Nadal Seeks 7th Barcelona Crown Sunday Against Ferrer; Azarenka v Sharapova In Scream-y Stuttgart Final
by Staff | April 28th, 2012, 11:30 pm
  • 95 Comments

Only David Ferrer stands between Rafael Nadal and a 7th Barcelona title Sunday as Rafa takes a 33-match win streak at the event against his countryman.

It’s the third time Nadal meets Ferrer in the Barcelona final. Head-to-head, Nadal leads 13-4 having won 10 straight on clay.

“It’s even more special to reach a final at home,” said Nadal after blowing out fellow Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-4 Saturday. “I enjoy this tournament a lot. Tomorrow I will have to play perfect to have a chance to beat one of best players in the world. I will try to play aggressive and hope David doesn’t have one of his best days.”

Nadal has also won his last 76 matches in April, and on clay his last 19 and 13 straight overall (18 straight sets).

“Today I played a very strong first set, maybe the best I’ve had on clay so far this season,” said Nadal. “To win in Monte-Carlo and to reach a final in Barcelona, no matter what happens tomorrow I have had a great start to clay season.”

Ferrer managed to end the Cinderella run of Canadian Milos Raonic who had upset Andy Murray a day earlier. But Ferrer proved too tough in the semifinals defeating the big-serving youngster in two tiebreaks.

“I feel good; it was a very difficult match but I played very solid and consistent,” said Ferrer. “It’s my fourth final here which is very difficult to do. Raonic has one of best serves on tour, he’s improving a lot and he’s still very young. I was very focussed during the tie-breaks and played better than him in those moments – that was the key to the match.”

Ferrer, though, knows the task won’t be easy Sunday.

“It will be difficult to beat Rafa on clay,” Ferrer said. “I’ve lost the last three times to him on clay here, I hope it will be different for me tomorrow.”

The Stuttgart WTA event title be decided between the Top 2 players in the world, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. The two queens of scream meet for a third time this year with Azarenka already having won at the Australian Open and Indian Wells.

“I look forward to the challenge,” Sharapova said after ousting Petra Kvitova in the semifinals. “I’ve lost to Victoria the last few times so I’ll go out there and hope to change things around. I’ll look at the last few times we played and learn from my mistakes – but she’s playing such confident tennis this year, and she’s really the one to beat right now.”

Azarenka improved to 29-1 on the year after beating Agnieszka Radwanska. The 22-year-old has four titles already in 2012, 12 for her career. She has won five of eight meetings against Sharapova.


Also Check Out:
Nadal, Sharapova Among Weekend Tennis Title Winners
Nadal Seeks 8th Barcelona Title Against Almagro; Sharapova Eyes Stuttgart Repeat
WTA Reviews: Sharapova Queen of Clay After Stuttgart?
Azarenka Seeks First Slam Title Against Sharapova Tonight In Scream Queen Battle At Australian Open
Nadal Wins 500th Career Match, Meets Ferrer for Barcelona Title Sunday

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95 Comments for Nadal Seeks 7th Barcelona Crown Sunday Against Ferrer; Azarenka v Sharapova In Scream-y Stuttgart Final

Steve 27 Says:

Nadal obviously, but Ferrer can get his chance if he had the momentum. Luck for both!


Humble Rafa Says:

Big Busty Woman won’t win the French. May be Shriekapova has a chance..gulp! State of women’s tennis.


dari Says:

I can only guess what nadal’s winning score will be!

But I know that David dreams of winning this tournament

Stuttgart is more of a question, though Maria is flaming out in finals- just hope for good matches!!


carlo Says:

I know no one is interested but this has been a very fun, close match. Lots of emotion, strutting, self-chastising from gillou. Gillou just better, slightly…but he got his 2nd set break and Fabio hasn’t been able to break Simon’s serve – lots of deuces.

Sad he can’t get just one ATP title. :( Fabio. stream is in Italian too. It’s dramatic. Forza Fabio. get one set. come on.


carlo Says:

Can’t watch Fognini lose, even if Gillou is one of my favorites too. :(


Mark @ Tennisopolis Says:

I’m glad that you called it “screamy” because with these two it has crossed beyond a simple grunt. :-) There will be a lot of talk about the grunting issue in women’s tennis again this coming week (it happens whenever these two meet) but actually it really doesn’t bother me at all. To the bigger issues, Azarenka has Maria’s number and I am predicting that she wins in two quick sets. Great post.


racquet Says:

Great start by Ferrer, breaks Nadal and then promptly gets broken. I’m rooting for him today. C’mon Ferrerrr!


