Tennis: Berdych beats Ferrer to keep semi bid alive

Tomas Berdych remains in contention for a place in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals after cruising to a 6-4, 6-4 win over David Ferrer on Wednesday.

Berych had lost his opening Group A match against Stanislas Wawrinka on Monday, but the Czech fifth seed gave himself a shot at making the last four by sweeping aside the world number three in straight sets.

Ferrer held a 7-3 head-to-head advantage over Berdych, with a victory in their last meeting just five days ago in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters, while Berdych's last win over Ferrer was at this tournament in 2011.

Berdych has reached the quarter-finals or better in 15 of his 22 tournaments this year, while Ferrer, a Tour Finals runner-up in 2007, has reached a career-high nine finals this year, winning twice.

Few matches at this year's Tour Finals will offer more of a contrast in styles than this one.

The towering Berdych posseses a huge serve and sporadically fierce ground-strokes, while the diminutive Ferrer relies on his formidable energy levels and some clever shot selection.

But for all the obvious differences in their games, both are high-quality competitors and there was little to seperate them in a tight first set.

The only break went Berdych's way in the ninth game when the Czech earned two break points and converted the second, following in a cross-court forehand with a volleyed, before easily serving out the set.