David Ferrer stunned top-seeded Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-5 and Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer from a set and break down in the Paris Masters semi-finals yesterday.
Djokovic prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 for his 16th straight match win.
Ferrer had lost nine straight times to Nadal, including in this year's French Open final, and had not beaten his fellow Spaniard in almost three years. But this time the defending champion hit 29 winners to 19 and won 14 of 18 net points.
"I played maybe my best match this season," Ferrer said, "very aggressive with my forehand and with my shots."
Ferrer broke for 3-1 and went a set up with a low forehand volley. He capitalised on a wide forehand from Nadal to lead 2-1 in the second set.
Ferrer saved five break points in that set but failed to serve out the match at 5-4, allowing Nadal to break back. Nadal gave Ferrer another chance as he hit a forehand long to drop serve. Ferrer went on to seal the victory with a forehand winner.
In the other semi-final, Djokovic was facing Federer for the 30th time but the first this year.
Djokovic struggled with his serve early, making two straight double faults to hand Federer a break point. Federer converted it for 2-1 with a backhand volley after hitting a drop shot to draw the Serb to the net.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion saved four break points at 5-4 and took the first set when Djokovic hit a backhand return long.
"The key was just to hang in there and stay with him," Djokovic said. "I knew that he's going to be very aggressive from the start coming to the net. He used his opportunities really well. He was very efficient at the net. Then, I tried to decrease the number of unforced errors and step in when it's needed."