Unfortunately for the Spaniard, he was unable to stop the rot against R-Fed, who ran out a winner in two sets to book his place in Sunday's semi-finals.
Read how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute updates below.
1.40pmAfternoon all. The opening three days of this tournament have been fantastic in fairness and with Roger Federer vs. David Ferrer to come today, I fully expect day four to continue the trend.
1.42pmAs mentioned in the introduction, these two have won 13 titles on the Tour this year. What may be surprising is the fact that Ferrer has the edge with seven ATP trophies in his cabinet throughout 2012.
1.46pmHaving said that, Federer did manage to win his seventh Wimbledon title this year at the expense of Andy Murray. With the exception of Novak Djokovic and Murray, nobody has had a better year in the men's game than these two.
1.50pmHowever, despite their even years, the head-to-head record does not make pleasant reading for world number five Ferrer. He's never beaten the Swiss star in an official match! Considering how much ability Ferrer has, that's an amazing fact.
1.54pm"I feel very good. I will have to play my best tennis to beat him," Ferrer has just told Sky Sports News.
1.55pmMeanwhile, Federer has praised his opponent: "It's going to be a tough match. The matches we have played in the past have been close. I'm sure he's going to be firing."
1.56pmRight, here come the players. Ferrer will be introduced to the O2 crowd first...
1.58pmFerrer's reception is good, but it's not a patch on the one that Federer receives. There probably isn't a more popular player in the world then R-Fed.
2.00pmNot the best of starts for Ferrer. He lost the toss and Federer has opted to serve first. You feel it would have been good for Ferrer to open the serving and claim an early hold.
2.04pmBefore we get underway, it's worth noting that whoever wins this encounter will all but have booked their place in the semi-finals thanks to victories in the opening round of matches.
2.05pmFor the record, Federer saw off the challenge from Janko Tipsarevic. Meanwhile, Ferrer beat Juan Martin Del Potro in three set.
2.06pmAnyway, the pre-match talking is done. Federer will get the match underway...
2.09pmThree break points Ferrer...
2.09pmBut the Spaniard finds the net with the first one. Still two remain. What a start this has been!
2.10pmAnd the second one is smashed away by Federer. Even at this early stage, you feel Ferrer needs to take this chance.
2.10pmWhat a shot from Federer! He's passes the ball down the line with a cute forehand stroke and we have deuce. Heartbreak for Ferrer.
Federer 1-0* FerrerWhat a recovery from Federer. He was 0-40 down there but battled back to take the game. It will be interesting to see how Ferrer reacts to that.
2.15pmNow it's Federer's turn to have a break point...
Federer *2-0 FerrerBREAK! Oh dear. Ferrer goes long and Federer has an early break. It's a familiar feeling for Ferrer already. The ship is beginning to sink, even at this early stage.
2.21pmBreak point Ferrer. Does he have to take this or what?!
2.22pmCONTROVERSY! A shot from Ferrer is called out but HawkEye shows it was infact in. He would have had the break there. The point is replayed and he loses it. How frustrating. Deuce.
2.23pmBut he now has a second break point as Federer finds the net...
2.24pmHowever, it's another long shot from Ferrer and we have deuce once again. This game keeps going and going!
2.26pmAnother break point for Ferrer - his third of the game...
2.27pmThat is wonderful from Federer. It looked for all the world that Ferrer was going to win that rally, but the world number two sends the ball across the court with a stinging forehand. Great stuff. Deuce.
Federer 3-0* FerrerAnd after almost 12 minutes and three break points for Ferrer, Federer holds! That could have a major impact on Ferrer's game. We shall see.
Federer *3-1 FerrerThe pint-sized Spaniard gets his name on the board at last with a hold to love. Federer to serve.
2.34pmA double fault from Federer brings up two break points for Ferrer. He simply has to take these.
2.34pmOne goes a begging and he sends a drop shot into the net. That was needless if truth be told. One more remains...
Federer 3-2* FerrerBREAK! At last Ferrer gets the break! It's little more than he deserves. He has had break points in all three of Federer's service games. Now he's got to hold.
Federer *3-3 FerrerHe's taken to deuce by Federer but Ferrer eventually battles through to hold. In doing so, he's levelled up the score at three games apiece.
Federer 4-3* FerrerThat's a lot better from the Federer serve. It's a love game for the Swiss, who seems to have found some rhythm.
2.48pmBreak point for R-Fed...
2.48pmBut he goes long and Ferrer lives to fight another point. Deuce.