Daniel Says:

Damm, Nadal’s backhand is great. I don’t remember who, but somebody said Nadal’s level of confidence is associated with how well he hit his backhand.


carlo Says:

Hey, this isn’t too bad. Nothing is worse than Verdasco v Nadal. Ferrer is hanging on. Have the feeling it won’t last, but until Nadal starts running away with the match, I’ll watch.


racquet Says:

Ferrer is playing some fantastic tennis.


carlo Says:

I remember watching Ferrer and Nadal at a practice court in Indian Wells 2011. Ferrer won. But Nadal was frustrated and couldn’t find his 2010 US Open rocket serve. Ferrer had been practicing already a couple hours with Bellucci. Unreal stamina.


carlo Says:

ah Ferrer fights off the inevitable. Feel Nadal about to break. Be surprised if he can hold


dari Says:

Hi Carlo

I got home a little late to see the first few games,.bit saw that David had a break up at first :/

I am happy to hear of the title for gilles. I really like him and see he is on the verge of top ten, perhaps-

David has a bp/ set point opportunity!


dari Says:

Nadal is too good when facing bp, let’s see if David can convert this time, they are both playing well


carlo Says:

hi dari! holding my breath here. Ferru putting up a good fight


racquet Says:

3 set points go begging. Can David take the 4th?


carlo Says:

oh boy 4th bp i think it’s 4th for Ferru


carlo Says:

nadal was lucky there. deuce


Daniel Says:

Even when he misses it goes in. What Ferrer has to do to win this et?!


racquet Says:

Can you believe Nadal’s luck? Only his mishits ever seem to go in.


carlo Says:

5th set point ferru in erased by Nadal good serve. was it an ace?


carlo Says:

exhausting game. Nadal finally holds


dari Says:

I believe it

Erase the pain David, win this TB!


carlo Says:

argh. dari. tie break not looking good. don’t know if I’ll stay for the 2nd – have to get outside for a ride.


Daniel Says:

Poor Ferrer, He deserved at least this first set, Nadal had 2 lucky shots on those set points, when return from fewer which he returned Backwards and that cranked Forehand which fly and landed in. He most likely will never have chances as this when he played so good for 1 and a half hour


carlo Says:

Have to check score later. wasn’t even going to bother with this match. always nice to see you here, dari. :)


dari Says:

Yeah that’s probably a good idea, Carlo, have fun!
can’t imagine coming back from having 5 sets point and then only winning one point in the TB. There was some good tennis for some time, though


dari Says:

Same to you Carlo!


jane Says:

Ferrer came so close. But that’s the way with him; he needed to convert one of those bp chances…


racquet Says:

Let’s hope the usual doesn’t happen….i.e. Ferrer throws everything at him in the 1st set and then runs out of steam. He looks a tad weary at the moment.


Kimmi Says:

I thought it would be a rout, even though ferrer will lose this match..nice to see him giving rafa a run.


Humble Rafa Says:

Can you believe Nadal’s luck? Only his mishits ever seem to go in.

Yes, the harder I practice, the more lucky I seem to get.


dari Says:

its not a rout- good match, both guys coming up with some incredible shots. There are some holes in rafa’ s game today, though. Not as strong on the serve and some uncharacteristic errors- David running him around pretty good, too


skeezerweezer Says:

2 guys from Spain are obligated to make this some kind of show. Resistence is futile and a sham. We all know who is going to win. Just wish there was a time limit…i mean c’mon.. Almost 2 1/2 hours already and haven’t finished 2 sets?


pigirl1 Says:

what a lucky net cord for nadal…


racquet Says:

Ferrer breaks.


pigirl1 Says:

rafa finally cracks with DF…but i have a feeling that even Ferrer takes the second he will still lose the third


pigirl1 Says:

lol how lucky can nadal get!?


racquet Says:

Oh David.


dari Says:

Ok I’m ready to watch stuttgart now, nadal, finish it

Sorry David


pigirl1 Says:

feeling really bad for Ferrer…he deserved both sets


jane Says:

Ugh Daveeed! He had 4 or 5 set points in the first set, AND he was serving for the second set. Yet, he’s losing. What’s missing?

