Ferrer subdues Soderling to reach Valencia final

Valencia : David Ferrer secured a place in the final of the Valencia Open and improved his chances of qualifying for the World Tour finals when he upset second seed Robin Soderling 6-3 3-6 6-3 on Saturday.

Their semi-final at Valencia`s cathedral-like arena pitted the zippy Spanish world number eight against the imposing Swede, ranked five, and Ferrer`s athleticism and tenacity eventually prevailed.

Cheered on by the capacity crowd, local resident and fourth seed Ferrer started strongly and broke Soderling for a 5-3 lead before serving out the set.

French Open finalist Soderling immediately hitback, moving 2-0 ahead in the second set and levelling the match with a combination of powerful, accurate serving and booming groundstrokes.

Ferrer, the 2008 winner before the event moved from clay to indoor hard court, grabbed the crucial break of the decider in the sixth game and sealed victory on his first match point when Soderling hit a forehand over the baseline.

The 28-year-old has a good chance of clinching one of the three remaining berths at the Nov. 21-28 Tour finals in London, for which Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Soderling have all qualified.

As of Saturday, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick, Fernando Verdasco, Mikhail Youzhny and Juergen Melzer can still make it, with more ranking points available at next week`s Paris Masters.

In Saturday`s other semi-final (1900 GMT), Frenchman Gilles Simon takes on Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

Bureau Report

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