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Australian Open 2013: David Ferrer beats Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-1, 6-4

Ferrer sees off Japan's Nishikori in three sets as Spaniard eyes first Grand Slam title

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

04:51 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:51 GMT, 20 January 2013

Fourth seed David Ferrer used all of his cunning and exploited Kei Nishikori's nagging knee injury to advance to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory.

Japan's Nishikori, who had entered the tournament with a knee injury, needed to have his left leg re-strapped in the second set of the two hour, 10-minute match, and his normally fluid movement appeared to be slightly hampered.

Looking good: David Ferrer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori

Looking good: David Ferrer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori

David Ferrer

Kei Nishikori

Mixed emotions: David Ferrer celebrates a point as Kei Nishikori looks dejected

Baseline specialist Ferrer took full advantage of the 16th seed's injury, working him around the court and waiting for the 23-year-old to make one of his 65 errors, though the Japanese number one did put up some resistance in the third set.

The Spaniard will next play the winner of the fourth round encounter between eighth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic or 10th seeded compatriot Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals.

Novak Djokovic suffers unusual injury scare at Hopman Cup ahead of Australian Open

VIDEO: Djokovic suffers unusual injury scare ahead of Australian Open as he was hit by a railing while signing autographs at Hopman Cup

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 31 December 2012

Novak Djokovic endured a strange injury scare ahead of his Australian Open defence as a railing fell on his leg while he was signing autographs in Perth.

The Serbian was representing his country at the Hopman Cup and he limped away from court after his 6-3 6-4 win over Andreas Seppi.

But the 25-year-old recovered in time to play the mixed-doubles encounter with Ana Ivanovic.

Djokovic said: 'It was a bit of a shock and I'm glad that the children involved are OK. I am fine.'

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Injured: A barrier gave way while Djokovic was signing autographs

Injured: A barrier gave way while Djokovic was signing autographs

Injured: A barrier gave way while Djokovic was signing autographs

Unusual: The world number one hobbled off court in Perth

Hurt: The world number one hobbled off court in Perth

The Serbian was representing his country at the Hopman Cup and he limped away from court after his 6-3 6-4 win over Andreas Seppi.

It was a hectic day for the world number one as he arrived late in Australia after winning an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

'I arrived quite late last night and didn't get a lot of hours of sleep and I felt like I was dream-walking,' he said after beating Seppi.

'I broke the ice after the first set and felt a little bit better.'

Despite losing the mixed-doubles, Serbia beat Italy 2-1 as Ivanovic beat Francesca Schiavone 6-0 6-4 in the women's singles match.

Warm-up: Djokovic was representing his country at the Hopman Cup as part of his Australian Open preparations

Warm-up: Djokovic was representing his country at the Hopman Cup as part of his Australian Open preparations

Recovery: Djokovic came back to play the doubles match with Ana Ivanovic

Recovery: Djokovic came back to play the doubles match with Ana Ivanovic

Victory: Serbia beat Italy 2-1 in Perth despite losing the mixed-doubles match

Victory: Serbia beat Italy 2-1 in Perth despite losing the mixed-doubles match

VIDEO Watch Djokovic being hit by collapsing barrier

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Birmingham 2 Burnley 2 – match report

Birmingham 2 Burnley 2: Zigic leaves it late to snatch point for Blues

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 22 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 22 December 2012

Nikola Zigic's 89th-minute equaliser salvaged a point for a youthful Birmingham against Burnley at St Andrew's.

Blues had gone behind in 15 of their previous 22 npower Championship matches before today but it was they, fielding seven teenagers in their starting XI, who took the lead on the half-hour mark courtesy of Curtis Davies' header.

A contentious moment arrived just before the hour as Charlie Austin saw a goal chalked off when advantage could and should really have been played, but Burnley deservedly got their rewards soon after with two goals in three minutes.

Pure delight: Nikola Zigic celebrates after he scores the second and equalizing goal for Birmingham

Pure delight: Nikola Zigic celebrates after he scores the second and equalizing goal for Birmingham

Match facts

Birmingham: Butland, Packwood, Caldwell, Davies, Hancox, Hall (Elliott 76), Mullins, Reilly, Morrison (Burke 71), Redmond, Zigic.

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Gomis, Delfouneso, Hawker.