Sharpie is up a break on Azarenka early.


pigirl1 Says:

sorry david…


racquet Says:

Nadal wins. Very enjoyable match. Ferrer was closer than ever.


jane Says:

Congrats to Rafa and fans.

Not to discount Rafa’s tenacity – he’s one of the best in that department obviously – but today, it looked like he may’ve been there for the taking. Ferrer couldn’t get his much coveted title – what does he lack? Is it mental strength?


skeezerweezer Says:

Time…2:40 hrs. 2 sets = the play, the man, the myth, the love, the one, the only……..Rafael Nadal.


dari Says:

Good job Rafa, finding a way to break the heart of David again!

If there is any good in the world please let David beat
rafa in a clay final one day

Anyway congrats to rafa, building that mojo, let’s see what happens on the blue!


Mark Says:

Vamos Rafaaaa. The history man. Thanks for yr kind post Skeeze!!


racquet Says:

Jane, I don’t think he lacks mental strength. Maybe just not enough options/variety.


Brando Says:

YIPEEE! 2 tourny’s, 2 titles, W/O dropping a set! VAMOS RAFA!


marrisv Says:

Good match., glad Rafa defended mc and Barcelona points.

Of course daveed had chances, but Rafa stepped up when needed at the tight moments especially in the first set …


Mark Says:

Is the trophy bigger than the Queens trophy?


marrisv Says:

For me, the problem for daveed is he doesn’t believe he can against Rafa on clay…. Any time he gets ahead, he starts choking.


dari Says:

No no 5 set points and serving for the set- there is a mental component there raquet.

Jane- rafa would almost prefer to win playing poorly- there is room.to grow and he knows everything does not have to be going perfectly to get the win.

I can’t make any predictions for what rafa is gonna do nexthe had some great points and some tight ones and a better player, or even David just playing better at the eight tjmes, could have beaten him today


jane Says:

racquet, not sure what it is – he has all the shots to break Rafa, to get to all those sets points, but then he can’t convert. Clearly Rafa is a factor there but to me that suggests a mental strength issue. Presented with 7 (?) set points in total, so that he might’ve won in straight sets, but unable to convert any of them? To me that’s can’t be just a lack of variety.

Meanwhile, Sharpie is really turning it around versus Azarenka, just went up a double break. Maria is serving well; Vika not so much.


jane Says:

That trophy is a monster! :)


Kimmi Says:

sharapova look to reverse the trend. first set 6-1


Kimmi Says:

what an improvement on maria serve. Against all odds if she wins here beating the good clay courters.


marrisv Says:

No love lost between Maria and Vilka… Nobody waiting for the other to cross for changeover


racquet Says:

^^no 5 set points and serving for the set-

Normally I’d agree but look how Rafa played those points – David didn’t fluff them, Rafa totally commanded them. I thought Ferrer showed great mental fortitude to save those 6 break points. He’s certainly not Nadal’s patsy like a few other Spanish players I could name.


jane Says:

racquet, I agree he’s not a patsy. :) I just think that he had his chances and it wasn’t only due to Rafa that he couldn’t take them. He should’ve got at least a set today imo.

Kimmi, Maria is a decent clay-courter actually – last year won Rome and she’s been to the semis at the FO at least once. I would LOVE to see her win the FO and complete the career slam.


racquet Says:

jane, I agree he deserved at least a set. My only gripe is that he rarely mixes it up (why not throw in a drop shot or a slice to throw the rhythm off a bit?). His game plan would’ve been effective against most players but going toe-to-toe against Nadal only works for one current player ;)


racquet Says:

Watching the Sharapova/Azarenka match. This is a real grudge match. Did anyone see them bump shoulders at the change of ends? No love lost there.


Kimmi Says:

racquet – did they really, i missed that :(

vika playing better.


racquet Says:

kimmi, yes they did. it was subtle but full of meaning. This is the best, consistent, tennis I’ve seen Sharapova play in a long while.


dari Says:

I think rafa played great points 3 out of those 5 set points. There was one poor backhand from David on one and I think a very wide forehand. It’s probably the same small mistake that everyone except rafa and novak ( fed at some points, now) would make. It wasn’t meant to be that harsh for david, I am generally impressed by his play, but he doeant have the exceptional mental strength the very best have to take those opportunities from nadal.

Did see that shoulder brush, and then vika say something to the crowd member- don’t mess with her.

