Rafael Nadal Made David Ferrer Throw In The Towel Today At The French Open
by Staff | June 4th, 2014, 6:16 pm
  • 23 Comments

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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23 Comments for Rafael Nadal Made David Ferrer Throw In The Towel Today At The French Open

RZ Says:

Weird that Ferrer threw in the towel. Very unlike him. Sad too. I once had a tennis instructor tell me that even if you’re getting wiped on the court, you need to do everything you can to make your opponent uncomfortable. Even if things don’t turn around, you’ll know you gave it a try.


M Says:

Ferru was up against not only his friend & countryman and an 8-time champion, but also tough court and weather conditions, both physical and psychological. That’s … a lot.

And I’ve heard Rafa say as much as that precisely because he knows how good Ferru is, when he has his chances, he has to work hard to put him away.

““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.””

Rafa knows what’s up. He has an eye for talent, so he will be prepared.

(I hope. *sigh* Andy played some ridiculously strategic tennis today.)

Vamos!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Perhaps I’m wrong but it feels like we haven’t seen Murray vs Rafa on a big stage since Murray’s ascendance as a Slam champ. They’ve each taken turns challenging Novak and then disappearing. Great to see them both competing at the top, and fitting that they’ll match up for the right to face Novak or his vanquisher.


mat4 Says:

I watched a few sets of tennis today, not complete matches: the second and the beginning of the third set in the Rafa-David match; the third and the fourth sets of the Muzza-LaMonf encounter. Basically, the parts that didn’t count.

Ferrer played sanely, but the realization was abysmal. In the second set, I felt that he could break Rafa whenever he wanted. Unfortunately, he missed, and kept missing easy shots, first by a hairline, then by an inch, after that by feet. He gave the match to Rafa on a silver platter. When he lost the second set, the match was virtually over. Daveed main problem, after the first set, is that he saw that he could win.

On the other side, Murray almost defeated himself in the match against Monfils. Compared to the Rafa-Ferru match, the rallies between Muzza and LaMonf seemed so slow, Muzza started enjoying too much toying with his opponent and suddenly, when he realized that he was in danger, he couldn’t find an attacking rhythm. I rooted for Monfils, of course, but Monfils… he made a few good shots, indeed, but I didn’t feel, in any moment, that he was the one that could decide the winner of that match.

About the semis: on the Langlen, I wouldn’t hesitate to see Murray and Gulbis as favourites. Rafa serves awfully, and Murray has a clear cut plan against him. He is stronger, and on a clay where the rebound and spin are not effective the way they usually are, if he is patient enough, he has his chance. Murray’s weakness is still his FH: he needs time to hit it effectively, even when the ball is at an optimum height. He doesn’t punish shorts ball as often as he should. But Rafa doesn’t play well, at least he didn’t on a faster court, and if he wins, it will be another proof of his indomitable will.

Gulbis too, for me, could be the favourite if the match was played on the Langlen. But on a slower Chatrier, Djokovic has his chance. He is steadier, his FH is better, his BH is a bit better, he changes direction better, and the drop shots… he does it as well as Ernie. Gulbis main asset in this match is his serve and the fact that Djokovic is under great pressure, while he has nothing to lose. BTW, this is an advantage Murray too has over Rafa. Novak has another advantage: he has a better shot selection, and more patterns of play.

I think everything is open. Both matches could end in three sets for the favourites, or could last until the fifth. Rafa’s back is the big question too.

Anyway, we will see in a few days. Until now, I was utterly wrong about everything. But, that’s why we like sports, tennis.


Polo Says:

mat4, you’re one astute and beautiful writer.


Goatexpert Says:

Quite disappointed with Ferrer’s attitude in the last 2 sets. He should retire if he has lost the fight.


tennis fan Says:

If gulbis beats djokovic in semi and Rafa in final just like wawranika What say ?


Nachiket Says:

This is very very sad. Not frustration, lack of appetite to win. Ferrer is the last guy you will see giving up. Yesterday, I thought it was lack of self belief. But when he used the word, lack of appetite, its disheartening.


Michael Says:

To beat a generational player like Rafa in any major is a tough proposition, more so Rolland Garros where he reigns and rules with supremacy. Ask Roger, Berdych, Ferrer, Andy and a whole lot of players and they would tell you how their task is cut out when they are pitted against him. That is the reason for my admiration of Novak who has handled the Rafa riddle quite well. When he is up against him, he always goes with a positive mind set and with a sheer resolve and determination to win. Their H2H stands at a healthy 22-19 which would just tell you that if there is any player Rafa fears in the circuit, it is only Novak. Most of Novak’s win at majors and Master series carries more weight as he has done it against Rafa in the finals. And the special thing about Novak is that he dominates Rafa in some of his matches even outclassing him with the later looking helpless. That is a rare sight who see on a Tennis court. May be the match up helps Novak. But still, he acquires prominence because he is the only player who is troubling Rafa who has seperated himself from the rest. The recent Rome Masters was one fine example of how Novak makes solid counter puches to any of the gauntlet that Rafa threw at him. Even at this edition of Roland Garros, only a Rafa-Novak final will have suspense filled drama and excitement as Novak is always capable of pulling the rug under the feet of Rafa. If it is any other player in the finals, in this case Gulbis, you can as well give away the trophy to Rafa for the 9th time.