Booked: Morrison, Hancox, Davies, Mullins.

Goals: Davies 30, Zigic 89.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mills, Wallace, Marney (Vokes 90), McCann, Paterson (Treacy 63), Ings (Bartley 88), Austin.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Stanislas, Edgar, Long.

Booked: McCann, Mills.

Goals: Ings 66, Wallace 68.

Attendance: 17,284

Referee: Eddie Ilderton

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Danny Ings levelled with a well-taken finish before almost straight from kick-off Ross Wallace, also with his first goal of the season, converted a stunning free-kick off the underside of the crossbar.

But Serbian striker Zigic popped up to hammer home his second goal in as many games late on.
It ensured a point apiece for two struggling sides, who have now won just one of their last eight respectively.

City manager Lee Clark was hampered severely by injury and suspension, most notably the loss of 13-goal top scorer Marlon King.

And matters went from bad to worse in the build-up to kick-off as he lost the services of Peter Lovenkrands, Nathan Redmond stepping in.

Blues' naivety was showing in the opening stages as Martin Paterson wasted two great chances.

Ings and Chris McCann both threatened before Paterson was then presented with his third clear-cut opening within the first 12 minutes but was denied by a super stop from Jack Butland, with Blues' young full-backs struggling to cope.

But Birmingham got a grip on proceedings after their early struggles and it was they who took the lead with 30 minutes on the clock.

Joseph Mills was lucky to escape with a yellow card for his foul on Robert Hall on the right wing, and from the resulting free-kick Hall delivered a great cross which was headed home by Davies.

Michael Duff should have levelled for Burnley in the 38th minute but he could only fire over the bar from close range after Butland had parried Dean Marney's header.

Lee Grant then saved twice from Redmond and Hall before half-time.
Redmond again threatened at the start of the second period but it was Burnley who, largely, dominated.

A moment of controversy arrived in the 57th minute as Austin headed home Kieran Trippier's right-wing cross, but play had been halted for a late foul on Trippier by Mitch Hancox, with referee Eddie Ilderton not playing the advantage.

Burnley, however, did not have to wait long for their leveller as they deservedly equalised through Ings, who took a great touch before firing home from close range.
And no sooner had they levelled than the visitors took the lead.

Blues lost the ball straight from kick-off, Davies conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area and Wallace converted a stunning set-piece.

Birmingham applied plenty of late pressure in search of an equaliser and it finally came in the 89th minute as Zigic blasted home from 12 yards.

Alex Ferguson backs Manchester United to beat City despite injuries

Ferguson backs depleted United to beat City despite growing injury list

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UPDATED:

15:11 GMT, 8 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he has the numbers to cope ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season.

The Manchester United boss has confirmed Anderson, Nani and Antonio Valencia will miss the Etihad Stadium encounter.

In addition, Ferguson has claimed the game will come too soon for Japan forward Shinji Kagawa and that skipper Nemanja Vidic is unwilling to risk another setback after spending virtually 12 months on the sidelines with major knee problems.

Out: Nemanja Vidic remains on the sidelines through injury

Out: Nemanja Vidic remains on the sidelines through injury

Yet Ferguson does not view the absences as a handicap, more of a predictable inconvenience ahead of a big game.

'I know we have some injury problems but we are not short of a squad,' Ferguson told MUTV.

'I have plenty of experience to bring in. I rested Darren Fletcher against Cluj on Wednesday and just brought him on for the last 10 minutes.

'Michael Carrick will be back in. I also have Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

'That is what big squads allow you to do.

'You don't have every player every week. Our supporters must recognise that.

'Over the years we have had injury situations. Every club gets them.

'Normally you work on 10 per cent of your squad being out every week with some sort of injury.

'That is the situation we are in at the moment but it is not desperate by any means.'

Preparation: United train ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season

Preparation: United train ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season

The Vidic situation is an interesting one.

Ferguson has repeatedly stated the Serbian's desire not to push himself.

However, he is training and his presence could prove to be the answer as Ferguson tries to find a solution for his side's defensive frailties that risk being exposed by a City outing boasting some obvious dangers in the air, not least Vincent Kompany, who scored the winner last season from the kind of set piece United are having nightmares with.