I hope that Vika hand/wrist is not too big of a problem and quality can remain high. Am rooting for her


racquet Says:

kimmi, can you believe it. Someone has already uploaded the bump to YouTube. Here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/c722744


Kimmi Says:

dari – actually i am rooting for sharapova today. I normally dont root for her. but she had too many loses vs vika. one win in the final will do her good.

wow! after breaking she goes 40-0


jane Says:

racquet, I get your point; Ferrer could have taken more risks at opportune times by throwing in surprise elements. But when you have that many chances against Rafa, on clay no less, you HAVE to take one of them.

Kimmi, definitely this second set is better in a competitive sense; Maria’s serve dropped from 73% first set to 59% presently, while Vika’s improved, but only slightly. The point is it’s been a slightly more even match in this second set – though Maria is still generating more break point chances. She has faced only one all match, and saved it, whereas Vika has faced 11 bps and saved 8 of them. If you generated that many chances, usually you will break. Maria up 5-3 in the second. Good for her.

Although not necessarily. Ferrer generated 15 bps today against Rafa (15!) and converted 3, whereas Rafa generated 10, about a third less, and converted 4. There’s the difference?


Kimmi Says:

If sharpie breaks here, it will be the same kind of loss azarenka gave her at aussie open.


jane Says:

Congrats to Sharapova. Good, and needed I think, win for her.


Kimmi Says:

she wins. this is the best i have seen her play for a long time. i think she is back at her best.


dari Says:

EXCELLENT performance from Maria!
Glad she shook off the finals heebie jeebies, and she was moving great, hitting big while staying consistent.
Hope vika is ok with the wrist, nice to see 1 and 2 in the fibal on ladies side!


Kimmi Says:

ha ha, that was quick to be on youtube racquet. wow, people are never late hey!

i see sharapova shaking her head after the bump.


racquet Says:

Vika was really surly. She sure doesn’t like losing.


jane Says:

Maria has the best shoulders; they are so square, like a coat hanger. No wonder she wears clothes so well. :) Not a friendly bump at all. Yeah, Vika is an emotive one: angry, sad, etc. But she can also be incredibly focused on the court. Today Maria trumped her in that and other departments too. Makes it interesting as to what will happen going forward, and Maria had the tougher draw too.


dari Says:

She beat a lot of great players, MariA, pretty impressive- Omg she is driving the car!


jane Says:

Haha, the car. I remember when Davy was hugging his car.


alison hodge Says:

Glad Rafa bagged another title,i didnt see all the match but will watch it at some point,as i have recorded it,from what i saw in the 1st set ferrer must be feeling frustrated as like jane said Rafa was there for the taking,5set points went begging,and as everyone knows you have to take your chances when you get them against Rafa of all people.


alison hodge Says:

skeezer thanks for that lovely post at 12.57pm,what sweet words.


jane Says:

alison, I’d say only “may’ve” been there for the taking – after all, we’re talking about Rafa on clay! Not many can take him on the surface. But he wasn’t Maxiums Rafaus today, so maybe Ferrer should’ve gotten a set anyhow. Anyhow, Rafa deserves the title no matter what; he is so tenacious and such a master on this surface. Major kudos to him – and enjoy the match when you get to watch it.


alison hodge Says:

Thanks Jane fair post as always,if ferrer had taken the 1st set ya never know,its all coulda,woulda,shoulda, like kimberly said i feel a bit mean on one hand, but still glad though at the same time,a bit selfish i suppose,i guess we all are as fans sometimes.


grendel Says:

Couldn’t watch any tennis today, so I was interested to read the comments. A theme sort of emerged, especially from jane – and I thought this comment summed it up nicely:”Ferrer came so close. But that’s the way with him;”

It is indeed. Ferrer tends to be Mr.Nearly man where the big boys are concerned. I get the impression of someone who gives of his best – up to a certain stage in the match. He shows he can live with Federer or Nadal, even be on top for a bit. And then it’s as if he is satisfied – his point has been made, and now it is time to restore the pecking order. That can’t be exactly deliberate or conscious, but it doesn’t need to be. All it requires is that little nagging doubt festering away just below the surface, which you can imagine will affect the player’s focus in one or two crunch moments – and that’s all it takes, after all.

