4 May 2013

Ferrer reaches semis before paying tribute to late ATP chief

9:05 am on 4 May 2013

The top seed David Ferrer reached the Portugal Open semi-finals then joined in the tributes to the Association of Tennis Professionals chief Brad Drewett, who's lost his battle against Motor Neurone Disease.

Ferrer, the Spanish world number four, rallied from 4-2 down in the second set to see off gritty Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-4 7-6.

Drewett, who was just 54, passed away earlier Friday at his home in Sydney, having made public that he was suffering from the condition only in January, prompting tributes around the world from top tennis pros.

Ferrer wrote on his Twitter account that it's a tough day because of the president's death and he sent his deepest condolences to his family.

Also through to the last four was Swiss second seed Stanislas Wawrinka and number three Andreas Seppi.

Wawrinka reached the semi-finals for the second year running through his 6-4 6-4 defeat of Portuguese wildcard and number 113-ranked Gastao Elias, while the Italian Seppi beat Spain's eighth seed Tommy Robredo 6-4 6-3.

Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta belied his 229 ranking with a knockout of Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini, 3-6 6-4 6-4 and will face Wawrinka in a first-time meeting, while Seppi takes on Ferrer next.