In addition, with Aleksandar Kolarov ruled out and Gael Clichy doubtful, Antonio Valencia could be a potent weapon, with both Gary Neville and Bryan Robson pointing out in the build-up that the South American's absence could have a negative effect on the outcome from a United perspective.

And for the Red Devils, victory is important, not only to open up a six-point lead on the most obvious threat to their Premier League title hopes, but to end a cycle of depressing results against their neighbours.

Main man: Alex Ferguson will be looking for Robin Van Persie to fire his side

Main man: Alex Ferguson will be looking for Robin Van Persie to fire his side

'The fact City have emerged over the last couple of years, and won the league last season, you know they are going to be our main competitors, so a positive result there would be a big boost,' said Ferguson.

And it does seem, that whilst Roberto Mancini is a very different character to Ferguson, he has managed to inject City with the same streak that has made United so hard to beat down the years.

'They are playing similarly to last year,' said Ferguson.

'Early season last year they did very well. But as the season progressed they were in the same place they are now.

'They are still scoring late goals, which is a strong trait if you are going to win a championship.

'It shows you that they are not going to give in.

'They are dangerous in the last few minutes of matches, especially Edin Dzeko, when they bring him on, so they have certain traits that are easily identifiable.'

Nemanja Vidic out until end of December

Blow for United as skipper Vidic ruled out until Christmas with knee injury

PUBLISHED:

15:50 GMT, 2 November 2012

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UPDATED:

15:59 GMT, 2 November 2012

United skipper Nemanja Vidic is likely to be sidelined until the festive period.

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed to MUTV that he does not expect his commanding centre-back to return to action until late December.

Missing man: Nemanja Vidic won't play again until December

Missing man: Nemanja Vidic won't play again until December

After recovering from a cruciate ligament injury sustained in last year's Champions League exit at Basel, the Serbian suffered another knee problem that required surgery.

'I think we're talking around December for Vidic,' Ferguson said. 'Maybe around Christmas time.'

England players charged by Serbian police over brawl – but no action on racist abuse

The final insult! Serbian police charge England players attacked in mass brawl… but there's still no action on racist abuse

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 30 October 2012

Serbian police have charged two England Under 21 players following the on-pitch melee at the end of this month's European Championship qualifier in Krusevac.

Serbian media have claimed that police in the central Serbian town have charged 12 people including two unnamed England Under 21 players.

A further two officials from Stuart Pearce's backroom staff are also said to have been charged after the match erupted following the final whistle.

Players and officials from both teams clashed on the pitch after Connor Wickham's late goal secured England's passage to next year's finals.

The unsavoury scenes were played out amid allegations of racist chanting from the stands directed at England Under 21 full-back Danny Rose.

Brawl: The fight breaks out between England and Serbia Under 21s on Tuesday night

Brawl: The fight breaks out between England and Serbia Under 21s after the match on October 16

Brawl: The fight breaks out between England and Serbia Under 21s on Tuesday night

Video footage appeared to reveal the
crowd targeting Rose, who was red-carded after the whistle, and who has
subsequently complained about the treatment he received.

In the days after the game UEFA
charged both countries while the Football Association reported 'a number
of incidents of racism' to the governing body in a dossier of evidence
including the video footage.

The Serbian football association's
response was to hand down lengthy bans to two players and two officials
following an internal investigation.

Ognjen Mudrinski and Nikola Ninkovic,
who clashed with Rose as the full-back attempted to leave the pitch,
were given one-year suspensions while coaches Srdjan Maksimovic and
Andreja Milutinovic were handed two-year bans.

The FSS also issued a qualified
apology for the on-field trouble but denied any racism towards the
England team had taken place in a bizarre statement. In it they claimed
Rose had acted in an 'inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner'
towards their fans.

The cases will be dealt with at a
meeting of UEFA's control and disciplinary body on November 22.

Reaction: Danny Rose (right) made a monkey gesture to the crowd after allegedly receiving racist abuse

Reaction: Danny Rose (right) made a gesture to the crowd after allegedly receiving racist abuse

Assault: England coach Martin Thomas is headbutted by a member of the Serbian coaching team (right) as Stuart Pearce looks on

Assault: England coach Martin Thomas was headbutted by a member of the Serbian coaching team (right)

Racism and violence marred a
record-breaking night for England’s Under 21s as Stuart Pearce branded
Serbia's actions 'a disgrace'.

