Tipsarevic was broken in the next game as the players were back on serve.
"I don't want to blame the fall, the fact I got broken,'' Tipsarevic said. "When I rewind the film in my head, I think he played a really good game at 4-2. He was defensive but able to pass me every single time when I went to net.''
In the ninth game Tipsarevic was grabbing the top of his right thigh as he tried to chase down a ground stroke, losing the point to go down 15-40 on his serve. He took a second timeout in the match to have his right leg wrapped. He won the next four points to hold.
The pair held serve to reach the tiebreak in which there were several superb points. On the seventh point, Ferrer served strongly to Tipsarevic's forehand and he rocketed a return. But Ferrer blasted it right back, forcing an error. Tipsarevic served the eighth point and Ferrer hit a forehand to draw Tipsarevic wide to his right, then hit an inside-out forehand back to the left that won the point that made it 5-3 for Ferrer. After Tipsarevic's ace made it 5-4, Ferrer served out the match, and after falling to his knees, he ran to the net, of course.