w.r.t Roddick, you picked me up on that in the last thread, jane. I recall you putting me to the question concerning Roddick some years ago. Why didn’t I like him, you asked. I said something about his backhand. Anything else, you inquired? I mentioned the poor quality of his volleying. And? you continued. I scratched my head, and may have mumbled something about his tendency to play pitter patter when in fact he was really a power player. You could see all that, you said reasonably, but what did I really think? Feeling disinctly harassed, I wondered if I should volunteer my suspicion that Roddick had had access to a time machine. He had used this to propel himself forward a few years (for he had been given the word by certain time travellers he had become acquainted with) to look in on Gael Monfils. That was how he had discovered his unique serving action. Of course, it was bad enough simply to steal someone else’s style. But what made it doubly worse,changed, in fact, what might have been a pardonable misdemeanour into a matter verging on crime, was to have pretended that Monfils had copied his, Roddick’s serving action – especially since there was no way that Monfils could credibly deny this. Only Roddick (and,as it happens,me)knew about the time machine. Obviously, Roddick wasn’t going to spill the beans, and I can’t because for some reason the time travellers have all disappeared, and who would believe me? It was on these grounds that I decided not to disclose the real reason for my anger against Roddick.

b.t.w.jane, I tend not to look in on the site when I’m not posting, so I don’t know whether margot has been posting? As you know, I had a little spat with her, and I would be very sorry if I was responsible for her withdrawing – not least since I know for a fact she gives a lot of pleasure to a lot of people with her often pungent posts.


alison hodge Says:

Grendel your right Margots not been posting lately on the tennis x forum,however i dont know if its because of the spat that you two had,or whether she has her own reasons,but she does post on the atp site under the name tootyfrooty when we do the bracket challenge,i always miss margots posts when shes not hear,likewise with yours too,and i also miss the interacting between the two of you,the back and forth posts are quite funny,and i must say i quite miss that shame really.


jane Says:

grendel, yeah I do remember some of our discussions way back when about Roddick: “deer in the headlights” is a phrase that my memory conjures up from deep in the filing system, but maybe I just imagined it. I think Hobbes was the one who said memory and imagination are just two words for the same thing. As regards to margot, no she hasn’t posted here in a while, but we’ve chatted on the bracket challenge threads, as alison pointed out. Perhaps she’s busy, so she sticks to posting when we are actually on about the matches, but I do miss her succinct & smart posts, too.


grendel Says:

well, the thing is, jane, at that time I was unwilling to admit that my dislike of Roddick had more to do with his personality than his tennis. I half-suspected that you half-suspected that…


alison hodge Says:

sorry jane it was a bit rude of me to butt in on your discussion with Grendel,hope i didnt offend you.


jane Says:

^no worries at all.


grendel Says:

once again, alison hodge, you have failed signally in your duty. You must learn not to interrupt when the grownups are talking. I find myself somewhat at a loss as to what to do. You have already been given 6 of the best behind the woodshed, and apparently this has not deterred you. I am deeply disappointed. I fear that I may have to revoke your privileges, so no sneaking off to the television room to watch Wimbledon this year.

seriously, alison, you can’t “butt in” – this is a public forum, and the more the merrier. Thankyou for letting me know about margot – tootyfrooty, eh? I wonder if that can have any relation to an excellent television drama called Tutti Frutti which I saw over 20 years ago, and which was also where I first saw the excellent Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson? Probably not…


Brando Says:

@Grendel: ROFL, your last post was hilarious! Can’t stand emma Thompson though- I think the only time I found her tolerable was in the DDL film( In the name of the father).


grendel Says:

Brando – I’m kind of neutral on Emma thompson. Love Robbie Coltrane, though.


carlo Says:

Well, to throw my hat into the gossip, as a fan of both margot and grendel, I doubt any kind of spat here had anything to do with it at this point.

Sometimes people just take a break from posting somewhere. Maybe a small annoyance, too many are insulting your favorite or it’s a as simple as you just don’t feel like writing anything; no time…

She better show up for the bracket challenge, or I’ll go looking for her :D


alison hodge Says:

Grendel LMAO actually i was only joking when i said that to Jane,just to see what your reaction would be,and as always you came back with a hilariously brilliant post,like you always do,however i will try to be a good girl and behave myself from now till wimbledon starts,cant make any promises though ha,ha,ha.
BTW Emma was good in sense and sensebility,love actually,as well as the film Brando was talking about,Robbie Coltrane was fantastic as Fitz in TV series Cracker.


jamie Says:

Nadal will only win titles on clay this year.

Book it.

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Rankings
ATP - Jul 21 WTA - Jul 21
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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