A
number of England’s black players, including Rose, were subjected to
racist chants as the visitors won 1-0 with a late Connor Wickham goal
to secure a 2-0 aggregate win and a trip to Israel next summer. It will
be their fourth straight European Championship finals appearance, the
first time any nation has achieved that.

Rose, sent off after the final whistle
for a second bookable offence, made gestures to Serbia fans after being
racially abused and pelted with stones. He was inconsolable afterwards.

There were horrendous scenes at the end, as a mass brawl erupted between players and coaches.

England goalkeeping coach Martin Thomas was butted and assistant head coach Steve Wigley was kicked in the stomach. England goalkeeper Jack Butland also had a seat thrown at him.

The FA demanded UEFA take action and head coach Pearce was appalled. He said after the match: ‘It was quite disgraceful. The scenes at the end were very sad.

Ganging up: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) is thrown to the ground by Serbia players and coaches

Ganging up: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) was thrown to the ground by Serbia players and coaches

Turning ugly: Wigley fights back as the situation escalates at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac

Turning ugly: Wigley fought back as the situation escalated at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac

'One or two of the technical staff
from the opposition, and I don't include their manager in that, didn't
cover themselves in glory on the pitch at the end.

'Punches, headbutts were thrown, and God knows what else. We will let the authorities deal with this at UEFA.

'I’m very proud of the way my players
behaved. It got very volatile very quickly. But you could see the
collectiveness among the staff and the players in the way we all looked
out for each other.'

Trouble starts: A fireman removes a flare thrown onto the pitch by Serbian fans

Trouble starts: A fireman removes a flare thrown onto the pitch by Serbian fans

Tempers frayed: Serbia and England players come together in ugly scenes after the match

Tempers frayed: Serbia and England players came together in ugly scenes after the match

The FA statement said: ‘The FA
condemns both the scenes of racism and the confrontation at the final
whistle during which time our players and staff were under extreme
provocation. The FA has reported a number of incidents of racism to
UEFA. These were seemingly aimed at a number of England’s black players
by the crowd.’

Fury: England striker Marvin Sordell (right) gives his Serbian counterparts a piece of his mind

Fury: England striker Marvin Sordell (right) gave his Serbian counterparts a piece of his mind

Peacemaker: Andros Townsend (centre) separates Danny Rose (left) from Sasa Markovic

Peacemaker: Andros Townsend (centre) separated Danny Rose (left) from Sasa Markovic

Serbia are repeat offenders. In 2007, when England and Serbia met at
this level at the finals in Holland, Nedum Onuoha was subjected to
racial abuse.

Serbia players also brawled with England at the final whistle, charging at England’s bench when Matt Derbyshire had made it 2-0.

Punch: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic (centre) raises his fist during a scuffle

Punch: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic (centre) raised his fist during a scuffle

Rage: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica (centre) attempts to keep the opposing players apart

Rage: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica (centre) attempted to keep the opposing players apart

Sol Campbell calls on UEFA to deduct points for racism

Campbell: Deducting points is the only way UEFA can end racist abuse

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UPDATED:

11:07 GMT, 21 October 2012

Former England defender Sol Campbell was aghast at the unsavoury scenes that marred England Under-21s' play-off in Serbia this week and has called on UEFA to introduce point deductions as a deterrent.

The under-21s' 1-0 victory in Krusevac, which saw them qualify for next year's European Championship in Israel, was completely overshadowed by apparent racism from the stands towards England full-back Danny Rose as well as a melee after the full-time whistle.

The Serbian federation (FSS) issued a statement 'absolutely' denying there was any racism at all and branding the England players' behaviour 'vulgar'. UEFA charged both the English and Serbian associations for the improper conduct of their players, and the Serbs for 'alleged racist chanting' by fans.

Scandal: Danny Rose (left) was the victim of racist abuse in Krusevac last week

Scandal: Danny Rose (left) was the victim of racist abuse in Krusevac last week

Former Arsenal and Tottenham centre-back Campbell believes the European governing body now needs to send a strong deterrent to prevent a repeat in the future, with fines having been issued for similar incidents in the past.

