Rafael Nadal won his 33rd straight match on a wild Wednesday at the French Open. With the start of women’s semifinal play delayed three hours due to rain, Nadal and his quarterfinal opponent David Ferrer didn’t take the court on Suzanne Lenglen until almost 7pm local time.
With just 2.5 hours of sunlight remaining in the Paris sky, Nadal opened sluggishly dropping the first set to a hot Ferrer. Rafa got back on track taking the second before reeling off the third and at one stretch winning 10 straight games to eventually win 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1.
“I am rather happy to have been able to turn the situation around,” said Nadal who turned 28 yesterday. “I managed to pull through. Even though it was complicated, I managed to find solutions during the second set.”
Ferrer, who had beaten Nadal in Monte Carlo and at the Paris indoors last year, admitted to basically giving up against his countryman who is now 88-1 career in best-of-5 matches on clay.
“Today I was not good enough for this match,” said Ferrer. “I lost my focus. I was too slow, and I think I didn’t play the game of a Top 10 [player]. This is why I’m sad. It’s my attitude, my behaviour on the court.
“The court was slow. Rafael started playing a lot better, making fewer mistakes, and then it’s like I threw in the towel. I don’t usually do this, but I thought, I’m not going to be able to come back into the match. I thought, ‘No, no, not against Rafa. He’s such good a player.’”
Nadal, who seeks a record ninth French Open, now plays rival Andy Murray Friday in the semifinals.
“Always play against Andy is a big challenge,” Nadal said. “Always is a pleasure at the same time. I really like him as a person. I think he’s a great guy. Always stay the same. He’s a great competitor.
“Not surprised Andy is in semifinals. He’s a candidate to win Roland Garros. Before the tournament he was a candidate to win Roland Garros for me, so it’s not a surprise.”
Nadal leads Murray 14-5 and 4-0 on clay including a straight set French Open semifinal win at the 2011 French Open.
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