Ferrer routs Djokovic to reach ATP Finals semis

Gritty Spaniard David Ferrer reached the ending $3.5 million ATP World Tour Finals by whipping robin encounter on Wednesday.

The fifth-seeded Ferrer leveled Djokovic (1-1) in stunning 6-3, 6-1 fashion on the indoor hardcourt at London's state-of-the-art O2 Arena. A listless Djokovic fell to 70-5 for the year in just 75 minutes, as the Serbian star failed to break Ferrer's serve while the Spaniard piled up four breaks on Day 4 of this eight-day event.

The 2007 ATP Finals runner-up Ferrer (2-0) will be one of the Group A representatives in Saturday's semifinals. The other semifinal performer from the four-player group will be determined here on Friday.

The 2008 ATP Finals champion Djokovic is the reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and Aussie Open titlist.

Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Czech slugger Tomas Berdych improved to 1-1 in Group A by overcoming world No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic, an alternate this week, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

Berdych saved a match point at 5-6 in the third-set tiebreak and smacked nine aces before prevailing in just under 2 1/2 hours. Tipsarevic slipped on the baseline while facing match point, which allowed Berdych to put away a forehand winner. A shaken Tipsarevic then limped to the net to shake hands with the winner.

The formidable Berdych also bested Tipsarevic at the Paris Masters just two weeks ago.

This marked Tipsarevic's debut at this prestigious tournament. The capable Serb, who is the first alternate to play in this event since Radek Stepanek in 2008, dropped to 2-9 against top-10 competition this season.

Berdych, who lost to the mighty Djokovic in a tough three-setter here on Monday, was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to the great Rafael Nadal. Tipsarevic (0-1) recently entered the top 10 for the first time in his career and joined the exclusive field here in London when world No. 3 and Aussie Open runner-up Andy Murray (0-1) pulled out on Tuesday, citing a groin injury.

The 6-foot-5 Berdych will face the 5-foot-9 grinder Ferrer on Friday.

Thursday's Group B round-robin bouts at The O2 will pit a second-seeded Nadal (1-1) against sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1-1) and fourth-seeded and defending champion Roger Federer (2-0) versus eighth-seeded Mardy Fish (0-2), who has already been eliminated from semifinal contention here. The five-time ATP Finals champion Federer dismantled the 10-time Grand Slam winner and his fellow former world No. 1 Nadal, 6-3, 6-0, here on Tuesday.

The 16-time Grand Slam titlist and 2011 French Open runner-up Federer is already in the semis this week, while the Nadal-Tsonga victor will join the super Swiss and Ferrer in the final four. Federer beat the French Open champion and Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up Nadal in last year's blockbuster ATP Finals finale.

This week's big winner will earn at least $770,000. An undefeated champion would pocket $1.63 million.

In some round-robin doubles action on Wednesday, the top-seeded team of Bob and Mike Bryan flattened a sixth-seeded duo of Swede Robert Lindstedt and Romanian Horia Tecau 6-1, 6-2 in a mere 56 minutes, as the mighty American twins improved to 2-0 for the week. The Bryans also bested Lindstedt and Tecau in this year's Wimbledon finale.

The 33-year-old Bryans have won this season-ending event on three occasions (2003, 2004 and 2009) and were the runners-up in 2008.