'It was a disaster. It was as if there was no control from the fans, from the officials and to top it off Danny was getting abused all game from stone-throwing and monkey chants,' Campbell told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

'For me it was just disgusting, I really felt for him and I felt for the players out there because everyone concerned with England must have felt it.

'I think (UEFA should deduct) points and then after a while when you stop qualifying for these competitions I think people will start to wake up.

Row: England and Serbia players clashed after the game

Row: England and Serbia players clashed after the game

'If you keep on knocking off six points, nine points, I think countries are going to start waking up because everybody wants the chance to play in the World Cup or European Championship.

'It's the only way you can actually start to wake up the powers that be.

'(We have to) get this idea into their heads that if you carry on then you might not qualify for another major tournament for 20 years.'

Campbell, however, has lost faith in UEFA and believes national governments need to step in to resolve racism in football once and for all.

'I'd love UEFA or FIFA to do something about it but I honestly believe they're not going to do anything,' he said.

Time to act: UEFA president Michel Platini

Time to act: UEFA president Michel Platini

'I don't think they're going to find them guilty, I think (Serbia) are going to get out of it.

'The government have to get involved, you cannot leave it to associations any more, it never gets done.

'It's all lost. There's no one going out and wrestling this problem to the ground.

'I just hope people start to understand sport is sport.

'The only fighting should be fighting to win a game or win for your country. That is the only thing that should be in your mind.

'Colour should not even come into it.'

Steven Gerrard demands UEFA take action over racists

Gerrard demands UEFA take action over racist thugs who abused English youngsters

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UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 17 October 2012

England skipper Steven Gerrard believes football's battle to overcome racism is 'back to square one' after the scenes surrounding the Under-21 clash in Serbia.

England Under 21 player Danny Rose complained of being racially abused and enduring monkey chants before violent scenes broke out at the end of the Euro 2013 play-off game in Krusevac.

Tottenham's Rose, on loan at Sunderland, was sent off for his reaction to what he clearly felt was racist abuse, something the Serbian FA have denied.

Demands: Steven Gerrard (right) wants action taken against racists

Demands: Steven Gerrard (right) wants action taken against racists

UEFA announced charges against both the Serbian FA and the English, for improper conduct of their players, and against the Serbs for 'alleged racist chanting' by fans.

Gerrard, speaking after England's 1-1 draw in Poland, is calling for the footballing authorities to act and hand out severe punishments.

He said: 'The disappointing thing with what happened last night is it means you are back to square one.

'We seemed to be making great strides forward to get it (racism) out of our game.

Turning ugly: Violent scenes broke out during England's game in Serbia

Turning ugly: Violent scenes broke out during England's game in Serbia

'With a situation like last night, it brings it back to square one.

'It is very disappointing but a lot of people above me need to take control of the situation.

'The authorities have to get tough. It is the only solution. No-one else can do anything about it.

'They are the people in control, who can give out massive huge fines and ban people. Why wait Do it now.'

Disgraceful scenes: Players of both Serbia and England clash on the pitch

Disgraceful scenes: Players of both Serbia and England clash on the pitch

England striker Jermain Defoe echoed Gerrard's sentiments.

He said: 'I've had a few texts and, from what I understand, it was tough out there for the boys.

'Under 21s and seniors are such big games to play in and all you want to do is to be equal to everyone else.

'If you are getting those sort of chants, it is not nice. It is not nice to experience anything like that.'

Chris Smalling nears return for Manchester United

Defensive boost for Fergie as crocked Smalling nears return to training for United

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 October 2012

Manchester United's defensive problems have eased with news that Chris Smalling is back in training.

Smalling has been out since last season with a broken foot, but it is understood that he has joined in with the football work in training and could be an outside contender for a place on the bench at Newcastle on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson only has two of his senior centre-halves fit at the moment.

Close: Chris Smalling has been training again with his Manchester United team-mates

Close: Chris Smalling has been training again with his Manchester United team-mates

Rio Ferdinand has partnered Jonny Evans, who is standing in for the injured Nemanja Vidic.

The Serbian is out for another six weeks at least with a knee injury.

Ferguson was fuming with his defence's slack showing as they suffered a 3-2 defeat against Tottenham on Saturday.

Ferdinand was, at least in part, culpable for all three goals, as Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey each breached the United defence.

