Australian Open, Day 9: Ferrer survives, Williams sisters fall

Shane Bacon
Busted Racquet

We all have that one buddy that is just better at stuff than we are. They can beat us in ping-pong and horseshoes and H-O-R-S-E and no matter how hard you try, or how many points you get up that person, it's inevitable that eventually he will come back and take you down.

Now imagine you are the 10th ranked player in a Grand Slam field and make a quarterfinals only to see that friend of yours across the net. That is Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer. Both from Spain, Almagro headed into his Tuesday quarterfinal match against Ferrer with a lifetime 0-12 record against the fourth ranked player in the field and it was pretty obvious that over their careers, Ferrer had his number in basically all capacities.

But the match started out different. Almagro was hitting some great passing shots and was pounding his serve and Ferrer seemed a step slow to basically all the Almagro punches.

The first set went to Almagro and then the second, and it seemed that the bagel record that he held against Ferrer was finally going to fall. But Ferrer snagged the third set and then it was on to the fourth, where nerves seemed to be grabbing at both players. But Almagro still had a chance to win the match serving up 5-4, but you could almost see it in his face at the break points went to Ferrer that it wasn't going to happen.

Ferrer won the fourth set tiebreaker handily and what seemed like an inevitable match win even though they still had the fifth set to play. Almagro was tightening up both mentally and physically and when it was all said and done, his record against Ferrer went to 0-13.

The Williams sisters fall in doubles -- It's not often that the No. 1 seed can win a match and it be considered an upset, but that happened on Tuesday when Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci took down Serena and Venus Williams 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.

It was a strange match for the Williams sisters, who seemed to be cruising after the first set but some weak serving and what seemed like a couple of almost-injuries to both players cost them a spot in the semifinals.

Djokovic and Sharapova continue to roll -- If you thought Novak Djokovic might be a tad exhausted after his five-set win in the fourth round then you don't know Novak.

The two-time defending champion rolled Tomas Berdych 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to his 11th straight semifinal in a Grand Slam.

Sharapova also made it look easy as she took out fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-2.

Key Match Times Tonight

Serena Williams vs. Sloane Stephens - 8:30 PM ET (approx.)

Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 3:30 AM ET

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