Michael Says:

Nadal’s defeat of Ferrer was written all over. Players like Ferrer, Berdych lose the match against Rafa even before they enter the court.


mat4 Says:

@Polo:

Thanks. It happens to me from time to time. Usually, I just troll.

But I read an analysis of Rafa’s serve speed, by spots. Looking at the stats, yesterday, I had the impression that he felt a bit better. He made a lot of UE from the BH side, by his own admission, because the court is a bit faster, and he needed to readjust.

@Michael:

Quite true, in Ferrer’s case certainly. Players like Berdych, DelPo, could pose enormous problems to Rafa even on clay, because of their raw power, but Rafa doesn’t play DelPo on clay (the one relevant match they had was in DC; before that, they played just once, in 2007), and Berdych… let’s say is Berdych.

BTW, I never understood why Djokovic isn’t working more on his strength. When you compare him to players of his height, he just doesn’t look virile. Murray added 15 pounds of muscles in 2008, Djokovic needs perhaps 10 pounds. He could do in a year (even with his nutrition problems).


Margot Says:

@mat4
But Nole has an extraordinary physique, immensely wiry and strong and of course the legendary flexibility.
I think he’s lose more than he gained if he put on 10lbs of muscle.
In fact I think Andy lost a step when he put on that weight and looks slimmer these days. And faster.


Michael Says:

Mat4,

Regarding Novak not working more on his strength

Well, why should any body instill a change when things are working your way ? I think Novak who is so health conscious would have his own reasons not to add more body weight. Novak has come a long way from his teen years when he used to withdraw from matches at the slight drop of a hat. From then, he has worked on his body and structured his physique with a glutton free diet.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

@mat4,

This is what Novak looked like nine years ago:

http://youtu.be/Btcazerryrw – Part 2


Lesego Says:

@Michael
The patterns of play that get Rafa out of trouble, don’t work so well against Novak.


Michael Says:

Yes Lesego. Novak is not so aggressive against other players as he is against Rafa. He singularly deploys hit or miss tactics. Moreover, he is helped by the fact that he has a great return of serve which works especially well against Rafa. Many players have difficulties reading Nadal’s serve, but not Novak. He just anticipates it well and gets aggressive to finish the point. His advantage starts right over there and he capitalises on it with his shot making abilities hitting corners.


Michael Says:

Moreover his double handed back hand counters quite well the ferocity of Rafa’s forehand.


Polo Says:

Novak automatically elevates his game to its highest level when he faces Nadal. Even his mental fortitude rises to a level that matches Nadal’s. And he has the stamina to go toe to toe with Nadal regardless of how long it takes. Nadal has not faced anybody like that in the circuit. The mental edge he has against the others ceases to be a tool he can take advantage of. Their talents are way too close to call. That is why their match-ups are the best in tennis now, maybe ever.


Hippy Chic Says:

The Murray/Djokovic rivalry is a good evenly contested one too IMO….


Josh Says:

Interesting comments from Ferrer. Bottom line is that he’s older, and cannot sustain his level of play over 5 sets. Once Nadal got the 2nd set, it was all over.


Voicemale1 Says:

I have to chuckle at any suggestion that Nadal won yesterday because Ferrer lost the match :D. In the middle of the 2nd Set, Nadal made two crucial adjustments: he started serving with more MPH more often, and he stood closer to the base line to Return Serve, more than normally does. Since Ferrer became too predictable serving – going to Nadal’s BH almost 90% of the time – Nadal’s adjusting on the Return dealt with Ferrer’s intransigence. Moreover, Nadal found the range on his FH by the 2nd Set – both Inside Out and Inside In. And his depth improved as the match went on. And let’s be clear. Nadal – in the 3rd Set – made exactly zero Unforced Errors. I don’t care who you are as an opponent, you cannot beat a guy who makes no errors. The 6-0 score reflects a set against someone who doesn’t give you a single point from their errors. So, far from Nadal advancing because of some imagined collapse from Ferrer, this was won because Nadal made the adjustments needed followed up by the finding the range and depth with his Forehand. Ferrer actually broke Nadal in the 4th, so he had an opportunity to drag it to a 5th set the next day. It’s that Nadal had his “Roland Garros Level” he found. That level took the #7 guy in the world and held him to 1 game won over two sets. Just extraordinary.

As for Gulbis-Djokovic,, what I love about that one is the Gulbis attitude going into it. He says his previous matches against Djokovic – the last being in 2011 – mean nothing. He’s thinking it starts as a new matchup now. Which is exactly how he needs to come into it. When they were both at the Pilic academy as juniors, it was Gulbis who was the better of the two. Given how Gulbis just crushed Berdych means he’s Returning well. He dealt with the Federer and Berdych serves and did some damage on the Return. Given Djokovic has dropped Serve 11 times in this event so far, he won’t be able to do that tomorrow. If Djokovic wins it will be because of his Defense. That will have to be working at a premium.


calmdownplease Says:

`So, far from Nadal advancing because of some imagined collapse from Ferrer, this was won because Nadal made the adjustments needed followed up by the finding the range and depth with his Forehand`

Nadal played very well for 2 and a half sets and Ferrer folded, it was both.
He said as much himself (although he shouldn’t have).


jan n Says:

huge fan of Ferrer, but hate it when he seems to give up on himself. sometimes it’s like he has a fear of winning and/or has so much respect for the top players that he just can’t bear to beat them, even though he has the capability.


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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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