Their leaky back four also conceded an early goal to minnows FC Cluj in the Champions League on Tuesday, before coming from behind to win 2-1 in Romania.

Patrice Evra was unable to prevent a cross coming in from the right before Ferdinand and Evans failed to deal with Pantelis Kapetanos, allowing the striker to fire home.

Phil Jones is also sidelined with a knee injury after suffering a setback earlier this season in training. He isn't expected to return until next month.

Should either Ferdinand or Evans get injured or suspended, Ferguson will be forced to haul Michael Carrick back into the centre of his defence, a positionthe central midfielder isn't entirely comfortable with.

Patched up: Alex Ferguson has only Rio Ferdinand (right) and Jonny Evans to call upon at the back

Patched up: Alex Ferguson has only Rio Ferdinand (right) and Jonny Evans to call upon at the back

Stand-in: Evans is playing in the centre of defence in the absence of Nemanja Vidic

Stand-in: Evans is playing in the centre of defence in the absence of Nemanja Vidic

US Open 2012: David Ferrer beats Janko Tipsarevic to reach semi-finals

Ferrer sees off Tipsarevic in epic five-set thriller to reach last four of US Open

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UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 6 September 2012

Fourth seed David Ferrer reached his second US Open semi-final after a quite brilliant five-set tussle against Janko Tipsarevic at Flushing Meadows.

The Spaniard is known as the 'little beast' and he showed why as he recovered from two sets to one down and then a break down in the deciding set to win 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) after four hours and 31 minutes.

It was also a tremendous performance from eighth seed Tipsarevic, who delighted the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd with his superb shot-making but could not wear his opponent down.

Speaking on court afterwards, Ferrer said: 'I don't have words. I'm very happy. I ran a lot. It was a really tough match. Janko is an amazing player. He fought a lot and he deserved also to win today.'

On top of the world: David Ferrer is overcome with emotion after winning a sensational match

On top of the world: David Ferrer is overcome with emotion after winning a sensational match

Tipsarevic was playing in his second straight US Open quarter-final after losing to compatriot Novak Djokovic 12 months ago but was a clear underdog against Ferrer.

The relentless Spaniard has maintained the brilliant form he has shown this year and was looking to match his run here in 2007, when he lost to Djokovic in the last four.

Tipsarevic could not have made a better start, winning the opening two games, but Ferrer swiftly hit back and showed greater consistency to win the opening set.

Tipsarevic dug in well in the second, though, matching the intensity of his rival and really going for his shots.

Pure emotion: Ferrer fell to ground after five grueling sets

Pure emotion: Ferrer fell to ground after five grueling sets

And in the tie-break it was the Serbian who prevailed, taking his third set point with a ferocious off-forehand winner and letting out a roar of celebration.

Tipsarevic really had the bit between his teeth and he broke through to lead 3-2 in the third set after a game of spectacular rallies.

Ferrer was rattled and the eighth seed made it four games in a row to break again, and then five to clinch the set.

Tipsarevic threatened again at the start of the fourth set but Ferrer hung on, and slowly the Spaniard clawed his way back into the match.

He had his chance to break in the eighth game and he took it before levelling up at two sets all.

Pushed to the limit: Janko Tipsarevic receives treatment

Pushed to the limit: Janko Tipsarevic receives treatment

Tipsarevic was now looking very weary and was no doubt frustrated that, having thrown everything at Ferrer, the fourth seed was still right there.

He could not break through at the start of the decider, though, and holding on seemed to re-energise Tipsarevic, who attacked the Ferrer serve with gusto to take a 2-0 lead.

It was another twist in this remarkable match, but not the final one, as a heavy fall at the end of the sixth game seemed to unsettle Tipsarevic and he threw in a series to errors to hand back his hard-won break.

The fourth seed scented blood and he set up two more break points at 4-4 when Tipsarevic called for the trainer for treatment to his right thigh.

Steady hand: Ferrer plays a drop shot

Steady hand: Ferrer plays a drop shot

He had it strapped up and promptly saved both break points before holding serve to force Ferrer to serve to stay in the match.

The Spaniard managed it twice to set up a deciding tie-break, and he struck the first blow in another brutal rally to lead 5-3.

That gave Ferrer two serves to secure victory, and he did just that, the Spaniard kneeling down on the court and screaming with delight.