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David Ferrer vs Pablo Carreno-Busta ATP Estoril tennis Live Stream: Top seed Carreno-Busta faces veteran compatriot Ferrer in Estoril semi

Brendan O'Neill 6 May 2017
  • David Ferrer vs Pablo Carreno-Busta is live from Estoril on Saturday, 6 May from 3:00pm local time/ 3:00pm BST
  • Ferrer won their only previous meeting at Wimbledon in 2014

David Ferrer seeks his first tour final since October 2015 when he takes on top seed, Pablo Carreno-Busta at the Millennium Estoril Open on Saturday.

David Ferrer vs Pablo Carreno-Busta Millennium Estoril Open tennis is live from Estoril on Saturday, 6 May from 3:00pm local time/ 3:00pm BST. Watch and bet on tennis live at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis

Once a very consistent force on the tour, Ferrer has endured a steady decline for the last couple of season, as age, injuries, loss of form and of course a very physical style of play appear to be catching up with him. Ferrer started 2016 still ranked inside the top 10, but ended the year ranked number 23 in the world- and a torrid 2017 has pulled him further down the order, with the 35-year-old now placed at number 31 in the world.

Last season, Ferrer was far from his supremely consistent best, but he still managed quite a few decent outings, like his Australian Open quarter final appearance, semi-finals in Auckland, Buenos Aires, Geneva, Bastad, Beijing and Vienna, but that was nothing compared to his five-title campaign in 2015, a disparity which played a pivotal role in his slide down the rankings.

If 2016 was manageable, then 2017 has been downright terrible for Ferrer- with the exception of this week at Estoril, of course.

Ferrer won just one match during the Australian Open warm up events in Brisbane and Sydney, before reaching the third round at the Australian Open, where he lost to Roberto Bautista-Agut. That was followed by a run of four straight opening round defeats- three of them on clay- Buenos Aires, Rio and Barcelona, and the other in Miami. He missed Indian Wells because of an Achilles problem.

The former world number three finally snapped out of his losing streak in Estoril, scoring a 6-3 6-4 victory over Frederico Ferreira Silva before outclassing Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-0 in the second round. 

Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain plays a forehand volley against Novak Djokovic of Serbia (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Can Ferrer continue his resurgence when he takes on top seed, Pablo Carreno-Busta on Saturday?

Carreno-Busta is very much the heir-apparent to Ferrer, maybe with a little less physicality, and the 25-year-old has really elevated his game over the past twelve months. Like Ferrer, Carreno-Busta is not just a clay court specialist; he is also very useful on hard courts- his two career titles have been on that surface. Carreno-Busta won those titles in the second half of last season on his way to finishing the year in the top 30, and he has continued that his ascent this season, briefly breaking into the top 20 after a semi-final run at Indian Wells, again  showing just how good he is across surfaces.

Carreno-Busta is yet to win a title this season, but this is his fifth semi-final of the year, backing up efforts in Buenos Aires, Rio, Sao Paolo and Indian Wells. However, only once has he advanced to the final, in Rio, where he was beaten by Pablo Cuevas.

Carreno-Busta has done well in Estoril in recent years. He reached the semi-final in 2015, beaten by Kyrgios, went one step better in 2016, losing to Nicolas Almagro in the final, and he will be looking to go one step better this year, which would mean going away with the trophy.

Carreno-Busta avenged last season’s final loss to Almagro in fine fashion, dismissing the 2016 champion 6-2 6-4 in the quarter-finals, that after he had opened his tournament with a much closer 7-6 7-5 victory over Tommy Robredo.

I’m not sure we can read too much meaning into Carreno-Busta’s only previous meeting with Ferrer, which was at Wimbledon in 2014. Grass has never been either man’s favourite surface, and a lot has changed since that time. Then still ranked in the top 10, Ferrer secured a four-set victory.

"Pablo is improving his game every year. He has very good shots with great power. He's very complete," said Ferrer. "Tomorrow is going to be tough because he's playing the best tennis of his career, but we'll see what happens."

Like I said, both men are quite similar in their styles- there will be a lot of long rallies in this one. Carreno-Busta, I feel has got the legs to outrun Ferrer, and he has been the man doing most of the winning this year, unlike Ferrer, who is in the midst of a mini-resurgence after a really bad patch. I think the younger Spaniard has got this.

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David Ferrer vs Pablo Carreno-Busta ATP Estoril tennis Live Stream: Top seed Carreno-Busta faces veteran compatriot Ferrer in Estoril semi

Spaniards, David Ferrer and Pablo Carreno-Busta battle in Estoril for a final spot. Will it be the young gun, or the old timer, Ferrer?

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