Federer *4-4 FerrerThat is a very important hold for Ferrer. He showed great character to come back from a break point down. We're level again.
Federer 5-4* FerrerIt's by no means pretty but Federer pulls himself through. He was helped by some sloppy forehand strokes by Ferrer, who will now serve to stay in the set.
2.56pmFerrer goes wide and Federer has three break and set points...
Federer 6-4 *0-0 FerrerSET! Ferrer buckled under the pressure during that game and Federer has the lead. He's been nowhere near his best, but Fed has done enough. Ominous signs for Ferrer.
3.01pmTwo break points for Ferrer early in this second set...
3.02pmGreat net play from Federer saves the first one. There is still one more for Ferrer to play for.
3.02pmAnd the second one is smashed away by R-Fed. Another chance wasted by Ferrer, although in fairness he couldn't have done much more to return those shots.
Federer 6-4 1-0* FerrerI'm not sure I've ever seen Federer concede so many break points in one match! It doesn't matter though as he holds to get off and running in this second set.
Federer 6-4 *1-1 FerrerIt's the perfect response from Ferrer, who serves out to love. If there was a bit more power to the Spaniard's game, he'd be winning this one.
Federer 6-4 2-1* FerrerFerrer got nothing for all the running that he did in that game! Federer was always in control and sprayed a number of forehand strokes around the court. Chasing those does not look much fun!
3.15pmA double point for Ferrer brings up a break point for Federer...
3.16pmBut it's an escape for Ferrer as R-Fed clips the top of the net and the ball drops down on his side. Deuce.
Federer 6-4 *2-2 FerrerAnother tough hold for Ferrer, but it's a hold nonetheless. Federer has just looked over to his coaching team with a sense of confusion on his face. You don't see that too often.
Federer 6-4 3-2* FerrerDespite the confused look, Federer was in stunning form in that game. His backhand became his best friend, with two winners down that wing. It's important that Ferrer follows suit.
Federer 6-4 *3-3 FerrerAnd hold he does. Overall, both players have looked relatively safe when serving in this set. As a result, any break now would be crucial.
Federer 6-4 4-3* FerrerFederer is now beginning to hold his service games with ease. Ferrer is almost trying too hard to win each point because he knows how important a break is.
Federer 6-4 *4-4 FerrerThat is a huge, huge hold for Ferrer. He was 0-30 down, but fought back to take the game. Had he been broken, it would probably have been curtains.
Federer 6-4 5-4* FerrerWow! That was quick from R-Fed. An impressive hold. Ferrer will now serve to stay in the match. Remember, he was broken at this stage in the first set.
Federer 6-4 *5-5 FerrerGreat character from Ferrer. He took advantage of some short stuff by Federer and he holds in style. Five all.
Federer 6-4 6-5* FerrerWhat is worrying for Ferrer though is the fact that Federer is now holding with ease. Earlier in the match Ferrer was causing him all sorts of problems with the ball in hand. Again the Spaniard is serving to stay in the match.
Federer 6-4 6-6 FerrerAgain Ferrer was 0-30 down on his serve but once again he battles back to win the game. Tie-break...
TIE-BREAK:Federer 0-1* Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer 1-1* Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer *1-2 Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer *2-2 Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer 3-2* Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer 4-2* Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer *4-3 Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer *5-3 Ferrer
TIE-BREAK:Federer 6-3* Ferrer - Three match points Federer...
TIE-BREAK:Federer 6-4* Ferrer - Two match points Federer...
TIE-BREAK:Federer *6-5 Ferrer - One match point Federer...
Federer 6-4 7-6(5) FerrerGAME, SET AND THE MATCH ROGER FEDERER
3.57pmYou can't knock Ferrer's effort and endeavor, but when it really mattered Federer got the better of him. That's why he is the best to have ever played the game. And with that, he has qualified for Sunday's semi-finals at the O2 Arena. Meanwhile, Ferrer must beat Tipsarevic on Saturday to stand any chance of progressing.
3.59pm"I'm extremely happy because it was a tough match. It was a long match for two sets. I think I played a great match. He is so respected and puts in such a great effort. I enjoy playing against him because he is a great guy and a great player," Federer tells Sky Sports News during his post-match interview on the court.
4.01pmThat's just about all we have time for this afternoon, but be sure to join us later for Janko Tipsarevic vs. Juan Martin Del Potro. That will be knockout tennis, with the loser almost certainly exiting the competition. We'll be back with you around 7.15pm. See you then.