Almagro to meet Ferrer in Aussie quarters

Last updated 18:26 20/01/2013

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Nicolas Almagro will meet fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the Australian Open quarter-finals after his fourth-round opponent Janko Tipsarevic retired hurt in their match today.

The eighth seeded Serb Tipsarevic received treatment on a foot injury and pulled the pin when trailing 6-2 5-1 in the match at Hisense Arena.

The 10th-seeded Almagro advances to his first quarter-final at Melbourne Park in his ninth appearance at the year's first grand slam after making the last eight at the French Open three times.

Tipsarevic had played two successive five-set matches coming into the Almagro clash and said in the lead up that his legs were going to ''feel'' it.

Earlier fourth seed Ferrer obliterated 16th seed Kei Nishikori on Rod Laver Arena 6-2 6-1 6-4 to move into the quarter-finals.

Ferrer's magnificent chasing and defensive play was a feature of  the two hour, 10 minute fourth-round encounter.

A tough first service game was as hard as it got for the  Spaniard early as he broke Asia's highest ranked player to go up  3-1 in the first set and closed it out with relative ease.

But what followed in the second set was at times breathtaking as  Ferrer steamed to a 5-0 lead, the Japanese player allowed no chance  to find rhythm.

As if to put an exclamation point on his dominance, Ferrer saved  three break points before eventually serving out the set.

Nishikori, who appeared to be hampered by a knee problem late in  the match, battled hard in the third set.

They traded breaks of serve throughout - the decisive one coming  in the ninth game on Nishikori as Ferrer grabbed a 5-4 advantage,  before he comfortably served out the match.

''I played really good the first two sets - I didn't have any  mistakes,'' Ferrer told the Rod Laver Arena crowd post-match.

''So now I am in the quarter-final of the Australian Open. I am  very satisfied.''

Barely mentioned as the Melbourne Park focus has been squarely  on the men's big three of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger  Federer, Ferrer remains on track for a semi-final with top seed  Djokovic should the pair keep winning.

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- AAP

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