MELBOURNE Jan 22 (Reuters) - Fourth seed David Ferrer stared defeat full in the face three times but battled back to beat fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The 10th seed Almagro absolutely dominated one of the world's best baseline players from the back of the court to go two sets up but the fourth seed hit back when Almagro was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set.
Twice more Almagro had the chance to serve out for victory but he blew them both and Ferrer, who had won all 12 of their previous meetings, stormed back to clinch the victory with his first match point after a three hours and 44 minutes.
Ferrer will meet the winner of the quarter-final between world number one Novak Djokovic and fifth seed Tomas Berdych, who play the final singles match of the day on Rod Laver Arena. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Patrick Johnston)