Stanislas Wawrinka kept alive his hopes of reaching the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals by fighting back from a set down to defeat David Ferrer in London.
It looked like the Swiss' chances of making the last four on his debut were slipping away when Ferrer took the opener - his first set of the tournament.
But Wawrinka fought back to win 6-7 (3/7) 6-4 6-1 and will join Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals if the Spaniard beats Tomas Berdych on Friday night at the O2 Arena.
Victory for the Czech, meanwhile, would give him the other qualifying spot.
The early signs were good for Wawrinka as an early break helped him into a 5-2 lead but Ferrer hit back with a run of four straight games.
The Spaniard could not serve out the set either but he was much more solid in the tie-break to put Wawrinka on the brink of elimination.
Ferrer had won seven of their previous 11 meetings and he had chances to break in the second game of the second set.
Wawrinka stood firm this time, though, and when the seventh seed broke in the next game Ferrer took it out on his racket.
It seemed an extreme reaction from a player who was already out of contention, but he was still playing for 200 points and around £89,000.
This time Wawrinka did manage to serve out the set, and a forehand hooked wide from Ferrer in the opening game of the decider gave his opponent an immediate break.
Ferrer has played for seven weeks in a row across Asia and Europe so it is not surprising he has been well below his best in London.
The third seed's frustration was obvious and that only increased as Wawrinka broke again for 4-1, and a stunning backhand down the line sealed victory for him on his first match point.
- More about:
- Rafael Nadal